May 2017 Block Lotto

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Here are detailed instructions on how to complete this month’s Block Lotto! Thank you Lucinda for coordinating this for the guild. The MQG charity quilt challenge theme is “Modern Traditionalism.” With that idea as our inspiration, this month’s lotto block is a traditional Ohio Star block, shaken up a bit. We’re going to piece it in the traditional way, but instead of placing the colors in the positions that highlight the star shape, we are going to toss them in randomly. We get to practice our HSTs, and some precision piecing, but we’re getting experimental with the color placement.

 There are dozens of Ohio Star tutorials online. This is the one I used. Here’s another good one.

The Ohio Star is a nine patch, made with five solids and four Quarter Square Triangles or hourglass squares.​

To make the block, you will need a total of:
Five 4 1/2” squares, which remain intact.
Four 5 1/4” squares, which form the QTSs.

The block will square up to 12 1/2”. The guild provides a piece of Kona Snow, large enough to make six of the squares, if cut as shown in the photo.

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Participants supply the remaining material from their stash (you will need to come up with at least two 5 1/4” squares and one 4 1/2” square). Get scrappy! Use modern prints or solids, as few or as many colors as you wish.


For our remix of this traditional block, we are keeping the star pattern in our piecing, but changing the placement of colors so that the star is still present, but is “invisible”.

Take some care in planning your QSTs. If you pair white triangles with colored triangles, you will end up with the traditional QST hourglass square by default. Try pairing colored triangles with prints, or pairing white with white.

One of the tenets of Modern Quilting is an abundance of negative space.

Those who purchase two blocks will have more white to mix and match with. If you make two blocks, feel free to have more white pieces on one block, and fewer on another. Or add more Kona Snow from your stash if you want even more negative space.

When these blocks are combined, it will be a modern scrappy quilt with a traditional framework.

My process: I made the mistake of pairing my white squares with my prints to make my HSTs, which left fewer options for non-traditional color placement in the QSTs. Four HSTs combine to form four QSTs. Two of my QSTs have traditional color placement, and two are a little different.

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Combine four QSTs with five 4 1/4″ squares. I used four white and one with the same low-volume print that I used in the QSTs.

Arrange the squares so that the seams form the “skeleton” of the Ohio Star, but the colors do not appear as a star shape. Choose a pleasing arrangement, and piece them together row by row. Square up to 12 1/2 inches.

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Orange County Modern Quilt Guild Orange County, California The guild is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization