The Free Motion Quilting Project: How to Piece a Star Crossed Block

Monday, September 5, 2016

How to Piece a Star Crossed Block

Are you ready to jump into paper piecing and create your Star Crossed quilt block? It's time to piece our ninth block for the Machine Quilting Block Party and learn the basics of paper piecing!

I love paper piecing because it allows you to create very beautiful, exact shapes and perfect points. The wedge shapes we're creating in this block are the perfect starting point if you've never paper pieced before. Let's learn how to piece them and half square triangles in this new quilting tutorial:

Make sure to print your pattern "actual" or "full" size so the paper piecing templates are the correct size. If you're struggling with your printer, you can also take the file to your local office supply store like Office Depot and have it printed for you.

MQBP Catch Up Contest

Have you fallen behind on your blocks? Would you like a little push to catch up so you can finish this project this year?

This month we're challenging you to catch up on your blocks for a chance to win a free copy of October's block pattern.

To learn about the contest and the rules, please join the Machine Quilting Block Party Facebook group. You'll find the details of the contents in the top pinned post (on mobile devices you'll need to tap "View Pinned Post" in order to see it).

Next week we'll learn how to quilt our Star Crossed block with many beautiful designs and how to start putting the blocks together so our Sunshine Surprise Quilt is nearly complete!

Let's go quilt!

Leah Day.


  1. Hi Leah, one thing that has been bothering me about quilting (and I know we're not there yet!) I love how you press seams open and how the blocks looks as a result. My question is regarding stitching in the ditch and how this will affect the strength of the block if I'm only sewing through stitches? I hope this is clear. Thank you for so many great videos and your generosity in sharing your skills.

    1. This is a question I receive a lot. Hand quilters would often press seams to one side to help strengthen the seam of hand pieced blocks. I'm machine piecing and I always lower my stitch length to 1.4 mm so the stitches are tight and secure. Trust me - they are a PAIN to rip out at this length!

      With piecing so secure, I think it's just fine to press seams open and to stitch right in the ditch. I've never seen this cause a problem for my quilts and I've also not seen batting fluffing out of my seams either.

      I use and wash my quilts and even after years of hard use, I'm still not seeing any bad signs from pressing seams open.

      This is just my experience, however, so please pay close attention to what you're using and the results you see in your quilts.


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