Hunter Star Quilt Piecing Methods

Master the traditional process and a modern variation to make a Hunter Star quilt.

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The simplicity of the Hunter Star block creates a vast range of possible quilt designs. Template shapes can be used for piecing, and blocks can be used as foundations for paper piecing. The variation that follows the traditional method below is based on Seminole patchwork techniques, with the stars contrasting with the background blocks.

Materials and Tools:

fabric
sewing machine
paper pencil
paper
rotary cutter
ruler
thread
cutting mat

Steps:

Traditional

1. Draw a square the desired size of the finished block.

2. Draw a diagonal seam line through the block.

3. Draw two lines parallel to the center seam, both of them the same distance from the center seam. Note: The wider the center strips, the larger the star points will be.

4. Draw the diamonds at both ends of the center strips.

5. Add a ¼-inch seam allowance to the pattern and cut out the strips and diamonds to use as templates.

6. Use the templates to rotary-cut block pieces, and then piece the block together. Use a diamond ruler to accurately cut diamonds from the fabric.

Variation

1. Working with the original block template from the template method, add a center seam line across the diagonal center strips.

2. Add a seam allowance on all sides. Measure to determine strip widths for cutting.

3. Cut out one unit (consisting of a diamond and the adjacent center-strip half).

4. Cut adequate numbers of triangles (two per block in the quilt).

5. Cut one full wide strip from each fabric (cut more later if necessary). Cut all strips at the fold.

6. Cut several narrow strips for stars from two or more colors.

7. Separate the wider strips into two equal stacks. Create two equal stacks of the narrow star strips.

8. Sew all the wider strips in one stack to the first color of narrow star strips. Repeat with the second stack of wider strips and the second color of narrow star strips.

9. Press seams on one stack to the narrow strip. Press seams on the second stack to the wide strip.

10. Match the strip sets with the same wider strips; place them right sides together, nestling opposing seams.

11. Using clear tape (not frosted), tape the template (from step 3) to the bottom of a ruler, with the 90-degree end of the center seam at the edge of the ruler.

12. Cut the strip combinations at a 45-degree angle; the segments are cut the same width as the narrow diamond strips. Spread them apart slightly on the cutting mat as you cut.

13. Using the ruler with a template, cut off the tips on each stacked unit.

14. Sew across the short 90-degree ends, chaining the pieces as you sew. Clip all threads, separating the units.

15. Sew a center strip (with diamonds at both ends) to each triangle. Mix or match the fabrics in the triangles.

16. Press the blocks with all seams going in the same direction, or press the seams open.

17. Arrange the blocks in any design layout you like.

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