Sewing a sixteen-point star

As I shared last week, my current piecing obsession is eight-pointed stars. I’ve gotten better at matching up all the points in the center, so of course I immediately decided to make things challenging again by turning one of my eight-point stars into a sixteen-point star.

Usually, you would finish off an eight-point star by sewing triangles and squares into the corners, as Edyta Sitar demonstrates here. Instead of doing that, I sewed kites where the triangles and squares would usually go. Here you can see the star after the eight-point center was completed and I had pinned the kites in place:


In the above pictures, it looks like I don’t have the edges of the kites lined up properly with the edges of the diamonds. I actually do. It’s just hard to tell because the quarter-inch seam allowance is bent under on the diamonds. You can see this more clearly from the back:


I don’t actually recommend pressing the seam allowance this way before sewing. The only reason I did so here was because I originally planned to finish the eight-point star as an eight-point star applique like the one in last week’s post. So I had turned the edges under for a clean look, and I didn’t bother ironing them flat before pinning. My grandmother would be ashamed of me.

To sew the kites in place, I followed Edyta’s instructions for making Y-seams, shown in this video:


(Additional videos and supporting text are available here.)

Here I am, turning the corners with the needle down, just like Edyta showed:image

NOTE: The sewing machine is OFF. Do not stick your fingers this close to a needle when the sewing machine is running, or you may never be able to sew by hand again.

This is how you rotate fabric if you’re smart:


When I was done sewing all the kites in place, I turned the edges under, ironed them down, and appliquéd it to a blanket.

16-point lone star quilt piecing

You may notice that the kites aren’t all exactly the same size. This is a combination of two things:

  1. cutting from a template (I explained last week that I am more accurate when cutting with a ruler and angle; why templates should be so much harder is beyond me)
  2. I eyeballed the width of the “seam” allowance when I was turning the edges of the appliqué under. My goal was to keep it at about a quarter inch, but I didn’t feel like measuring and marking, so I didn’t. I rather like the variations, but if you don’t want them when you make a 16-point star, do what good quilters tell you to: Measure and mark, then measure again to make sure you did it right.

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