Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Quilters Recipe Box Variation for Triangle in a Square - Ninja Star

Welcome to another week of Quilter's Recipe Box!  Today I have for you a block of my own design.  I call it Ninja Star:

It's an interesting block, almost a blend of Churn Dash and Friendship Star.  My idea was to try out using the Square in a Triangle unit in the side position of the block to see if I could come up with something interesting, and this block definitely fits that description, whether or not you love it.  I'm kind of on the fence, but it was a good design challenge!

Cutting instructions (my fabrics were provided by Island Batik):

For one block you will need three colors, a light (blue), medium (green) and dark (purple).  For the triangle in a square units cut the following:  light fabric, cut two 3 7/8 inch squares and cut in half diagonally for four half square triangles; medium fabric, four 2 inch squares; dark fabric, four 2 3/8 inch squares, cut in half diagonally for eight half square triangle units.  For the corners, cut two 3 7/8 squares from medium and dark fabrics cut all in half diagonally for four half square triangles of each color.  For the center unit - Square in a square, cut one 3 1/2 square of light fabric and four 2 inch squares of dark fabric.  Mark the dark squares with a diagonal line on the back.

Start by sewing a dark 2 3/8 inch triangle to one side of each of the medium 2 inch squares for the square in a triangle unit. 
Have you heard of Leaders and Enders (Bonnie Hunter technique) or Thread bunnies?  Basically these are both units that you sew at the end/beginning when you are stitching units so that you don't have to cut the thread.  Well, I often use this technique when I am sewing my blocks together so that I don't have to keep trimming the thread.  So, when I finished sewing my triangles to the squares, I sewed one of the corner squares to my square in a square unit before snipping the thread at the end of my chain.

Press the Square in a triangle units, then sew on the second triangle.
Then snip the square in a square unit which is now at the beginning of the chain and sew the second triangle on the opposite corner.
Clip the Triangle in a Square chain off, press and trim to be sewn to the half square triangle unit:
After you sew these, snip the Square in a Square unit off and trim and press that so you can sew the next square on.  Now you are ready to sew the Dark/Medium half square triangles for the corners.
Snip the Square in a Triangle Unit chain from the end, then snip the Square in a Square unit off and add the last square to the final corner, making this the last unit in the chain.  Now you can press and trim all the units and you are ready to assemble your block!
This block works out perfectly so you never have to cut thread at your machine needle until you have all the units sewn.  I love working this way because you never have to worry about those pesky thread ends - though it might get confusing if you don't keep track of your units.  Lay out your block like this:
Then sew the units together and you end up with the final result:

It is an ok block by itself, but I think this one really shines when you put a set of them together into a quilt top:

This would make a cute baby quilt!  

Next week I'll be back with our final Square in a Triangle Unit - hope you find some time to do some stitching this week.  I'm a little busy with Thanksgiving prep, but I have a project waiting for me to go work on, even if it's only 15 minutes at a time - just that little bit of sewing really makes me happy, and I feel like I'm making progress, even if it's just part of a block at a time!

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