Anne sent out a great tutorial, this one is a bit different from hers so you can choose which method works best for you.
I'm using printed paper to make my half-square triangles. I downloaded and printed the 3" Half-Square Triangle Paper from Block Central. I like to use a light weight paper like tracing paper or special paper for paper piecing. This time all I had was regular copy paper. Oh, well! It still works, it's just a bit more difficult to remove the paper from the fabric.
Cut from background fabric
(A1) one 8 1/4" x 8 1/4" square
(A2) one 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" rectangle
(A3) four 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares
Cut from color 1 (mine is red)
(B) one 8 1/4" x 8 1/4" square
Cut from color 2 (mine is green)
(C) one one 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" rectangle
Layer A1 and B right sides together with A1 (the darker fabric) on the bottom. Do the same with A2 and C.
|This is what it looks like on the back of the A1/B pieces. You can see the stitching ends up looking like a diamond.|
|Place on your cutting board with the paper side up.|
Trim on all the solid lines. It should look like the photo above when you are done.
|Bend either the seam allowance of the paper or the large triangle towards the other side. You are making a crease on the stitching line so that it will weaken the paper and make it easier to tear off.|
|I started tearing the paper so you would see what it looked like. It doesn't matter if you tear off the seam allowance of the paper or the big triangle.|
Putting the block together
Arrange the half-square triangle units to form either a.....
|Martha Washington Star|
I've decided to sew a Pinwheel Star. If you notice in the Pinwheel Star photo above, the red fabric is directional. That means that it has a specific direction to the print.
I was careful to place the triangles so that the direction would be the same and the point of the star would look uniform. It probably wouldn't have been very noticeable with this fabric if I hadn't been fussy about it because the direction of the pattern isn't 'in your face' loud. But if you have a big print or a print with stripes, be careful how you place your half-square triangles.
The green fabric has a large print, which is why I didn't choose it for the stars. I didn't think a seam through two half-square triangles would have complimented the star part of the pattern. It works well for both the center of the Martha Washington Star and the points of the Pinwheel Star.
Sew the rows together and press.
|Press seams in opposite directions so they will nest when you sew the rows together. The yellow arrows show the direction I pressed my seams.|
|This is my finished Pinwheel Star.|