This hexagon Ohio Star style quilted table runner features the rare and eye-catching six-pointed star surrounded by six dark sides. It is known as the Empire Star and slightly resembles the Jewish Star of David. If completed in dark and light colours, the contrast makes it a true standout. When this 18-by-36 inch topper adorns the centre of your table, it is certain to get you compliments.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Quilters rotary cutter
- Cutting pad
- Quilting pins
- 1 yard light fabric
- 1 yard dark fabric
- Matching thread
- 1 1/2 yards backing and border material
- Fabric marking pen
- Sewing machine or quilting needle
- Quilt stretcher or hoop
Cut six rectangles out of the light fabric 2-by-3 1/2 inches, one rectangle each out of the light and dark fabrics 2 3/8-by-4 3/4 inches and 12 squares of dark fabric 2 inches on a side. Draw a line on the back of the larger light material rectangles 2 3/8 inches in from the short side dividing it in half. Mark a diagonal line from the top of the horizontal line to each bottom outside corner. Place the larger dark material right sides together with the light material you have just marked. Pin and stitch 1/4 inch on either side of the diagonal lines. Cut with the rotary cutter in between the stitched lines to make four 2-inch squares that are half of each colour. Mark a diagonal line on the back of each of the 12 small dark squares. Put one of these squares on the left side of the small light rectangles with right sides together. Sew them together on the diagonal line on the dark square. Do this five more times until all light rectangles are used. Trim off the corner 1/4 inch from the seam and press open. They should each measure 2 by 3 1/2 inches.
Lay the unit you just completed so the dark corner is on the left with right side up. Put a dark square face down on the right side of the piece. Draw a line from the top left corner to the bottom right corner of the back of the top dark piece and sew on the line. Do this five more times. Trim to within 1/4 inch of the seam and press. These are called "geese" because the light triangle has two dark wings.
Sew one of the squares that you made in the first step on each side of a "goose." The dark corners of the squares should be on the bottom when sewn to elongate the dark "wings." Repeat once more and press. This makes your top and bottom row of the block.
Sew two "geese" from Step 2 together with the half square triangles in Step 1. Place the dark corners together so that it forms two downward pointing light triangles. Repeat. Press. Sew these two rows together so that a dark diamond is formed in the middle. This will be the middle row of the completed block.
Sew the top and bottom rows onto the middle piece you just completed with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press. The dark pieces should now form a hexagon and there should be a six-pointed star in the middle. Sew 18 of these blocks to make a table topper three rows wide and six rows long.
Stitch the blocks together so they will run down the centre of your table. Adjust this pattern so it suits your table by changing the number of blocks that run wide or long. For measuring purposes, each block should be a 6-inch square when completed. Sew the blocks together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance and press.
Sew a border around the outside of your block section with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Usually the border will be a minimum of 2 inches wide. Lay out your backing material face down with the batting on top. Lay the completed blocks face up as the final layer. The batting and backing should both be about 4 inches wider than your top to allow for you to square the top up.
Pin it in place. Stretch it in a quilt stretcher or apply a hoop to it and quilt stitch through all three layers. Choose any design you wish from intricate to simple. Stitch it by hand or use your sewing machine. Cut the excess material off the edges. Edge it either with commercially made binding or use binding you have made from the backing material. Press.
Tips and warnings
- Nip off the excess seam allowances at 45-degree angles on the corners of each seam to make for perfect star points when sewn.
- Lay out your pieces before you sew them so you can see the pattern and make adjustments if needed.
- Another hexagonal shaped pattern is the Star Twist. It is more in the form of a traditional eight-point Ohio Star but less hexagonal.
- If your backing material has a grain, run the lengthwise grain from the top to the bottom on the back to minimise stretching.
- You must be as precise as you can or the blocks will not end up square. If you find this, cut freezer paper into 6-inch squares and mark them with horizontal and vertical lines. Put your completed block face down on the ironing board. Lay the freezer paper over it with the glossy side down. Pin it carefully together, straightening the block to the lines you have made on the freezer paper. Press. Leave the paper on the block until all the blocks are sewn together and the border has been applied. This will make for a truly square project.
- Pressing is very important or your project will be much more difficult and less precise.
- Hand stitching a quilted topper can be time-consuming. Plan for it.
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