I’m still playing with EQ and Ohio Star blocks this month. Some time ago I made a couple of quilts putting smaller blocks into the plain corner and centre squares. When I made the second quilt I decided to turn the centre slightly and add four more stars.
But we could use Sawtooth stars – first putting them into an Ohio Star block
and then putting Ohio Stars into a Sawtooth Star (and turning the quilts on point as well).
But why stick with boring squares? You can make the block as a diamond instead
and use it in Baby (Tumbling) Blocks
You can always use one of the Ohio Star Variations and put lots together to make a really complicated looking quilt – these use a 3 x 3 setting of blocks to make quilts about 48 inches square
Or how about 8-Pointed Stars with Ohio Star blocks in the points? Changing the colours in the blocks, or putting 4-patches in the corners and centres, as for the Tumbling Blocks quilt, can change the look of the quilt
If you would like to play with diamond Ohio Stars you can download templates here. The Eight Pointed Stars will finish at about 50 inches square without a border and three Tumbling Block diamonds will make a unit 15.5 x 18 inches
The block we chose for April over on our Chris and Barbara site was Bluebell. Lots of pointy points in this block so we have just given you templates in this month’s download – for both 6 inch and 8 inch blocks.
Looking back at some of the ‘messing about’ with EQ8 and Ohio Star a few ideas for adding things in the blank squares of the block came to light. The default Ohio Star block in the EQ library is this one
Adding different elements to just the corner squares we get these (although there’s scope for more, which we’re sure you will find). You can download some cutting instructions for these variations here.
And then turning them into quilts produced these
Sashing helps to separate the blue star points and making cornerstones the same colour as the added bits increases the illusion of another star. Piecing and colouring the sashing would perhaps aid this further.
In the winter months when its cold, dark and damp – nothing to be done in the garden, too dark to see to thread a needle – its time to play with quilt design software. Usually this is EQ8, I do have QuiltPro but I find EQ easier to have fun with. Over the next few months I thought we’d explore a few things I have been playing with, and a few things that EQ does to help with inspiration. The huge bonus is that you can make dozens of virtual quilts and no one says you have to actually make them out of real fabric.
Its the beginning of the year so let’s start with that perennial favourite – the Ohio Star, and I haven’t changed its colour – this is the default colouring from EQ. You can download the cutting instructions for a 12 inch block here and check on our free blocks page to download 6 inch and 9 inch ones.
To start with I chose to use the Serendipity facility and then chose ‘Frame Block’ – there are dozens of frames to choose from here and I spent a happy day playing with all of them. To start off with though I thought I’d just use the three most basic ones – the ones most of us are likely to use.
First up is one that just adds a border to two sides.
Then four sides
and then four sides with cornerstones.
The Ohio Star block straight set 4 x 4 into a quilt can look a bit so-so although adding sashing, especially with cornerstones, improves matters as it makes the block boundaries more defined.
But then what happens when we start to play with our bordered blocks? I had the option of mixing up the blocks – using one, two or all of them in a quilt; turning or flipping the blocks; and of course adding sashing.These are the ones I liked best, choosing just one of each.
I haven’t given any sizes for sashing as it depends on the size of your starting blocks and on personal preference.
If you want to play but don’t have EQ you can do what we did back in olden times – draw everything out on squared paper, cut it up, rearrange it etc. – its just not as quick!
Over on our sister site we choose a block each month and then explore some colour and quilt setting possibilities. This month the block is Pine Tree – one of several with this name. We thought you might also like to try making some of these blocks so each month here on our Meadowside Designs site we will host the free cutting instructions as well as the colouring pages.
This is the default colouring of the Pine Tree block from Electric Quilt as well as the greyscale.
We have included both 6 inch and 12 inch rotary cutting and templates in our free downloadable PDF.
The index to the free block patterns we have posted is now up and live – look on the menu bar to find it. You may have to scroll a long way to find ones at the end of the alphabet but that seemed the easiest way to arrange them. Each has a picture by the side so you have an idea of what the block looks like – its not always obvious from the name. Admittedly many of them are the 6 inch blocks we featured all last year but there are links to all the Dresden Plate blocks, star blocks and others we have featured down the years; blocks like these –
. . . somewhat belatedly! Things are happening behind the scenes at Meadowside and eventually there will be a new page with links to all (or most – we may have missed a few) the free blocks patterns that have appeared here over the last seven-plus years, but it will take a while.
In the meantime over on the Chris and Barbara Quilts blog we started the new year with January EQ Doodles featuring a block called Stars and Lilies which looks like this.
If you fancy having a play with it you can download the PDF from here which has colouring pages, rotary cutting measurements and templates to make a 12 inch block.
Asking EQ to play with colours produced these two – among many
And we will have to add this to the long list of blocks on the new page too – once we get as far as S in the alphabet (we’ve reached J so far)!