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Friday, August 1, 2014

Celestial Star QAL: Guest Blogger: Courtney Lyons & Finishing Your Quilt Block

Celestial Star QAL with from blank pages...

I am SO excited to introduce you to Courtney Lyons, of petit lyons. Courtney and I first "met" while co-hosting a blog event a few years ago with Rachel of imagine gnats. Over the years she has made me some beautiful items, always including her precious Anna Maria Horner prints (she's so generous!), and I just have to say that she has been a great friend! We also had our youngest boys in the same week last year, so watching them grow together has been so much fun! I feel like they should be best friends. I hope that one day they, and we, will finally get to meet in real life. :) I hope you will stop by and say hi!

Today Courtney is sharing some great tips for joining your wedges and creating a beautiful finished block! I absolutely love how her finished block turned out!!


Hello, Celestial Star Quilt-Along-ers! My name is Courtney and I blog at petit lyons. I'm here today to share some tips for paper piecing. I love paper piecing, but when you tackle a large block made up of many units, it can be really difficult to get everything looking perfect. I know my center point is not quite perfect, but I'm still happy with my block!

I chose to use some of my new cotton + steel fabrics since this was such a special block.  Now I just have to decide if it is going to be a mini quilt or pillow and how I will quilt it.

 I decided to join the wedges to make two halves.  I started with the twelve wedges with paper still on.  I always try to leave the paper on until the end.  Because of the odd angles of paper piecing you get some sections on the bias, which can make them stretchy.  The paper helps to keep everything in shape as does starch.

I usually press seams open, but for this style of paper pieced block I find a pressed open seam is way too bulky around the center point. When you get to your final seam joining the two halves with pressed open seams it is almost too bulky to sew over.  

I took my first two wedges and pressed one center seam up and the next down.  Then I removed the paper from the seam allowance.  I find it easiest to remove the seam allowance bit once the seam is finished. 

To join these two pieces I nest the center seams together and make sure the point and the outside edge are lined up.  You can pin here, but I'm not a pinner unless absolutely necessary!

Sew along the seam from the outer edge toward the center and stop at the seam allowance line, reverse to secure your stitch.

Continue around the wedge, alternating the center seam up and down, until you have completed half of your block.  Tear out the seam allowances as you sew each seam.

Press all of your seam allowances for the wedges in the same direction and repeat for the remaining half.

 Join the two halves the same way you joined the wedges, matching the outer edge and nesting the center seams together.  This is a spot where even I will pin : )  Just a few pins at the parts that are most important to get lined up.

Continue to press the seams in one direction all the way around the block, and the center points will start to fan out.  This means you won't have a giant bump to try to quilt through, like you would if you pressed seams open.   It may be tempting to trim off some of the points, but remember that these are a vital part of your seam allowance and to do so would create a scant seam.

I just want to note that I learned about spinning seams from Cristy and her helpfulness on Instagram.  She has a tutorial coming soon if you are interested in learning more.  I have found them to work amazingly well on pinwheel style blocks where 8 wedges are joined to make a square, but a little trickier with the 12 piece blocks.   I hope to get some more practice in soon!

 Good luck to everyone on your quilt along, your pictures so far are amazing! Thanks to Diane for creating yet another amazing pattern and for having me guest post here today.


Thank you so much Courtney!! This is fantastic!! :)

Be sure to link up your finished quilt block pictures in this post HERE. or on Instagram (hashtag #CelestialStarBlock) I love seeing them! :) and the giveaway for the $25 gift cards to the Fat Quarter Shop ends on Thursday the 7th. I'll pick winners sometime that day. :)

And, does anyone want to do some Celestial Star Social Sewing tonight?! I'll be on instagram tonight, and probably a lot next week cranking out my blocks if you want to join me! Just use hashtag #CelestialStarSewcial and we can all work on them together. And you can help keep me motivated to keep sewing!! (I struggle with endurance when it comes to doing the same thing over and over again. Luckily all my blocks are different designs, so hopefully that will help.) ;)

Have a great weekend!!



  1. What a sweet introduction, thank you! I hope some day our paths cross in real life, too :)

  2. What a wonderful post, Courtney! I love that you pressed your seams to the side and spun your seams so beautifully on the back.


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