Hello and welcome to the 9th month of the Old School Block of the Month hosted by by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams. If we haven’t met before, I’m Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl. I’m a former aerospace engineer turned modern quilter, quilt designer, quilt instructor, and technical editor.
In addition, I have over 90(!!) free tutorials that you may want to look through. In fact, I know a few of you have been starting to think about how to bring all of the Old School BOM blocks together into a quilt top, and one option you might want to bookmark for later is my 12 Block Circle Setting tutorial. With 3 yards of additional background fabric and (12) 12½ʺ (unfinished) blocks, the tutorial walks you through piecing a 72½ʺ square quilt top.
Cathedral Star Block
Note: The Cathedral Star Block was offered as a free PDF from September 12 – October 12 and is now available for purchase.
Kim’s vision for the Old School BOM was for each contributing block designer to bring things back to basics and teach a technique. Last year, I got bitten by the curved piecing bug, and with the Cathedral Star block I am giving you lots of great options and tips to piece beautiful curves. I’ve packed a lot of information into the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern, so before you purchase the PDF and get started, I wanted to use my blog post to talk about all of the options you will find in the PDF.
Templates and Template Preparation
I work with acrylic templates when I am piecing curves, but I know that not all templates are the same and not everyone has templates. When cutting the concave and convex shapes, you may use templates included at the end of the PDF on page 27, standard 5ʺ finished / 5½ʺ unfinished Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates (I personally use templates from Jen Carlton-Bailly), or the Classic Curves ruler. The pattern illustrates using Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates (which match the printed templates on page 27) and the Classic Curves ruler. Note: If you have your own set of Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates, I recommend printing out the templates from page 27 and verifying that your templates match the concave and convex shapes suggested for the pattern.
When you print and cut out the templates from page 27, make sure that the scaling is set to 100% or Actual Size before you print. Measure the 1ʺ square on the template page with one of your quilting rulers to make sure that the templates are printed to the correct size. You may use the printed templates and a fabric marking device of your choice or using template material, trace the paper templates onto the material to create your own templates.
Piecing Options & Fabric Requirements
The Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern offers two different piecing options for the Cathedral Star Block.
Option 1 is a traditional orange peel piecing method. As you can see in the photo above, 4 orange peel blocks are made and then the blocks are sewn together to complete the block. If you opt for this method, you will want to focus on pages 2-11 in the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern.
Option 1 Fabric Requirements
- Background Fabric (4) 6¾ʺ squares
- Orange Peel Fabric (4) 5½ʺ squares
- Center Fabric (4) 5¾ʺ squares
Option 2 creates the Cathedral Star Block using only 5 curve seams! It is a perfect choice for featuring a fun print as the center fabric; because the center star is a single cut of fabric, the center fabric can really shine. If you opt for this method, you will want to focus on pages 12-27 in the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern.
Option 2 Fabric Requirements
- Background Fabric (1) 13½ʺ square
- Orange Peel Fabric (4) 5¾ʺ squares
- Center Fabric (1) 10½ʺ square
- I find a smaller 28mm rotary cutter ideal for cutting curves in combination with acrylic rulers. This is totally optional. A 45mm rotary cutter will also work very well.
- 6½ʺ square ruler or larger for Option 1
- 12½ʺ square ruler or larger and the fabric marking device of your choice (I used a pencil) for Option 2
Purchase the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern
I cannot wait to see your version of the Cathedral Star Block, whether via the Old School BOM Facebook group or Instagram! Be sure to share using the hashtag #CathedralStarBlock if you share via Instagram.