Free pattern: Foundation paper pieced star

Yesterday I entertained myself by designing and sewing a foundation paper pieced star. I suppose I could have used an existing pattern since there are probably at least a dozen patterns available similar to what I made but designing the block is half the fun. The 12×12” (30×30 cm) star is created by sewing together four 6×6’’ (15×15 cm) blocks, 44 pieces in total, so it’s not overly complicated to construct. I should probably practise a bit more though as not all of my points and matches are as sharp as they’re supposed to be…

140215_StarI_1The real problems were caused by my printer however. I created the block in Illustrator and you would think that a 6×6’’ square drawn with the “draw a square” function, or whatever it is called, would be exactly square when printed. It wasn’t. It was slightly off and resembles a trapezoid. I’m pretty sure it was caused by the printer because I held my quilting ruler up to my computer screen and the square looked pretty square in the PDF on the screen. I tried some different printing settings and then decided to just start sewing and fudge if necessary as it wasn’t off by that much (1/16’’ at most). It drove me nuts though and I wasted quite a bit of time trying to get things to print right. (Edit: I did print the pattern on a different printer and it was exactly square, so I suspect my own printer is inaccurate.)

StarI blockSince I already had the pattern in digital format I thought I might as well share it. I am convinced the pattern should be square when printed on a printer that isn’t mine but if someone would like to check this for me that would be great and relieve me of that tiny piece of doubt nagging at the back of my mind. On the left you can see what the pattern looks like and if you want to download the PDF you can click here. The pattern is for personal use only and does not contain any paper piecing instructions because I am assuming you already know how to paper piece if you want to use the pattern. Below I’ve put the cutting scheme I used for my fabric pieces to save you time calculating this yourself.

StarI block_cutting schemeNow all that’s left to do is decide what to do with this block now that it is pieced together. Make several more and turn it into a quilt or add a border and make another pillow?

February 15, 2014

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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  1. Selma

    On my HP-printer the square is slightly off by 1mm. That shoudn’t be a problem. It has four neat 90dgr angles.
    Maybe you could ad the units in your cutting scheme, so us European people don’t mistake them for cm.
    Hope you don’t mind me criticizing your work. It’s just the mix of crafts and geometry/engineering that keeps my mind busy, whether I want it or not.

    • Emmely

      Hmm, so it does appear somewhat off. It just doesn’t make sense to me because the whole point of using Illustrator is that you get exact measurements. I’ll add the units, that’s a good idea. For me quilting is always in inches but I suppose that is not the case for everyone.

  2. KerryCan

    It’s a lovely pattern! I haven’t tried paper piecing yet but, when I see this sort of effect, I’m very intrigued!

    • Emmely

      Thank you! Once you wrap you head around how the process works it really isn’t difficult. I was a bit intimidated at first because it looked really complicated but then I took Carol Doak’s Craftsy class and it turned out to be quite simple.

  3. buttontinlife

    This looks amazing. I would love to work my way up to doing this.

    • Emmely

      Thank you. Just give paper-piecing a try. There are quite some tutorials out there. It is not as difficult to do as it looks at first.


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