Path B: Star Valley

On Monday Camp Counselor Mary shared the first center block option, Dresden Peak, and today we have the second of option for you: Star Valley! Either of these choices will make a perfect center for the Choose Your Own Adventure medallion quilt. Which one are you going to choose?

NOTE: This is one post in a series of quilt-along posts. Start from the beginning with the first post {here}.

Hi! It’s Kristina Brinkerhoff from Center Street Quilts and I’m excited to be presenting the second option for the center block today: Star Valley. The Star Valley block is a fun, traditionally pieced star that is easy and quick to sew together. It would make the perfect center to your Medallion Quilt, but then again, so would the Dresden Peak! Have you decided which one you’ll choose yet?

The Star Valley center medallion option finishes at 20″ x 20″.

  • 10″ x WOF for the Background Fabric, plus either:
  • 2 Fat Quarters (1 dark, 1 medium/light) OR 5 Layer Cake squares (10″ x 10″ squares) (2 dark, 3 medium/light)

A few notes about the Ingredients for each option: as you might have noticed, the fabric requirements for the Star Valley center block option are different than the Dresden Peak option. This will be the case each week as we go through the Choose Your Own Adventure QAL. We did our best to combine all of the fabric requirements to give an accurate estimate of what you’ll need overall, but you will likely have a little extra fabric at the end (too much is way better than running out, right?!?). Additionally, for most of the options, you’ll have sections of fat quarters or layer cake squares left over to use for another week. Feel free to use the half of a fat quarter left over from this week on next week’s blocks. Or, if you want to add in more color variety, you can absolutely use more fat quarters or layer cakes than what is listed–knowing that everything will even out as you work your way through the quilt top. Be creative and know that you can definitely make changes as you go. πŸ™‚

Before beginning:

  • Read through the entire instructions
  • Seams are all 1/4″
  • Width of Fabric is abbreviated as WOF and is assumed to be 42″.

Cutting Instructions
Below, you’ll find the cutting instructions for both Fat Quarters and Layer Cakes. Only follow the set of instructions that corresponds to the fabric precut you are using. EVERYONE needs to cut the Background Fabric the same. πŸ™‚

Cutting the Fat Quarters (follow only if you are using FQs):

From one fat quarter (dark color) cut:

  • (4) 5″ x 5″ squares
  • (4) 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 1.5″ squares
  • (1) 4.5″ x 4.5″ square (this will be the center square. You can choose to cut this square from a third fat quarter to make this center square really stand out)

From one fat quarter (medium/light color) cut:

  • (4) 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares
  • (4) 1.5″ x 4.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 1.5″ squares

Cutting the Layer Cakes (follow only if you are using Layer Cakes):

From one layer cake square (dark color) cut:

  • (4) 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 1.5″ squares

From one layer cake square (dark color) cut:

  • (4) 5″ x 5″ squares

From one layer cake square (medium or light color) cut:

  • (4) 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares

From one layer cake square (medium or light color) cut:

  • (4) 1.5″ x 4.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 3.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips
  • (4) 1.5″ x 1.5″ squares

From one layer cake square (medium or light color) cut:

  • (1) 4.5″ x 4.5″ square (this will be the center square of the star)

Background Fabric (EVERYONE cut this):

  • Cut (1) 4.5″ x WOF strip. Subcut into (8) 4.5″ x 4.5″ squares.
  • Cut (1) 5″ x WOF strip. Subcut into (4) 5″ x 5″ squares.

Assembling the Block

First, we will assemble the half-square triangles.

  1. Gather the (4) background 5″ x 5″ squares and draw a line diagonally corner-to-corner on the wrong side of the fabric.
  2. Pair a dark color 5″ x 5″ square right sides together with each of the background squares.
  3. Sew each pair of squares together using two seams, 1/4″ away from either side of the drawn line.
  4. Cut the pairs apart on the drawn line and press the seam open.
  5. There should now be (8) half-square triangles. Trim the squares to 4.5″ x 4.5″.

Next, we will assemble the quarter log cabin blocks.

  1. Pair up a dark 1.5″ square (blue) with a medium/light 1.5″ square (green) and sew them along one edge, right sides together. Press the seam toward the dark square.
  2. Orient the newly sewn square units so the dark square (blue) is in the lower right corner. Take one of the medium/light 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips and add it to the left side of unit that was just sewn, as shown. Press the seam toward the newly sewn strip.
  3. Orient the sewn unit so the dark square is at the upper right corner. Take one of the dark 1.5″ x 2.5″ strips and sew it, right sides together, to the left side of the unit. Press the seam toward the newly sewn strip.
  4. With the dark square in the lower right corner, take a dark 1.5″ x 3.5″ strip and add it to the left side of the sewn unit. Press the seam toward the newly sewn strip.
  5. With the dark square in the upper right corner, add the 1.5″ x 3.5″ medium/light strips to the side of the unit. Press toward the newly sewn strips.
  6. With the dark square in the lower right corner, add the 1.5″ x 4.5″ medium/light strips to the side of the units. Again, press toward the newly sewn strips.

