Watch how to quilt a big dipper block (video & written instructions)

Today’s quilt pattern goes by many names: hourglass, Yankee puzzle, envelope quilt, and, finally, the big dipper. No matter what you call it, this technique has been a favorite among quilters for decades.
Big dipper quilt blocks are simple to make, and easy to arrange when you are piecing them together to complete your quilt top. And when you are finished, it will look like you made a sky full of stars!
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Here’s a look at how to get started.
Watch the big dipper technique video tutorial:
Materials
2-4 different colors of fabric, cut into 5 ¼ inch squares
Scissors/rotary cutter
Sewing machine/sewing needle
Scissors
Pro Tip
There are many, many different ways to arrange a Big Dipper quilt. Take a look at some of the patterns available from Meadowside-Designs to get an idea of what you’d like your finished quilt to look like. You can use as many colors as you want, and arrange them in alternating angles to make your stars look like they are twinkling!
Written Instructions
1. The instructions for his quilt could not be simpler. The first step is to simply cut four of your 5 ¼ inch squares diagonally, so that you end up with eight triangles.
2. For your first block, take four of these triangles and lay them out in your desired pattern.
3. Take two adjacent pieces and put them face to face, with their joined edge together. Sew the pieces together, leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance. Unfold, and repeat with the other two triangles.
4. Sew the two bi-colored triangles you just made together, just as you did with the previous ones, and unfold.
5. Press flat, then repeat the previous to make three more squares.
6. Decide what you want your star to look like. Then, stitch two of these four pieces together to make the top of your block, then do the same for the bottom.
7. Sew the two rectangles you just made together, and that's it! Your first big dipper block is complete.
Repeat this process until you have as many blocks as you need for your quilt. Once you have mastered this simplified version of the big dipper quilt, you can check out LudlowQuiltandSew.com, which describes a technique that is slightly more challenging.
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Either way, you will end up with a beautiful, starry sky as a result of your efforts! (Or a Yankee puzzle, or a bunch of envelopes, or hourglasses, depending on your perspective!)

Laura Ann Coia, from 'Sew Very Easy,' has put together an excellent tutorial to make these beauties.
June 19   ·  
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