TYSS: Ohio Star fillers

Ohio Stars are a favorite of mine. There’s just something about their shape that appeals to me, more so than any of the other fillers in this quilt. One of my earliest quilts is an Ohio Star variation that splits the block diagonally into dark and light. Unfortunately, my former sister-in-law absconded with the quilt during the divorce and now claims she can’t find it.

For this quilt, you’re going to make four 6″ finished (6 1/2″ unfinished) blocks. If you’re following the white and bright version, the blocks are purple.

The Ohio Star is just a nine patch block where four of the patches are quarter square triangles. Since the QSTs are made of just two fabrics, they are relatively easy to construct using your favorite HST (yes HALF square triangle method).

Quarter Square Triangles

Follow the instructions in the Quarter Square Triangle Skill Builder post for creating QSTs. For each block you will need four QSTs, which will start with four HSTs. For all of the blocks combined you will need 16 QSTs (and 16 HSTs). Do not trim the HSTs – wait until you’ve made the QSTs before trimming. If you’re doing them all from the same fabrics, the strip method for HSTs and the paper method for HSTs will both work very well, and the squares method will also work. If each of your Ohio Star blocks is from a different fabric, I recommend the squares method. I do not recommend the traditional method because you will be dealing with bias edges, and why do that if you don’t have to? If you’d like to try it, just for practice, I’ve included those instructions as well.

Traditional Method

Cut two 3 1/2″ background squares.
Cut two 3 1/2″ block fabric squares.

(The actual cutting size is 3 1/4″, but 3 1/2″ gives you room for error – you trim it later. If you struggle with accuracy, you may even want to increase that to 3 3/4″ for a little more flexibility.)
Cut each square diagonally both directions. Sew as directed in the QST Skill Builder post. Trim to 2 1/2″ – be careful to measure from the center out, as illustrated in the post.

Squares Method

Skill Builder Series: Part 1A – Half Square Triangles and Pinwheels

If you’re making each block from different fabric, you will need to make four QSTs that finish at 2″ (2 1/2″ unfinished). Start by making four HSTs that finish at 3″ (or slightly larger).

Cut two 3 1/2″ background squares.
Cut two 3 1/2″ block squares.
(If you’re making all of the blocks from the same fabric, cut eight squares of each fabric. If you struggle with accuracy, you may even want to cut the squares at 3 3/4″.)

Continue as directed in the QST Skill Builder post. Trim to 2 1/2″ – be careful to measure from the center out, as illustrated in the post.

Strips Method

Skill Builder Series: Part 1B – Half square Triangles and Pinwheels

Cut a 3 1/2″ x 30″ strip of background fabric.
Cut a 3 1/2″ x 30″ strip of block fabric.

Sew eight HSTs, then continue as directed in the QST Skill Builder post. Trim to 2 1/2″ – be careful to measure from the center out, as illustrated in the post.

Paper Method

Skill Builder Series: Part 1A – Half Square Triangles and Pinwheels

Use Triangle Papers, Thangles, Triangles on a Roll or Triangulations software to create sixteen HSTs that finish at 2 1/2″ (or 3″ if you’d like a little more flexibility). Continue as directed in the QST Skill Builder post. Trim to 2 1/2″ – be careful to measure from the center out, as illustrated in the post.

Assembling the Block

Cut four 2 1/2″ background squares.
Cut one 2 1/2″ block fabric square.

Assemble the block just like any other nine patch, making sure you turn your QST units so they create the star points. See this Nine Patch Skill Builder post for details. If, like me, you prefer to press your seams to one side, press toward the plain squares. Press the top and bottom seams toward the center.

You should now have four Ohio Star blocks! So what do you think of this block? Can you see making an entire quilt of them? Using the squares method, it is very easy to construct a quilt of Ohio Star blocks with precut charms, or even layer cakers if you’d like large blocks.

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