This month we are making the Exploding Star, which uses no-waste flying geese, half square triangles, and has an economy block in the middle.
We will be sewing two 18” blocks (18.5” unfinished), without sashing. This diagram gives you the arrangement of colours in the block. As usual, the blank areas are sewn from background fabric:
Cut the following for each block:
First, we are going to make the centre of the block, a simple economy block. Cut the two 4” x 4” colour 3 squares in half diagonally. I like to starch them before cutting to minimise the wibbly bias edge effect. Sew the triangles to the 4.75” background square as shown below, then trim to 6.5” square, making sure that the points where the seams intersect are at least 1/4” away from the edge, otherwise you will lose them in your seam allowance when you sew the block together.
Next we will use the no-waste method to make the flying geese. Take your four 3 7/8″ colour 2 squares and draw a diagonal line across each one. Place two of the squares right sides together with the 7.25″ background square, sew a scant 1/4″ from each side of the line, then cut in half as below:
Press the triangle pieces away, then sew another colour 2 square to each of these two pieces, stitching a scant 1/4″ away from the drawn line as usual. Cut each of these in half, press the coloured triangle away from the background piece, and trim each flying goose to 6.5″ x 3.5″:
Repeat this process using the four 3 7/8″ colour 3 squares and 7.25″ colour 2 square to make a total of eight flying geese units (four of each set):
Finally we need to make half-square triangles. Draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of the four 4.5” background squares, and put them in pairs with the 4.5” colour 1 squares. Sew a scant 1/4” from each side of the drawn line on each pair, then cut along the line to make two HSTs. Press with the seam towards the darker fabric, and trim to 3.5” x 3.5”, making sure the 45º line on your ruler is in line with the seam:
Lay out your pieces to match the block diagram and sew together:
Repeat with the other set of fabrics to make a pair of blocks: