2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop–Midnight Starfish

I’m excited to be participating in the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop. Paintbrush Studio generously supplied each participant with a fat quarter bundle from their new line of solids,  Painter’s Palette. Our hosts, Yvonne@Quilting Jetgirl, Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie@Late Night Quilter curated the Ocean Sunrise Palette, and for the 12 1/2″ block that I designed, I used the following colors: Midnight, Daydream, White, and Bordeaux. I named my block, Midnight Starfish. I’m in the first group with Yvonne as our leader launching the blog hop on 3/28/16. Cheryl’s group will post on 3/29/16, and Stephanie’s group will finish the blog hop on 3/30/16. I can’t wait to see all the amazing blocks designed with the Ocean Sunrise Palette from Paintbrush Studio complete with tutorials. Without further ado, allow me to show you my Midnight Starfish block:

Midnight Starfish Block

Midnight Starfish Block by Mary Ringer@Quilting is in my Blood


In order to make this block, cut the following quantities/measurements:

  • three 6 1/2″ squares from the White fabric
  • two 6 1/2″ squares from the Bordeaux fabric
  • one 6 1/2″ square from the Midnight (dark blue) fabric
  • eight 2 1/2″ squares from the Midnight fabric
  • four 4 1/2″ squares from the Daydream (light blue) fabric


You might want to keep your lint roller handy! The white fabric picks up threads from the darker fabrics like my black pants attract hair from my cats!

You’ll be making 16 Half-Square Triangles (HSTs) with the White/Bordeaux fabric and 8 HSTs with the White/Midnight fabric. Now, some of you are looking at the photo above, and saying “I only see four White/Midnight HSTs.” Very astute of you, that is true. But I am such a fan of the Eight-at-a-time method to make HSTs that I learned from Jeni Baker at QuiltCon, that having four extra HSTs is preferable to making the HSTs one at time. And I don’t like the four-at-a-time method for making HSTS. I just don’t like all those bias edges. I don’t need any help with my blocks being unintentionally wonky!

On the white squares that you cut, draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner. On white fabric, I prefer to use a mechanical pencil.


And while you’re in the drawing mood, draw one line from corner to corner on the small Midnight squares. Sometimes I start drawing the lines in the middle to get a smoother line.


Pin the 6 1/2″ white squares to two 6 1/2″ Bordeaux squares and one 6 1/2″ Midnight square. Sew a quarter-inch on each side of both drawn diagonal lines.


The next step is tricky. You will cut the sewn squares into fourths but not on the diagonal. See the next two photos:



Next cut the squares on the drawn line into triangles:


Press the seams open. Trim the HSTs down to 2 1/2″ lining up the diagonal line of the ruler with the 2 1/2″ mark of the ruler on two sides of the HST and then rotating 180 degrees and cut the other two sides of each HST. You will end up with  16 White/Bordeaux HSTs and 8 White/Midnight HSTs. Remember you will only need four of the White/Midnight HSTs.


Next sew one of the 2 1/2″ Midnight squares to the right corner of the 4 1/2″ Daydream square sewing slightly toward the outer corner just to the right of the drawn line. Repeat with the other three Daydream squares.


Trim the seam one-quarter inch:


Then fold over the Midnight triangle and press. Sew the other 2 1/2″ Midnight square on the left corner, slightly overlapping in the middle. This time sew just to the left of the drawn line. Repeat with the other three Daydream squares, and trim and press as above.


Lay out your HSTs with the Daydream squares with Midnight corners:


Using a quarter-inch seam, sew each pair of White/Bordeaux HSTs together pressing open, and then sew each of the pairs to another set of pairs with the points of triangle facing up in the top row and facing down in the bottom row, again pressing open to avoid show-through of the Bordeaux fabric under the white fabric. These units should measure 4 1/2″ square.


Sew the White/Midnight HSTs together as above facing the white parts inward to form a diamond. Then sew the three squares together for each row, and finally sew the three rows together matching seams and points as much as possible. Press open. Trim the completed block to 12 1/2″ as needed.


I have to say that the seams and points matched better in the practice block I sewed from my stash last weekend! This is not a super complicated block design, but I tried sewing this block twice today, and I never got it quite the way I wanted it. As I told a friend today, some days we have our Sewjo and other days, we don’t. I also told her that other quilters would totally understand. Right???

Many of you use EQ7. I’ve never even seen the computer program, but recently I did play with an app on my iPad called Quiltography, and I was able to create two layouts using my Midnight Starfish block that show two different secondary designs:



Be sure to check out all the other wonderful block tutorials being posted today by:


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36 Responses to 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop–Midnight Starfish

  1. This block is a great example of how changing the layout of the blocks changes the look of the quilt! Great job. I have looked at Quiltography before but have not yet played with it. Do you use it a lot? Seems like it would come in handy at times.


  2. I know what you mean about some days seams just not matching the way they did the day before. I think your block is a lot of fun, and I especially like the first layout you show. Thank you so much for joining the hop!


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  4. Great block with some very fun layouts. That looks like a really great way to make HSTs when you need a lot. Definitely need to try that in the future. I also found the white fabric (and my white pressing board) to pick up all of those other color threads from this bundle. Good tip about keeping the lint roller handy.


  5. Jayne says:

    Beautiful block! I always have my lint roller handy! I like to use it on my ironing board and cutting mat…those little threads drive me bonkers!


  6. Jacqueline says:

    I’m the sister and the non-quilter here. I love the original block (especially the name). I like both of the computer aided designs using the block, but they stand on their own as interesting quilt designs, but the starfish seems to disappear. I’m going to advocate for sashing between blocks to keep that funky sea creature at the forefront! But since I don’t get a vote, all you quilting gals keep on making great and interesting fabric art! 🙏🏼👏🏼 Namaste


  7. Quilting Tangent says:

    Good tutorial, like seeing the different layouts.


  8. RobinSue says:

    I really like this design. As a repeat, I prefer the 2nd layout. As a fan of HSTs, I’m always looking for new ways to use them.


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  10. Kim S. says:

    This is a great block! I am really loving the graphic boldness of the second layout!


  11. Fun block! I use EQ7, but I would love to check out this Quiltography app. Looks fun to use! Thanks for sharing the great tutorial!


  12. Sarah@123quilt says:

    Wow! There is so much movement in that first layout. Great block!


  13. Stephanie says:

    Such a great block, and what a great secondary pattern when it is joined with additional blocks. Your directions were very easy to follow.


  14. Cecilia says:

    Great block! It will make for some interesting quilts.


  15. Terri Ann says:

    Such a great block, I’m so glad you mocked up both variations, that fun flying Dutchman secondary design would make this block extra fun to experiment with using scraps or any variety of color combinations! So glad you hopped along with your block 🙂


  16. Lori Smanski says:

    such a fun and pretty block. thanks for sharing the tutorial.


  17. Renee says:

    This block is really neat but then you tile it in different ways and wooow!! So neat!


  18. Lisa says:

    Awesome job Mary. I can totally see the starfish in the block. The quilt layouts look great as well. What is quiltography for ipad?


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  21. Tish says:

    First off, I love the name for the block. And I noticed that about the lint. I love the different layout options for this block.


  22. I love the flying geese in the corners. This is so darn cool. I’m loving all these blocks!


  23. This is a very cute combination of a star and flying geese blocks, very nice!


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  28. Debra Kay Neiman says:

    Loving these blocks and the colorway. crystalbluern at tds dot net


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  31. this mom quilts says:

    Wonderful block and very lovely quilt layouts! I love flying geese!!!


  32. Helen says:

    A great block Mary , I think ill be book marking this . The blog hop seemed great fun too


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