Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday - Asterisk tree skirt block

Hey all!

I'm taking another flying leap into new things this Tuesday! A tutorial! I couldn't find the right tutorial for how to make an asterisk block, other than the video on Craftsy. Not everyone loves a video or wants to sign up for another free web membership, so an idea was born!

*** Disclaimer - This project is not my own design. It is a version of a project from sewknitsew. The blogger gives partial instructions on how to make the project, but not the block itself.***

Here we go!

1) Prepare your wedge template and cut your 12 wedge pieces. sewknitsew explains this nicely. Prepare 2 inch strips from the same fabrics. Mix and match your wedges and strips until you're happy with the pairings.

2) Okay, scary bit here. Make a random slice across your wedge using your ruler and rotary cutter. I liked the look of blocks where I made my initial slice low on the wedge.
3) Sew on your 2 inch strip. Leave some excess on either edge of the wedge for insurance purposes. Press toward the dark fabric (that's just how I roll), but you might prefer pressing outward to reduce bulk on future seams.
4) Line up your sliced off portion of wedge with the newly added 2 inch strip.  You don't need to fuss about it lining up too much because you're going to be trimming the block eventually. Sew on the sliced off bit and press (again!)
5) Grab that ruler and rotary cutter and make another slice. On some of my blocks, I tried to center the slice on the inserted strip. On others, I didn't. If you want a straight asterisk, take care to make your second cut perpendicular to the inserted strip.
6) Insert your strip just as you did the first time. To line up your sliced off bit this time, lay the piece to be sewn on top of the piece with the strip and then use your ruler to create a ¼ inch seam allowance.
 Flip it up to see if the pieces line up.
Or you can line up the excess/tails with the established seam. Whatever works for you. And if they don't line up perfectly, it's not the end of the world! This block can be as wonky as you like it! I'm not normally one to use pins, but they're useful at this step. As you get more seam allowances at play, your pieces can slip.
7) Make your next slice through the x created by your inserted strips. Insert the third strip.
NB: I had a funny thing happen with a number of my blocks. Depending on which way I made the third slice, I got little triangles. It happened with the block in the tutorial. I think the solution is to make the third cut perpendicular to what is shown in the image above... 
8) Okay, this is the last time you have to slice up your hard work! Make another slice perpendicular to the third strip. Insert your fourth strip.
9) It's all over but the trimmin'!
 10) Play with the position of the template until you a) have fabric under all parts of the template and b) like where the asterisk will be on your block. Pin in place.
Use your ruler to trim the sides...
 ...and scissors to trim the rounded bottom edge.
11) Et voilĂ ! A finished wedge asterisk block!
Now make 11 more and you're well on your way to a tree skirt!

After making these wedge blocks, I've started thinking about the possibilities for square asterisk blocks. So many ideas, so little time!

Happy asterisk-ing!


1 comment:

  1. Lovely!!! "I'm not normally one to use pins", LOL, but you do give in once in a while. :-)


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