Flat Centers in 8-Point Star Blocks

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Last Updated On December 05, 2017
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When blocks such as the 8-point star and the kaleidoscope are sewn together, the center of the block is the intersection of eight pieces of fabric. All those seams coming together in one spot can create a large, thick lump. This lump is not pretty and can interfere with quilting designs because most needles cannot stitch into it.

This tutorial shows how to achieve a flat center for an 8-pointed star block. When you finish the block using these steps you will have a tiny 8-pointed star in the center on the back of the block and the center will be as flat as the rest of the block.

The 8 units in this block were paper pieced and the papers removed. This method works equally well with the kaleidoscope block which also has 8 units all meeting in the center.

02-units

Step One

In the first step you will stitch together adjacent pairs.

03-Stitch

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

04-Seamlines-1-4

The horizontal seam line at the top is the seam that was just stitched.

06-Pressing

To determine which way to press the seam look on the back side to see how the paper pieced seams were pressed.07-Pressing

Press in the same direction.

08-Four-units

Now you have two pairs of quarter units with all seams pressed in the same direction. These seams go counter-clockwise.

Step 2

Next you will sew pairs together.

09-Fifth-Seam

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance.

10-Fifth-Sixth-Seams

Notice the position of the vertical seam line that was just stitched. It does not start at the left-hand corner of the small white triangle. Instead it is 1/4″ from the right edge.

11-Fifth-Sixth-Seam

Turn the unit a quarter turn counter-clockwise so the seam just stitched is horizontal.

13

Locate the 4 to 6 diagonal stitches above the horizontal stitch line. In the picture above the seam ripper is pointing to these stitches.

14

Remove those stitches on the first side and flip it over.

15

Locate the diagonal stitches on this side.

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Remove the diagonal stitches. Repeat this step with the remaining pair of quarter units.

18

You now have a pair of half units. Press the seams in the same direction as the others.

Step Three

19

Sew the two half units together using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

21

At the center you will see 4 to 6 vertical stitches above the horizontal line of stitching.

24

Remove those stitches. Flip the block over and do the same for the other side.

26

Open the block to view the back side. Open up the little star unit. Press the final two seams in the same counter-clockwise direction. You will see that every seam allowance is pressed in the same direction.

27

Close-up of the hidden star.

25

Finished block.

28

Finally, clip off the little nubs on each corner for easier piecing.

 

              

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