How to Quilt an Ohio Star Block

Kimberlee Tanner

How to Quilt an Ohio Star Block

As we spend the year learning new skills and creating new blocks, we are also going to provide some inspiration and ideas on how to quilt your blocks. I show a few different ways to approach a quilting plan to help you decide how to quilt your block. The motifs and ideas I show can also be adapted to other blocks using the same shapes.


Quilt Within the Block Pieces

One way to approach a quilting plan is to work within the the piecing and filling in the shapes that are there. When choosing which designs to use, I like to pick ones that will contrast with each other. This will help to differentiate between the pieces and add interest to the quilt. You can contrast by switching between curved or angular designs, or you can also add contrast by mixing up the density.

Quilt Outside the Lines

Quilting doesn’t have to be limited to the shapes that are in the piecing. You can always create new shapes on top of the block, creating a whole new layer of design. You can quilt outside the lines a little or a lot. If you don’t know where to start, find points in the block that you can connect to break up the piecing. When first stepping outside the lines and your comfort zone, I suggest printing out multiple copies of the quilt design and doodling lots. Just start sketching and see where things take you. Don’t be afraid to start over. If you have one element you really like, work off of that until you are happy with the entire thing.

Lots of Doodling

Whenever I’m working on a new quilting plan, I always print off a picture of the design, or take a picture of the quilt. Feel free to download and print off the image below so that you can practice and doodle as you are deciding how to quilt your block and coming up with different designs.

Quilting the Background

With this quilt, I designed all of the blocks to float. None of the blocks have defined edges. While this works well for the design, it can create a lot of negative space that needs to be addressed with the quilting. When approaching designs with irregular negative space, I always start by breaking the designs down. I look for implied shapes, sometimes obvious, sometimes not so much. After identifying these implied shapes I will outline them and then I can start to figure out how I’m going to fill them in. There are always multiple ways you can break up the space, so play around with it, see what you can come up with and how it alters the final look of the quilt.

As you develop your quilting plans for your blocks, make sure to stash them away with your quilt blocks. By the end of the year, you’ll have your whole quilting plan done and be ready to finish your top so you can use it.

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