Stack and Slash
quilt blocks

page one of three

stack and slash starAfter a Quilting Forum member asked about how to make 'stack and slash' star quilt blocks I tried to describe it in words and someone asked if I'd make some drawings - so I am also putting up this set of diagrams. 

If you need to know more on cutting with a rotary cutter - read this page.

I'd love to have some sample photos of blocks to attach to this page, so if you make some and can scan or take digital photos, please email me. And, any feedback is welcome with additional tips and comments - perhaps include if I should change the description in some way (I don't have time right now to sew the samples - but I'd love to hear from anyone who does!)

above is an actual 
finished block

You need a rotary cutter, mat and ruler to do these blocks. If you like to try improvisational cutting (without a ruler) - go ahead!

Note: I'd recommend making a "muslin sample" first to sew out of any old fabric. Then when you are sure the sewing works for your block go ahead and make 4-5 in the stack method.

To make "stack and slash" stars:stack and slash star
First cut 4 or 5 squares (let's say 10 inches x 10 inches), each a different color. I'll show 4 as a sample. These squares should be lined up evenly and ironed in a stack (this helps hold them together), a bit of spray starch on each will help hold them together even better, too. 

See photos of cutting, sewing and finished blocks here.

You may, of course, use patterned fabrics - I show solid colors for illustration here as yellow, rust, blue and green.

The squares are stacked up, lined up and ironed (you may also want to pin them or tape them to prevent their shifting while cutting). You will then make cuts to form a star.

I show only one way to cut the arms of the star - you can vary these any way you like to make different shapes of stars! Make each set of 4 different for more variety.

1. First I thought to cut like this:

But I realized that this block, after sewing to other fabric would have its points cut off. (Which is an OK thing to do, but maybe you don't want to lose your points?)

2. So here is a way to cut the star that leaves a seam allowance around the edge:

Here's a fabric stack marked for cutting (you can see light pencil lines):

You will be cutting through ALL 4 layers at once so all pieces are cut identically. Carefully remove each layer and spread them all out so you can see all four in the same direction. I show the other 3 below.

Here's an actual fabric stack cut (see sewing photos in sequence here):

fabric cut


PAGE TWO OF Stack and Slash Stars instruction is here.


Susan Druding

copyright 2000-2005 Susan C. Druding

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