The quarter log cabin units should measure 4.5″ x 4.5″ each. Repeat to make 3 quarter log cabin units.

Lay out the pieces in a 5 x 5 grid as shown in the image below. Assemble each of the five rows, pressing the seams in alternating directions.

Sew the rows together, pressing the seams all in one direction.

The completed Star Valley block should measure 20.5″ x 20.5″ (and will finish at 20″ x 20″).

One note about medallion quilts: it is pretty important that each block or border measures accurately. Since you will be adding border after border to this center block, being off by a little bit can really affect the borders to come. But if accuracy isn’t your forte, you don’t need to fear! After each block or border, we will add in a filler border made with the background fabric. This filler border is your chance to square the quilt up or down to the right size. So if you’re measuring small, make the filler border bigger. If you’re measuring big, sew on the filler border then trim to size. This adjustment will help ensure that the next border fits on correctly. πŸ™‚

The Star Valley block finishes at 20″ x 20″ (measures at 20.5″ x 20.5″ unfinished).

What a fun start to the Choose Your Own Adventure Quilt Along, right? The Dresden Peak and Star Valley blocks are both such great options and I’m excited to see everyone’s fabric choices and progress on their own medallion quilts. Next week there will be two options for the first pieced border and I’m already itching to get going on it. πŸ™‚ To follow along with my medallion quilt progress, you can check out my instagram account @centerstreetquilts or Facebook page HERE. I’ll be posting updates on both of those regularly. If you’re also posting on social media, please use the hashtag #ChooseYourOwnAdventureQAL so we can see your progress, too. Happy sewing!

Kristina Brinkerhoff

[blog:Center Street Quilts]
[instagram: @centerstreetquilts]

20 comments on “Path B: Star Valley

  1. SarahZ says:

    What a cute block, and great instructions!!!!!

  2. Mary Andra Holmes says:

    I absolutely love your pieced center. Hummmmm I may have to make another quilt using all the blocks I don’t use in my Dresden center. Enjoy your day st camp.

  3. Joan Garland says:

    I like this version much better. The Dresden block was a bit intimidating.

    • I’m glad you’ve found a path that will work for you, Joan. πŸ™‚ The first time I did a dresden, I was really nervous, but it turns out it’s really fun! I’m not great at handstitching things down, though, so as long as I can still use my machine to attach it to the background piece of fabric, I’m good. Haha.

  4. Mona Phelps says:

    Gorgeous block and wonderfully written instructions!

  5. A lovely block!! Love this and the pattern is really well written!

  6. tricia53 says:

    This was so much fun to make! I’m eager to find out what next week brings!

  7. […] ← Path B: Star Valley […]

  8. Judy Smith says:

    Hi, can you tell me what the fabric requirements mean by 2 layer cakes – does this mean to packages? Do all the packages come with the same number of 10 x 10 squares?

    • Sandie says:

      Layer Cakes are typically 40-42 ten inch squares per fabric line. So you would need a total of 80-84 ten inch squares to equal two layer cakes.

    • Hi Judy, Hopefully you already saw Sandie’s comment that there are (42) 10″ x 10″ squares in a Layer Cake pack from Moda. Some other manufacturers make similar packs with less squares in them, though, so be aware of that when you purchase one. If you have one Layer Cake package plus 10-12 fat quarters, that would also be sufficient for this quilt along medallion quilt. πŸ™‚

  9. Currently making my second one of these as I was clearly under the influence of the heatwave when I was making the first one and my seam allowance was way out in places so that one will be a wallhanging and I get to do it all over again but perhaps this time with 1/4 inch seams!!!

    • Oh, so sorry! That has happened to me on more than one occasion! If you haven’t already started on the second block, I have something that will save you from making another one. After the center block, we are all adding a small border before doing the next week’s round (check out the Moda Bake Shop post right after this one). Instead of cutting that border at 1″ wide, cut it at 2″ wide and a little longer than it suggests. Then after attaching it, you can trim the whole block to 21.5″ x 21.5″. It won’t matter at all that your center block is a little small because the slightly larger border will make up the difference. πŸ™‚ We’ll have a border like this to add to after every week’s round, so you can make sure everything is the right size before starting the next week’s assignment. πŸ™‚

  10. Laurie Edwards says:

    Brilliant planning on the filler border between each step. Nice work Camp Chefs:) Looking forward to summer camp adventure.

  11. Renee M. says:

    I finished my Star Valley…what a pretty center square! I think I am going to love this quilt. I am also doing path A and finished my Dresden center. The colors are totally different for each quilt and I know both are going to be beautiful! Thanks for all the fun!

  12. Rosemaryflower says:

    I love this block. I have the pattern printed out and hope to make it today.

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