This block finishes at 7 1/2" X 8" The reason it comes out different than a square is because there is an odd number of seams.
Ready to get started? You need some 10 inch blocks. Half should be light and half should be dark fabrics. How many squares? It depends on how many finished blocks you want to make. Try testing the pattern with only 2 pieces for now. One light and one dark. Four would give you enough for a craft project, like a pillow or a purse, if you decide it's not a quilt you want to make. To make a larger quilt, decide how big you want it and divide by the block measurements. I'll go into more details on this in another post.
Now cut a three inch strip off one side of all the blocks. Match up a dark with a light and sew them back together.
For this one time only, press the seams toward the dark fabric. For the rest of the piecing, all seams should be pressed toward the outside of the block before going to the next step.
While you are pressing, fold the block in half, along the strip edge, and iron a tiny spot to indicte center. Don't press a seam down the whole block.... just press a tiny place like this. You will use this center mark for the next step.
Your next cut is going to be on the diagonal. From the center ironed mark on the strip to the corner of the block. Like this.
After that cut, match a dark with a light and sew them back together, like this. Press the seams toward the outside of the block. See how the seam lines do not match? That's how it's supposed to look.
Now we are ready for the next cut. This time you will go from the center of the first strip to the other corner. Like this. I turn the block upside down so it's easier for me to cut right handed. There is a very important step that you should know before making this cut.
You will move over 1/4 inch from the exact center. Like this. The reason is so you will get a nice 1/4 inch of background fabric beyond the star point. That 1/4 inch will be in the seam line when you sew the blocks together... without cutting off the star points.
Through out the piecing of this block you will get these little do dads after cutting. I just pulled them off with my fingers. Very easy and keeps them out of the seams.
After making that cut and sewing them back together and pressing toward the outside, your block should look like this.
Now for the next cut. This time going from the corner to the seamline of the first strip.
I used the dog ear from the last cut as my guide in the corner.
Then a 1/4 inch from the seamline here.
After making that cut, match up backgrounds and sew them back together. The block should now look like this and you are ready for the last cut. It's just like the previous cut only on the other side.
Match up the background fabric and sew them back together. Your block should now look like this. These are after I squared them up. I can't tell you how many I ruined trying to get them "square" before I realized that wasn't possible if I want nice crisp points on the stars.
If you try this block, please let me know if the directions are ok. Getting feed back from my readers will help me learn more about writing good directions. You can find more backward piecing blocks in the near future.