Wednesday, 1 March 2017

March Bee Block for Erin–Washington Star

Edited 18/03/17: updated to correct numbers of squares to cut!

Greetings Hive mates!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Erin, and my family and I moved from Washington State 3 years ago to Cork. As we’re moving back to Washington in June, I asked if I could get one of the earlier months for the Bee.

When I first moved here in April of 2014, it was quite a culture shock. I was quite isolated, as my twin sons were only 16 months old at the time. For the first few months here, I hated it. It wasn’t until I discovered Modern Quilters Ireland and the Irish Patchwork Society that I found my people, began to make friends, and enjoyed living in Ireland. To say these two groups saved my sanity is an understatement. I’ve met some amazing people, and learned new skills in the process.

I’d love it if you could help me commemorate my time here in Ireland by following my instructions to make the Washington Star block:

Yes, I’m asking you to use the colours of the Irish flag! I thought it was a great way to commemorate my time here, by making a barn block I found on the ‘net called the Washington Star. I wasn’t able to find any sort of instructions for it. So, I broke out my quilting design software and came up with this:

You’re going to need three green fabrics, a light, medium and dark, two orange fabrics, a light and a dark, and a white background fabric—I used Kona White. Feel free to use prints, solids or a mix of the two. These instructions will make an 18 inch block.

Cutting Instructions:

White Background Fabric:

Four 5 inch squares

Four 3.75 inch squares

Twelve 2.75 inch squares

Dark Green Fabric:

Two 4.75 inc squares

Five 5 inch squares

Medium Green Fabric:

Eight 2.75 inch squares

Four 3.75 inch squares

Light Green Fabric:

Eight 2.75 inch squares

Two 4.75 inch squares

Dark Orange Fabric:

Four 2.75 inch squares

Orange Fabric:

Four 3.75 inch squares

To Assemble Corner Units:
Begin by taking your four medium green 3.75 inch squares and draw a line from corner to corner. Layer on top of your white 3.75 inch squares and sew a 1/4 inch away from the line on both sides. Cut on line.

Press open and trim to 2.75 inch square.

Using the photo as a guide, take your HST, medium green 2.75 inch squares, dark orange squares and your 5 inch white squares and arrange as shown.

 Sew the units in a row together.

Sew your rows together. Repeat for a total of four corner units. 

To build Diamond in a Square unit:

Take the eight light green 2.75 inch squares and twelve white 2.75 inch squares and draw a line from corner to corner. 

First, you’ll be building one all white and dark green diamond in a square unit. Take one dark green 5 x 5 square and four white 2.75 squares with the diagonal line. Place two squares on opposite corners. Pin and sew directly on the line. 

Next trim excess fabric more than 1/4 inch away and press open. Repeat with remaining corners for a white and dark green diamond in a square unit. 

Next, you’ll be making the same unit, but when you work with opposite corners, you’ll be using one white fabric and one light green fabric. follow the same process as above to make FOUR units total that look like this. 

To make Half Quarter Square Triangles

Take your light green 4.75 inch squares and and draw a line from corner to corner. Layer over the dark green 4.75 inch squares and pin. Sew a 1/4 inch away on both sides of the line. 
Cut on the line and press open. Trim to 3.75 inches.

Next, you’re going to make a half quarter square triangle using these half square triangles. Take your 3.75 inch orange square and draw a line from corner to corner. Layer this square on the half square triangles made previously. ENSURE THAT YOUR DRAWN LINE INTERSECTS THE HALF SQUARE TRIANGLE. Sew 1/4 inch away from both sides of the line. Cut on the line and press open.

To trim this unit, take your ruler and line up the 45 degree line up on the seam line. Your final measurement of this half quarter square triangle will be 2.75 inches, so be sure to line up the light green/dark green seam on the 2.75 inch mark as show in the photo below. Rotate unit to trim to
2.75 inches square.
Once units are trimmed, you’ll be sewing these together in pairs, matching dark green triangles. Make four units total. 

To begin sewing your block together:
First, sew your multicoloured diamond in a square units to the previous unit made. Ensure that your light green triangles of the diamond in a square unit touch the orange triangles of the other unit. 

Next, arrange your units using the photo as a guide. The white/dark green diamond in a square unit goes in the centre. 

Assemble as you would a nine patch by sewing all the units in a row together. 

Press the seams in opposite directions so you can nest them in the next step.

Sew your rows together, and you’re done! Great job!


  1. It's gorgeous! Thanks for the tute! <3

  2. Erin, I live in WA State - in the Tri-Cities area! Where will you be moving to in WA State? We move here in 2009 from Texas! And, I'll say - welcome home! I love this block...and the fabrics you chose to make it. I'm IRISH - my Mother's maiden name is McClellan.


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