I searched Marsha McCloskey's Block Party for inspiration.
On page 89 I found a pattern called Ringed Star, which sounded a lot like Ringo Starr. Get it? Ringo Starr...music...rock 'n' roll. Anyway, I knew I had to use it, even if it did end up causing me grief.
It's not Marsha's fault that I had trouble. Her directions and diagrams were really easy to follow. Everything was progressing nicely until I got to the last seam - which was way off!
It's really hard to make precise cuts when using templates. And imprecise cuts lead to wonky blocks. I have much more success making perfect blocks that are measured with a ruler and cut with a rotary cutter.
The other tricky bit about making this block was to get it the right size. The diagram of Ringed Star in the book is 2.5" x 2.5" and the templates in the back of the book weren't quite the size that Valerie wanted. I needed it to be 10" x 10" (including seam allowances), so I calculated for a 9.5" x 9.5" block. I'm embarrassed to admit that my hubby (whose mantra is "math is power") had to help me with the math. Here's my math problem for the day:
2.5 x n = 9.5
2.5 = 2.5
n = 3.8
I had to enlarge the small diagram by 380% to get the right size.
Hey, you can bring your math student (child) to this page the next time s/he whines and says, "Why do I have to take algebra!? I'm never gonna use this stuff in real life!"