Cracker Star Block - IAQ Guest Designer Post

I'm thrilled to share that this year I am the featured designer this month for the International Association of Quilters! I'm sharing a fun project for the month on their site, available exclusively to IAQ members at this time, and I'm contributing a quilt block to the Mystery Night Sky Quilt that the IAQ members are sewing throughout the year.

Want to know more about the IAQ?:

The International Association of Quilters allows quilters to explore new designers from around the world, enjoy current and fresh patterns, and share & sew with others.  no more "sewing alone and the family not getting it" --- it's time for "having fun and sharing with someone who understands"

Designed by: Becky Jorgensen of Patchwork Posse.  

Joining her this year are guest designers:

  1. Diane – Butterfly Threads Quilting

  2. Amy- amy barickman

  3. Cherry – Cherry blossoms quilting

  4. Kelly-  My quilt infatuation

  5. Brooke- Silly mama quilts

  6. Beth- Eva paige quilt designs

  7. Becky-  Bobbin in quilts

  8. Sherry – Powered by quilting

  9. Amanda- Jedi craft girl

  10. Jo – The Crafty Nomad

  11. Joanne – Canuck quilter

  12. Diane & Audrey – The cloth parcel

IAQ details: 1 year from purchase- over 60 patterns + 2015 year to current year patterns is included!

Finished projects: During 2019 there are 2 Block of the months -one is a sampler the other is part mystery (the guest designers are helping this year!), 3 extra projects, swaps, challenges, giveaways and more!

Skill level: Beginner – Confident Beginner.  Because of the community atmosphere, you are able to get help if you are stuck, ask questions and share a hint.  

Technique: Because of the guest designers and variety of patterns you will be exposed to a rounded amount of different styles and techniques, including applique, embroidery, paper piecing, patchwork, hand sewing hexagons etc.

Price: $120 / year - YOU CAN SIGN UP HERE (If you use this link to sign up you’ll get it at the great low rate of $99 / year!! Yay!)

Pattern Format: PDF files (download and save instantly)

IAQ membership format:  The group has an online community as well as a private facebook group for members only.  There you can share your own projects you are working on or have finished, meet and get to know the members from around the world, download patterns, and participate in the group. Everything is in one spot- simple and easy to use on your computer or on your phone.  

And here’s how it will work:

The IAQ starts the day you join.  Everything from 2015 is available once you join.  The 2019 projects will be starting on January 1st and will be shared during the first full week of the month.  During each month there will be two block of the months, guest designer pattern, with the occasional extra project and rotating swaps and challenges.  Each Sunday you will get an email from the quilt group about what’s happened during the week- but the group online is always open! You can share any time during the day.  

Why should you be part of “the International Association of Quilters”?

The group is online.  You will have access to all the patterns, members and show and tell 24/7.  No missing out on anything. This is a group that fits your schedule, has members that are passionate about quilting,  gets you excited about designers you would normally not have access to.

When you join you will also have full access to all previous patterns- both in the group and by the guest designers.  There are more patterns than you have time! You will be kept sewing all year long.

We help you keep up to date on trends, patterns & designers- You’ll go from sewing alone and the same ‘ol patterns, to connecting with others while exploring new techniques, patterns and designers from around the world.

October Block

Hello IAQ Members! Good to have you here. Once you’ve got all the block details, please do have a look around my website. I have lots of fab patterns, free tutorials and great blog posts. I’ve sure you’ll find something that interests you!

Cracker Star Block The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot

Ok so here is my block. It’s a variation of a traditional block but after playing around with it I came up with this. I’m calling it the Cracker Star Block. It’s here that I feel I must explain the name! I felt like the inner part with the white zigzags reminded me of Christmas Crackers hence the name. I’m British, but I realised that most members of the IAQ are American, so I did a little search to find out what Americans called their Christmas Crackers and it turns out they don’t have them! It’s not a tradition shared by our countries! Wow I couldn’t believe that! So if you aren’t familiar with what Christmas Cracker is, then you can head here. And if you’d like to make your own one year you can check out this tutorial by Emma of Gathering Beauty. Her picture (Right) is the image in my head when I looked at the block and thought of Christmas Crackers!


  • Press the seams as you prefer. I pressed my seams open.

  • Pattern contains lots of short cuts: 8 at a time HST; 4 at a time Flying Geese; plus strip piecing. So although there are lots of pieces it’s actually not that complicated and not too much to cut out first.


Fig 1

Fig 1

From the background fabric (white) cut:

  • One (1) 4½ inch square (A)

  • One (1) 6 inch square (B)

  • Four (4) 2⅞ inch squares (E)

  • One (1) 5¼ inch square (F)

  • One (1) 20 x 1½ inch strip (I)

  • Four (4) 2½ x 1½ inch rectangles (J)

 From the feature fabric (grey) cut:

  • One (1) 6 inch square (C)

  • One (1) 5¼ inch square (D)

  • Four (4) 2⅞ inch squares (G)

  • One (1) 20 x 1½ inch strip (H)


1.1  Make the HSTs using the magic 8 method.  Lay B and C (6 inch squares) right sides together (RST), ensuring edges aligned well.  Draw two diagonal lines (Fig 2).  Stitch a quarter inch away from each side of each line (Fig 3).  Cut along the green lines (Fig 4) into eight HSTs (Fig 5).

1.2  Set seams by pressing.  Press seams open.  Trim to 2½ inch square. Set aside.

Fig 2-5.png


2.1  Strip piecing the squares saves a lot of time and is perfect if you are using non directional print fabric. (if using a directional print you may want to cut squares instead).  Stitch H and I together along a long edge.  Press seam open and sub-cut into twelve (12) 1½ x 2½ inch units. (Fig 6)

2.2 Use eight of the units to piece four, 4 -patch units (Fig 7).

Use the remaining four to join to the four J pieces (Fig 8).

Set aside.

Fig 6-8.png


3.1 This technique yields four geese at a time. 

3.2 Use the F piece (5¼ inch square) and the four G squares (2⅞ inch squares) . Place two small squares in opposite corners RST, aligning the corner edges well Fig 9.  Draw a diagonal line and stitch a scant ¼ inch either side of the line.  Cut along the line.  Press open.  Take one half and another small square RST and place it in the corner.  Draw a diagonal line and again stitch a quarter inch either side.  Cut on the line. Repeat for the other half so that you have four flying geese.  Repeat for all geese.   When I make geese this way I generally set seams and press all open, but do what suits you best.

3.3 Repeat the process with pieces D & E.  You should end up with eight flying geese in total: four with the background fabric in the centre; and four with the feature fabric in the centre. Trim all eight units to 4½ x 2½ inches. 

Fig 9.png


4.1 Assemble four corner units as in Fig 10, and four arrow units as in Fig 11.

4.2 The block is assembled in rows first which are then sewn together to form the block (Fig 12).

Fig 10-12.png

 Can’t wait to see lots of these blocks made and put into the Mystery Quilt!

Happy Sewing!

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Cracker Star Block The Crafty Nomad Jo Westfoot