Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

I saw this block several weeks ago on flickr and fell in love immediately.  I wanted to make one that afternoon.  But wait!  The creator did not write anything in the photo description!  No name of the block, no link to a tutorial, no reference to the creator.  If I am to make this block, I need to break it all down and work out the math for myself.  To save you the same trouble, I thought I would share it with you in a tutorial.  Now, if any of you know the name and have a link to the original tutorial, please please please do leave it in a comment below.  Credit where credit is due. Until then, we’ll call this block Twinkle Twinkle.  Let’s get started.

Background details:
The instructions below will make a 12.5 inch unfinished block.  Please always use 1/4 inch seams.  When pressing the seams, I press to the side such that I can nest seams where possible.  This helps me keep sharp points.  You may be a open seamed quilter and that is just fine.  Do what suits you best.
Start by cutting the following:
4 background (Kona Teal in this tutorial) blocks at 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
4 scrappy blocks at 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches
1 background block at 4.5 inches x 4.5 inches
12 background blocks at 3.25 inches x 3.25 inches
12 scrappy blocks at 3.25 inches x 3.25 inches

Draw a line diagonally across the back of one of the background blocks (3.25 inch x 3.25 inch blocks).  Use a ruler to be sure you successfully match opposing points on the block.  Here I used a teal block with a white chalk line to see it well.  You may use a pencil or a fabric marker if that is what you have.

Repeat the process so you have all 12 background blocks (3.25 inch x 3.25 inch) blocks marked on the diagonal.

Start stitching by making half square triangle blocks (HSTs).  Put one background square (3.25×3.25 inches) right sides together with one scrappy piece (3.25×3.25 inches).

Sew a seam 1/4 inch on one side of the chalk marked line.

Sew a second seam 1/4 inch from the chalk line, but on the other side.  When you become more comfortable with the process, you can chain piece these little squares and save yourself a whole lot of time.

Cut along the chalk line to create two triangular pieces.

Repeat these steps creating 24 little triangles, using all of your 3.25 inch background squares and your 3.25 inch scrappy squares.

Press the seams (here, they were pressed to the side) so that you have an open HST square.

Again, repeat so that you have 24 HST blocks, each with their seams pressed neatly.

You now need to square the HST blocks to 2.5 inches square.  Place your block under the ruler ensuring that two sides are a small bit beyond (wider) than the 2.5 inch mark on the left and on the bottom.  Align your HST seam with the 45 degree mark on the ruler.

Press down on the ruler to keep it aligned and trim the top and right side with your rotary cutter.

Flip the block so that the freshly trimmed sides are now under the ruler.  (See how the yellow HST moved from the upper left to the bottom right?)  This time, align the left and bottom sides with the 2.5 inch marks on the ruler.  Again, align your HST seam with the 45 degree mark on the ruler.

Trim your top and right edge again.

Repeat trimming each 3.5 inch HST block to a 2.5 inch HST block.  The trimming process should give you nice, perfect points on each HST block.

That’s it for your HST pieces.  Easy peasy!

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Arranging & Sewing Together Rows:
Place your blocks as they appear in the photo beside your sewing machine.  Note that you are now using the 2.5 inch background squares and 2.5 inch scrappy squares that you cut in the beginning.  The 2.5 inch background squares make the four corners of the block and the 2.5 inch scrappy squares are in rows 2 and 5, counting from the top.  The larger 4.5 inch background square you cut earlier goes in the center.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Sew together the 2.5 inch squares of the top two and bottom two rows.  Pair them up, right sides together, and sew a seam between the two adjoining 2.5 inch squares.  Again, when you are comfortable with the pattern, you could chain piece these rows to save time.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Sew together small pairings of blocks in the central two rows on either side of your larger central 4.5 inch piece.  Be sure to align the top and bottom of each 2.5 inch square, nesting the HST seams where possible.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Press all of the seams such that they alternate in direction between rows.  This will allow you to nest the seams together, making your points nice and sharp.

Sew together row 1 to 2 then rows 5 to 6, pinning at each seam to be sure it stays in its place.  Make little four patches with the pairings of blocks on either side of your 4.5 inch central square.
Put each row right side together.  Try to align your top and bottom edges and nest your HST seams when possible.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

When sewing rows together, aim your sewing machine needle to little triangle of seams on the back of your HSTs to be sure your points are crisp.

Press, press, press like you have never pressed before.  Press those seams down!  At this point I start pressing seams open as they get a little bulky.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

Then sew your central four patches (rows 3 and 4) onto your larger central square.  Again, align edges and nest your seams, then pin in place.  After sewing, press, press, press.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

And finally sew together the three sections of the block.  Press like mad.

And that’s it!  That’s it.  A little Twinkle Twinkle block for your next quilt.

Twinkle Twinkle Quilt Block Tutorial

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