Road Trip Quilt Along: Rocky Road to Kansas

I was getting ready to show you how to make a template for the Rocky Road to Kansas block, when I noticed the template for my Iowa Star, slightly crumpled, lying on the floor near by (like I said, my sewing room is in desperate need of a good cleaning!)

As it turns out, Rocky Road to Kansas is almost exactly the same template as the Iowa Star.  The only difference is that the Iowa Star star points feature a large triangle composed of 4 smaller triangles, and the star points in Rocky Road to Kansas are string pieced.  If you made a freezer paper template for the Iowa Star, and you still have it, you can reuse it here.  If you need to make another, you can review the directions for making the template for the Iowa Star.  Just don’t add the lines to divided the large triangle.

I mentioned the star points for this block are string pieced, so this is a great chance to use up some of the scraps you’ve accumulated making some of the other blocks.  I used 7-9 strips for each of the 4 sections of the block, depending on the width of the strips.

Let’s start by putting together our strip pieces.  You’ll need 30-35 strips of fabric that are 5-6 inches in length and 1 to 1-3/4 inches in width.  Different widths are better, so trim up some of your scraps to make that happen.

Arrange 7-9 strips in a manner that looks appealing to you and sew them together along the length.  You’ll want the finished piece to be 5 inches x 7.5 inches.  Press seams open.

Repeat this 3 more times so that you have a total of 4 strip pieced sections of fabric.

Cutting directions for Rocky Road to Kansas

In addition to the (4) strip pieced sections for the star points you just created, you will also need:

(8) 4 inch x 7.5 inch rectangles [background fabric]

(2) 4 inch squares, cut on the diagonal to make 4 triangles

Constructing the block

Begin by placing your template on one of the strip pieced sections, with the waxy side of the freezer paper against the wrong side of the fabric.  The center triangle of the template should be fully on the fabric.  Press.

Fold back the template along one of the lines between the center triangle and the background.  Trim the fabric to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Line up one of the rectangles of background fabric along the edge you just cut.  Flip the piece so the paper is up again.  Sew the two pieces of fabric together, allowing the needle as close to the fold in the paper as possible, without piercing the paper.  (I didn’t include a photo of this since we’ve done this method of paper piecing before.  If you need a review, check out the photos in the Maryland tutorial.)  Unfold the paper and press the fabric open.

Repeat for the other side.  Fold the paper back along the line between the triangle and the background fabric.  Trim the strip pieced section to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.  Line up a rectangle of background fabric along the edge you just trimmed.  Sew as close to the fold as possible without piercing the paper.  Iron the section open.

Now all we have left is the triangle that will be center of the block.  Fold the paper template back along the final line between the base of the large triangle and the center section of the block.  Trim to 1/4 inch beyond the fold.

Line up one of the center triangles with the edge you just cut.  Sew very close to the fold, and then unfold the paper and iron the piece open.

Trim the section to 6.5 inches.

Repeat 3 more times to make 4 section of the block.  Sew together.  Trim to 12.5 inches.  Rocky Road to Kansas!

Here’s Kansas with her buddy, Iowa.  Only 3 blocks to go.  How are you doing?

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