March 2018 Block of the Month: Hidden Star
She’s Our Star 2018 Block of the Month
March: Hidden Star
This month we’re stitching the traditional Hidden Star quilt block design—the third of six star-based blocks in NPZ’s 2018 Block of the Month series. Team Nancy Zieman is pleased to honor Nancy with this beautiful new block of the month series featuring Nancy’s New Farmhouse Florals fabric line for Penny Rose from Riley Blake!
Hidden Star combines 1/2-square triangle units and square-in-a-square units to create the illusion of a star at the center of the block. The design is all about fabric placement. Notice how the star is created using the darker tones in both Blocks A and B.
Each month, we will feature one block design made in two color-ways. Both blocks are created using Farmhouse Floral fat quarters* (18″ x 22″ fabric rectangles) and background fabrics. Follow along as we demonstrate how to easily create Block A.
Keep your fabric choices sorted using this handy Fabric Planner diagram. Download the planner HERE. Print two and make notes or pin swatches to remind you of the fabric placements.
Choose the Fabrics
For the Hidden Star blocks, select the following fabrics from your Farmhouse Florals fat-quarter bundle and a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge.
Cut Fabric for Blocks
- Cut two 4-7/8″ squares from Pink Petals and Yellow Stripe.
- Cut one 4-1/2″ square from Pink Toss.
- Cut four 3-3/8″ squares from Blue Stripe.
- Cut four 2-7/8″ squares from White Shiplap and Red Shiplap.
- Cut two 4-7/8″ squares from Pink Shiplap and Blue Stripe.
- Cut one 4-1/2″ square from Blue Shiplap.
- Cut four 3-3/8″ squares from Cream Toss
- Cut four 2-7/8″ squares from Yellow Petals and Red Petals.
Construct The Units
All seam allowances are scant 1/4″ unless otherwise stated.
The step-by-step photos illustrate construction of BLOCK A. Block B construction is identical.
Half Square Triangles (HSTs)
- To create the corners of each block: Layer two 4-7/8″ squares on the other two 4-7/8″ squares, matching right sides.
- Mark each block set diagonally from corner to corner, using a fabric marking pen and ruler.
- For greatest accuracy, use a No-Hassle Triangle Gauge. The left side of the gauge is designed to create the 4-1/2″ HST blocks.
- Depress the button on the sliding portion of the gauge and move to the 4-1/2″ HST icon on the left side of the gauge.
- Place gauge on the block set, corner to corner. Match corner marks of gauge with corner of block sets. Mark fabric through center of gauge with a fine-point, fabric-marking pen.
The advantage of using the No-Hassle Triangle Gauge is accuracy. It’s easy to double check that the block set fits within the confines of the gauge. If the block set extends beyond or is shorter, trim or cut another block.
Stitch Half-Square Triangle Units
- Attach a 1/4″ Patchwork/Quilting Foot to your machine.
- Set machine for a straight stitch, 2.0–2.5 mm in length.
- Align foot along one side of the center marked line; stitch a scant 1/4″ from center marked line. Do not cut the threads.
- Kiss the next block set to the stitched block and chain stitch from one block to the other.
- Align foot along second side of center marked line; stitch.
- Clip threads between chain stitched blocks. Rotate blocks 180-degrees. (Digital stitch is added to our images.)
- With a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler, cut the blocks apart along centerline markings.
- Press seam allowances toward the darker fabric.
- Create a total of four HST units.
Stitch Square-in-a-Square Unit
- Use four 3-3/8″ squares and eight 2-7/8″ squares to create this unit.
- Cut each of the 2-7/8″ blocks in half on the diagonal.
- Place two different color fabric triangles on opposite edges of 3-3/8″ square. Match right sides and align the triangle’s longest edge with the square’s edge. Be sure to center the fabric square within the triangle’s longest edge.
- Stitch using a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Digital stitch is added to our image.)
- Repeat these steps by adding two additional triangles on the remaining sides of the 3-3/8″ square. Note the colors will again be opposite each other.
- Trim any small triangles, often called “Dog Ears,” using a pair of scissors or your rotary cutting tools.
- Make a total of four square-in-a-square units.
- Each of these blocks should measure 4-1/2″ once trimmed.
Construct The Blocks
Arrange the Blocks
- Arrange Block A as shown:
- The red, or darker fabrics, on the square-in-a-square unit will touch to center square to create the Hidden Star effect.
- Sew elements together, joining all three units, to form three rows.
- Press seam allowances of rows one and three to the right.
- Press seam allowance of row two to the left.
- Interlock the seam allowances, pin, and sew the rows together.
- Repeat steps above to create March Block B.
The No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks book shows exactly how to create this block and 11 others. For best results, use the No-Hassle Triangles Gauge.
Watch No-Hassle Triangles Quilt Blocks (Part One and Part Two) on Sewing With Nancy online.
The randomly selected winner of an I Sew For Fun Seam Guide from Clover, is Lou Ann Rice.
Her comment is, “My little sewing partner is most interested in making the machine go fast at this point. This will be a perfect way to lure him in to making something. I love it.”
Team Nancy Zieman
Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC.
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Anxious to see 2018 BOM completed. No Hassle Triangles- a big help.
I think the no hassle triangle quilting ruler would definitely improve my quilting accuracy. Thank you for all the helpful tips and projects.
When I first saw the pattern of the two block, I had to go back and look at the two blocks again! I was amazed that they were of the same pattern, they looked so different. I believe I need to make the time to gather supplies and make this quilt for this year. Wonderful effects.
January and February blocks went together fine. I was getting ready to line up cutting the blocks for March. However, I have a question. For block A, instructions say to cut Pink Floral but Pink Petals is shown, and on Block B instructions say to cut Yellow Floral and Red Floral with pictures of the two showing Yellow Petals and Red Petals. Which is correct?
New quilter! Learning as I go, some seams and points are great, a few are do overs, just learning as I go and having a great time!! Thanks!!
Hi! Quick question. For the square in the square blocks, the directions say to cut the blue stripe (for A) 3 3/8, yet the directions later tell us to attach triangles to 3 7/8 squares. Very confusing. Can you please tell us the correct cut size for the center of the square in the square? Or am I just really confused (not unusual for me!)? Thank you!
I have broken down and purchased a number of Nancy’s handy tools since she makes them look so helpful and I can’t seem to win any. LOL. Hoping to use them soon.
I really like this block and it seems very easy to do
Where are our April Blocks???
Where is the April BOM?!