Piecing a Seven Sisters block — lots of photos

There were a couple of questions last week about how I pieced a Seven Sisters block so, rather than try to explain it in words, I thought I’d do this mini tutorial.  Lester is hoping this is relaxing and easy to follow.

The first step is to make the seven 6-pointed stars that will be in the block.  For each block, I need 18 white diamonds, 6 half elongated hexagons and 42 blue diamonds for the seven stars.

Once that’s done, the next most important step is to press them making sure that the seam allowances of each star are pressed the same way.  This photo is of a star in a different fabric, which shows the seam allowances a bit better.

My next step is to surround one star, which will be the centre star in the block, with white diamonds.

Because I hand piece, the inset seams are something I look for as it offers the opportunity to continuously stitch around the star.  To add the six white diamonds around the blue star, I used one length of thread.

In this photo you can see, on the white diamonds and half elongated hexagons, that each has the stitching line and crosshairs at the end of each seam.  The lines are printed on my blue fabrics as well, but they don’t photograph as well.  Because of the perfect  stitching lines and crosshairs one gets when printing templates on to the fabric using Inklingo, it makes stitching a block like this a breeze.  I simply match up my crosshairs, pin and stitch.

My next step is to join the six remaining stars with white diamonds so that they’re ready to stitch to the centre star.

Then I pin the first of the strip of six stars to one of the white diamonds surrounding the centre star and start to stitch.  Again, lots and lots of continuous stitching.

A couple of threads are all it takes and the centre star is completely surrounded.

All that’s left to do now is add the six remaining white diamonds and six half elongated hexagons around the outside edge and the block will be done.  Once again, lots and lots of continuous stitching.

The block is finished.  While I didn’t really keep track of the time it took to make the block, I think that it took somewhere around 3 hours in total from making the seven stars to adding the final white diamonds around the outside of the block.

A quick press and it’s ready to be added to the stack of the blue and white Seven Sisters blocks that I am making.

Smudge hopes you found this as relaxing as he did.  He had to go curl up with some softies and have a nap!   He had lost a pound again when we went to the vet.  So we’re continuing the syringe feeding for now and have gone back to the vet-suggested foods.  Sunday night he finally started to eat hard food again for the first time in two months.   We were really encouraged to see that.

16 thoughts on “Piecing a Seven Sisters block — lots of photos

  1. Wonderful visual tutorial for the seven sisters! Those blocks are beautiful! Hope Smudge does a turn-around…such a worry when our dear furry friends aren’t feeling well! Hugs to you and Mr O…and kitty smooches to Smudge & Lester!


  2. That is sooooooooooooooo amazing….so you iron all the seams in the same directions and you get that little swirl in the middle?

    I subscribed to your site because I lost you for a while…glad to have you back.


  3. Thank you for a GREAT tutorial Cathi 🙂 These are really gorgeous. The picture where you have all but the last round on (the white half hexes and diamonds) it looks like a snowflake as the white diamonds stand out. 🙂 This is going to be one beautiful quilt!
    So glad to read that Smudge is doing better. Lester looking his handsome self at the top of the post..
    hugs Ellyx


  4. Cathi, thanks for the explanation. With the pics I now understand your sequence… it makes perfect sense! I’m thinking I’m going to have to have a go at this block. Maybe a little larger, as a topper, for a little hexagon table I have! Thanks for explaining.


  5. Hello Cathi! Thank you for this good tutorial, it helpped to understand how you make them! They are really wonderful but need so much work and pation!
    Lester and Smudge are always so sweet!
    Have a lovely week! Teje


  6. Your process for the 7 sisters is GREAT! I definitely needed to see all the pics. I love to hand piece, but I don’t usually think the process through, and end up with a LOT of little joins to make…..this made the 7 sisters MUCH easier! It’s always been on my list….and now I think I will tackle it! Thanks so much!

    I’ve been thinking about the Inklingo…..this post has be practically convinced I need it! Love the hash marks for points…..that’s where my marking lines usually falter a bit….and I end up fudging by a few threads…..it doesn’t show when done, but it takes a bit of time to always be guessing and judging where to put that needle through! I just have to see if I can justify the $$ for that ease. Hmmmm! Also, how do you handle more scrappy quilts using Inklingo? Is there a lot of fabric and time wasted, and not worth it, or is there a method. I’ve looked at the website for how to do it with lots of scraps, but had a hard time finding my answers. So I’m asking the expert! What do you think!



  7. Cathi, thanks for the star tutorial I would have done it the hard way surrounding the stars then joining. You have truely mastered the art of easy and intelligent hand piecing. I am glad smudge is on solids again. We still have Bess on kitten food (solid) and she is putting on weight too. Hopefuly he will continue to pickup and start costing you less with the Vet.


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