Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asterisk Crazy

Posted by PicasaWhen Mrs. Schmenkman mentioned an asterisk quilt a few weeks ago, I had to look.
Boy, did I like what I saw.  I've been crazy for asterisks ever since.  Thank you so much, Amy, for sending me on this quest to create some asterisks of my own to send to the gals in my virtual bee.  The 3X6 Sampler Block Bee is a group of quilters divided into groups of 7.  There are 10 groups, so 70 quilters are participating in this type of bee alone.  It is called 3X6 because we each have 3 months to create 6 for each of the other people in our group.  We can choose any block we want to make and then create it in the color schemes decided on by each participant.  The blocks above are my addition to this round of creations. Isn't it fascinating to see how different the block looks in everyone's various color combinations? I love the variety.
Some of the color schemes stretched me and I found myself enjoying working with colors I wouldn't normally put together like red, purple and gray or green, yellow and gray. 
I didn't really know how to make an asterisk block but I figured I could insert strips of fabric into a square to create the star effect.  I told you about that concept in my last post here.
After beginning to work on these blocks, I learned that others love this fun block as much as I did. So much so, in fact, that Dana from Old Red Barn Co. is featuring asterisks as the next quilt-along, which will begin in June.  If you'd like to make a whole quilt using this block, then you should definitely join the quilt-along.  I'm wondering if Karen uses the same concept as I did to make her fabulous blocks.  She'll be teaching us how she did it and guiding the fun.
If you would like to try a block using insert strips like I did, here is a quick lesson:

I decided to make a 9" block bordered by 1.5" strips to create a 12" finished block.  The first thing I did was cut a 10" square and divide it in half on the diagonal.

Then I inserted a 1" strip of contrasting fabric, being careful to center the strip.  My strip was about 15" long.

Repeat the steps to add another diagonal strip in the other direction.

Once the diagonal strips are finished and pressed, the next step is to cut the block in half vertically, being careful to cut in the center of the X. Add a 1" strip.

Cut the block in half again and insert another 1" strip.

Be sure to center the strip on both sides by creasing the strip to mark the center and pin it in place,checking the placement before sewing.

Pressing the seams open after inserting each strip helps the block to lay flat.  On the last strip, I pressed the seams to the center to avoid bulk where the seams all come together in the middle of the block. After pressing, I squared my block to 9.5".

Here's my finished block after adding 2" strips to the asterisk to create the borders.

There is just something special about an asterisk, don't you think? It's even fun to say!!
Maybe I should think about joining in the quilt-along too...............................
Wouldn't a bunch of these be cute together?


  1. Carla! I keep looking and looking at your blocks on Flickr. OH MY! The thumbnails call out to me. Your blocks are FANTASTIC! I adore each and every color combo!! Gosh, my list of "MUST DO NOW" is getting very long. ;-)

  2. These are so much fun! Can't wait to try this myself - thanks for the "how-to"!

  3. YOur blocks are lovely and your tutorial very easy to follow!

  4. Well, once again we seem to be on a similar wavelength! I have been discovering and enjoying asterisks, too. I think I will be quilting along with the ORBC quilt-along :)

  5. Stop it! You must stop putting these cute projects on your blog beacause you are making me start yet another quilt LOL! I love your color combos...

    Jennifer :)

  6. Seriously. These are adorable. You are so inspirational, my friend!

  7. Too too cute, Carla! Thanks for the tutorial as well.

  8. Hi Carla,
    I love your blocks! Yes, I make them the same way that you do. Except that I start with a 6" square. But any size will do. Larger blocks = less work. I don't put a border on each one; I just run them together.

    It's so much fun to see all the different versions. I hope you add your photos to the Old Red Barn Quilt Company Quilt Along on flickr.
    Happy quilting,
    Karen Griska

  9. I found your blog through a friend from These are neat quilt blocks I will have to give it a try. Some of us had never heard of aestrick blocks before. Always enjoy finding something new in quilting. We are always looking for new members on "CT" check it out its a great site for quilters. Mention my name Jean Romack if you decide to join.

  10. How exciting to come across this blog, this is the block I made my very 1st quilt from I made enough for a queen size quilt then got stuck on a fabric for sashing & boarders, my blocks are blk/white with white strips through it. I have finally found fabric for both and will be completely my 1st quilt soon!

  11. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.