I've made thirty of these blocks in the last couple of weeks. My inspiration was from a Guernsey Island quilter who favors hand piecing over English Paper Piecing and, with the technique she outlined on her blog, I have been converted to her method. It is so much faster!
Here is a link to Little Island Quilting. Thank you for the instructions, Alison! Also, I used your exact same block, the Diamond Star from Quiltivate, because it is just the perfect one!
I started out with a trial block after making some templates out of cardboard. You know, just to see if it would work. It stitched up pretty quickly and so I made another. Then I realized that I had a start on a quilt without a color palette and I was headed for a murky mess so I gathered some fabrics together to try to coordinate with my first two blocks of coral red and kelly green.
I had to have some sturdier templates so was able to cut some from an old John Flynn Cut Your Own Template kit that my friend Barbara loaned me. The material is the vinyl laminate that is used for countertops which sounds pretty weird but it has worked out fine. It isn't clear, though, so fussy cutting isn't as easy as with acrylic templates.
My blocks are not completely hand stitched. I sewed the six smaller pieces together by hand and then, after ironing, sewed the four triangles to each other by machine. The blocks will finish at about 10 inches.
I feel done for now. I don't have a super stash so I had to buy some new fabric just to get the final row of six blocks completed. I really didn't want to repeat any of the prints but I did reuse a few. I also want the finished quilt to be bigger so I will wait to gather up some more material. I think 12 more blocks will do it then maybe a mellow border with rounded corners? We'll see - it will evolve.