Visual Quilting- Lonestar Burst Pictutorial

Here’s my latest Lonestar Burst square.  I’m feeling much better lately, almost healthy enough to take my vigor for granted again.  I decided to keep making quilt blocks from scraps- even if it’s just one a week- because I really enjoy the repetition and stillness of creating a quilt block.

I only made one block this week, but I documented the process in painstaking detail for those who are interested in how paper piecing this square works.  (nudge nudge)  I wrote a Storm at Sea paper piecing tutorial some time ago, but I want to play with other ways to make pictutorials- can they be a little more Japanese, a little less wordy?

First you’ll want to print off four Lonestar Burst templates from Six White Horses and cut the A section from the B.  I use scrap paper.  You’ll be sewing on the lined side.  Each section is numbered, starting with 1.  The brown fabric here is for section 1, and the white for section 2.  I don’t pre-cut my fabric into shapes, but I do like strips.  Here, the white one is 3 1/4″ and the brown is 4″.  Lay the first two fabrics right side together, one raw edge matching.

This part is not tricky, but it won’t make sense until you get your hand in.  The wrong side of the brown fabric needs to lie against the “wrong” (unlined) side of the paper.  That raw edge should lie on the line between section 2 and 4, and make sure the fabrics cover sections 1 and 2 with a bit extra around the edges.  You can pin.  Setting up the first two sections is a bit weird, but the rest is not too bad.

Stitch the line between sections 1 and 2.  The template doesn’t show to stitch in the gray area seam allowance, but I find it’s neater.  Use a tiny stitch (1.6 length or so) to make tearing the fabric simpler later.  I don’t bother to backstitch.

This is what it looks like when it comes out of the sewing machine.

Open out the fabrics and press.

Flip it over and trim off the bottom edge of section #1, 1/4″ from the marked seamline.  I use a piping trimming tool to guide my rotary cutter, but there’s all kinds of rulers to help with this.

This is the repetitive bit.  We’re trimming section 2.  Begin by folding the paper along the dividing line between sections 2 and 4.  Measure 1/4″ from the fold.  Trim.

Before adding section 3, fold the template along the line between sections 1 and 3.

Measure 1/4″ from the folded edge and trim the excess from section 1.

I used white for section 3.  Right sides together with the brown from section 1, raw edges aligned.  Pin if desired.

Flip the template over and stitch the line between 1 and 3.  Remove from the sewing machine, open out the new fabric, and press.  Remember the repetitive bit I mentioned above?  Do that again for section 3.  Then use another color for section 4, following the same stitch/press/fold paper/trim steps.  Then section 5.  Sections 6 and 7 are the “background” fabric.

One you cover all the sections, the block will need a trim.

Flip it over, measure 1/4″ from each seam line, and trim.

One section down, seven to go.

To remove the paper, I found it’s best to start at section 7.  Crease the paper along the line between sections 4 and 7, and tear gently.  Don’t pull the stitches, the paper should tear easily.  Continue for all sections.

Stitch two sections together along the diagonals to make four squares.  Then stitch two square sections together for a rectangle, then stitch the two rectangles together.  That’s it!

I haven’t decided how to lay out the squares for my final throw, but it’s fun to play.  The colored backgrounds don’t please me as much as the white ones, but I should make one more to balance the backgrounds.  I have a green fabric in the same print as the blue “toolbox” design, I’ll use that.  Only three more blocks!

Click for source

I found this awesome 8 pointed string star while prowling Pinterest last week.  I need to make one of these, just one.  I may smoosh this block into a Lonestar Burst block, anyway I’ll play with it and report back next week.

Have I seduced anyone with my paper-piecing photos?  I’d love to see other blocks.

Tomorrow- Conversant in Color: You and Your Environment

Later this week- The Lila Wardrobe.  If you have a little girl and you want a look at some of the designs I’m discussing with her, check out my Little Girl Pinterest board.

Oh- and the work with Cake is going well, maybe slightly ahead of schedule!  It’s a really fun process, and once I get it all sorted out I’ll start showing you more of what I’m working on.  This is the rough sketch of the lady for the envelope front… What do you think?  She’s not too detailed yet, no coloring, but I love her face already.  Who am I kidding, I love all the faces on Mikhaela’s work.  If you haven’t yet, do sign up for Cake updates.  I haven’t sent any out just yet, but the pre-sale is just around the corner…


  1. I love these blocks. I have done little paper piecing but found the results to always be so precise and sharp. this block may entice me to do some again, thanks for the great pictorial account. Makes much more sense.

  2. I am bookmarking your post for future (bucket list?) quilting. I can see how this would be the perfect cure for “stupid fingers”. Your blocks are exquisite. Exquisite!

    • Yeah, my quilting bucket was getting full and it’s been really nice to do a bit of piecing lately… I’m trying to challenge myself to a block a week, so it’ll probably be something I continue to post about regularly.. And then every once in a while I’ll get a quilt top, some nice quilting and binding… Mmmmm delicious.

  3. Paper piecing looks pretty easy now that I’m seeing all your pictures (and my mom confirms that it is) so maybe I’ll finally get around to trying it – I’ve had a pattern for a pear block sitting around for ages.

    • It’s one of those things I couldn’t get my head around until my friend who is a quilting teacher sat down and showed me. I had one of those “OoooOOooOooooh” moments. Once you get it, it’s quite easy. :) Would love to see your pears, do link if you post them anywhere.

  4. Your quilting is so precise…I’m in awe. Love the illustration. Off to look at Lila’s wardrobe.

    • You are far too kind… Don’t look too closely at the points on some of them! But that’s enough, a blind man would be happy to see them, right? :)

  5. “The wrong side of the brown fabric needs to lie against the “wrong” (unlined) side of the fabric.”
    I think the “fabric” at the end is really meant to be “paper”. Otherwise it simply does not make sense with the pictures.
    Thanks for making and sharing this! I’m sure I’ll use it; I have had vague plans about a blue and white quilt in my head for years, and I think this is the perfect block for it.

    • Thanks so much Hana, you are exactly right. You have such a sharp eye for details! :) Wanna proof my pattern instructions? (only half kidding)

      Confession time- as I was putting this together I was thinking “Hmmm, I wonder if I can tip Hana over the edge so I can check out how she makes the block..” ;)

      • So you did. :D I’m not sure when I’ll get to it, I have other projects waiting in line, but it’s something I can do in between…

        And yes, why not? Maybe a foreign speaker’s point of view would help you. :-) And it may help me with my English, too.

        • Bwahahaha! All a part of my evil plan to get in the way of your legitimate projects…

          Well… Maybe because you’re an intelligent non-native speaker, you tend to be very detail oriented in terms of use of language. Sometimes I fear I speak my native tongue like it’s a third language, I guess it’s from living in several different English speaking countries and regions… (I grew up with the classic “Deep South” drawl but lost it once I started highschool)

          • I think the “detail-oriented in terms of use of language” is rather something that runs in my family… The way I often re-read something I’ve written several times before posting it (and re-writing it) is, I think, something I’ve inherited from my father, as well as his keen eyes for spelling mistakes.
            Sometimes I feel like using my native tongue as a sort of third language, too. Coming full circle back to it. :-) There’s a saying in Czech that goes “How many languages you speak, that many times a human you are.” I think there’s a lot to that. When you learn different languages – particularly languages very different from your native one – you learn to view the world in different ways.

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