A few years ago, I was invited to a photography retreat.  For less than $100, I pitched in for gas, had FABULOUS meals each day, slept in a 1930s CCC camp dormitory, and, best of all, I got to hang out with some of the best photographers anywhere and learn from them and just enjoy being up in the gorgeous Wasatch Mountains.  My own camera gear at the time was old and was somewhat limited after dark.  Some of the others, though, set up their tripods and starting taking time-delay shots of the Milky Way.  Suzanne, with Jeremy’s help, left her shutter open for about 5 minutes.  In looking at the image, she had captured a shooting star.  Jeremy had been so busy helping her, he hadn’t set up his camera.  Suzanne took another long shot, and captured another shooting star!  Jeremy made several attempts, but didn’t get any.  In a moment of desperation – and extreme silliness – he set up his camera for a long exposure, then grabbed a penlight from somewhere and streaked it across the lens.  It was hysterical and did not have the desired effect.  Great memory, though.

This block has2014-02-05 23.24.12 11 different templates and is tricky.  In fact, my son, Nate, in his Golum voice, would call it “tricksy”.  Pay attention, peeps, this one requires lots of attention.






2014-02-05 23.33.17There are essentially 4 corner units which attach to the two triangles in the center.  The first thing I did was sew the long side of the #13 triangle to the short sides of the #23 and #23R triangles.  I then sewed the #79R to the remaining angled side of the #23 triangles and the number #79 to the remaining angled side of the #23R triangles.  Press well and set aside for now.





2014-02-05 23.42.48Next up, attach the short side of the #83 or the #83R to the short side of the #84 triangles.  Once these are pressed, sew the units with the #83 to the #80 triangles.  Attach the units with the #83R to the #80R triangles.







2014-02-05 23.48.01While there aren’t any seams to match, you may want to consider using pins to hold the units you just completed to the the rectangle units you made previously.  There are some great points here and it would be a shame to lose them if you don’t have to.  You will end up with 4 five-sided units.  They are not pentagon shaped.  In fact, they look a little wonky.  Have faith, have courage, it’ll turn out find in the end.





2014-02-05 23.51.01Holy cow!  Do you ever have one of those epiphany moments AFTER you’ve just done something hard?  Yep, having that right now.  Wishing I’d had it when I was sewing this silly block together!  COMPLETELY ignore the last step.  INSTEAD sew the 13-23-79R units to the 13-23R-79 units so that the short ends of the #79/#79R match up.  NEXT, sew the #80/#80R units to either side of the #54 center triangles.  When you complete this step, you should have four rows, two narrow at the top and bottom, and two fat in the center.  OY!  That certainly would have saved me all the agony of the Y-seams I made myself do.

Match the center seam of the narrow row to line up with the point of the triangle on the fat row.  Sew together and press that nice seam in whatever method works best for you.


2014-02-06 00.06.49Now that you have two halves of your block, you’re in the home stretch!  Carefully match the seams, pin them in place, and sew them together.  Press the seam, then thoroughly press your block and carefully square it up.






2014-02-06 00.15.26This is a really striking block, sure to evoke awe and wonder.  Just like the real shooting stars.


Note to self:  spend more time thinking these things through and save yourself some agony!