Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hive 6 July Tutorial: Little Wonky Stars

Hello everyone my name Julia and I'm excited to be the Queen Bee for Hive #6 this month.  I live in Massachusetts with an adorable cat named Ruth Bader Ginsburg and an awesome roommate who puts up finding fabric scraps everywhere.  I don't have a blog that I update any more but I you can find pictures of my quilting, sewing and cat on Instagram

This is my first time doing an online bee and my first time writing up a tutorial. Crossing my fingers this all works out. I really love star blocks and improvisational blocks.  So for this month I've chosen a wonky star block.

I'm asking for a 9.5" x 9.5" block that is made up of four wonky star units.  Each wonky star unit finishes at 5"x 5".  Please do not sew the star units together.  I will sew them together myself.

Each unit can have a dark or light background.  The star in the middle should be a contrasting color. Units with a dark background should have a bright center.  Units with a light background should have a dark or bright center. Feel free to mix and match how you make these four units.

Here are two sample star units. The left unit is an example of dark background with a bright center star. The unit on the right is an example of a light background with a dark center star.

The right block also could have been made with the same center fabric as the left one.  That would be an example of a unit with a light background and a bright center star.

Background fabric pull
I selected mostly patterned fabric but feel free to use solids (no batiks please). My favorite patterns have text in them.  The first five fabrics shown are for dark backgrounds.  Please choose cool toned colors (blue, purple, blue green), dark grey or black. Think night sky. Patterns should be mostly dark colors with not very much white.  The next three fabrics shown are for light backgrounds.  Please choose low volume patterns, text prints with white or cream background, or light grey. These fabrics are the opposite of the night sky.

Bright Fabric Pull
I picked saturated intense colors. I selected mostly patterned fabric but you can feel free to use solids (no batiks please).  As you can see I mostly picked yellow, red, pink, and fuchsia.  The turquoise/aqua fabric on the right doesn't fit my color scheme but it's a Tula Pink pattern I adore. My favorite bright prints come from Tula Pink & Kaffe Fassett.  I love text prints.  

Tutorial time

I followed Nancy's tutorial for how to construct the wonky star blocks:  

The sizes of fabric are different than in Nancy's tutorial.  All seams are 1/4".

For each 5 inch unit you will need

Background fabric
8 squares that are 2 inches x 2 inches.  

Center Fabric
1 square that is 2 inches x 2 inches 
4 squares that are 3 inches x 3 inches. Cut each square along the diagonal to make 8 triangles.  

Please make four wonky star units.  Trim each wonky star unit down to 5" x 5" but do not sew them together.  I will do the assembling myself.

Sample block: a dark background with a bright center.  

Dark background fabric (in this case dark grey with black text)
8 squares that are 2 inches x 2 inches.  

Bright center fabric (in this case fuchsia with silver crosses)
1 square that is 2 inches x 2 inches 
4 squares that are 3 inches x 3 inches. Cut each square along the diagonal to make 8 triangles.  

I've arranged the pieces out on my mat in roughly the way they will be sewn together.

Begin with a gray background square and two fuchsia triangles.

Right sides together, place a triangle on top of the square. Triangle placement is however you want.  You must make sure that when the triangle is sewn down that the triangle will extend over both sides of the square.  I put the triangle down, finger press it back about 1/4" and see how it looks.  Then, with right sides together, sew the triangle to the square with 1/4" seam.  Press the triangle back.  

Take another center triangle and put it on top of your square. Again you can move the triangle so that it makes any angle you want. Just make sure that it's placed such that the new seam extends beyond the background square on both size.

Press your triangle back, trim excess fabric and voila. An oversize messy block.  Never fear it's time to square it up.

Trim the block back to 2" x 2".

Here is a trimmed and pressed square.  Make three more of these.

Here are all your squares arranged in order to be sewn together. As you can see some of my points want to do their own thing.  Starching or more pressing will fix that.

Sew your pieces together in rows then sew the rows to each other.

Now you're done sewing. Press and trim your wonky star unit to 5" x 5".

Here are photos of the process of making a wonky star unit with a light background and dark center.


To sum up I would like you to make a block that consists of four 5" x 5" wonky star units. Please do not sew these units together. I will do that myself.

Since we're all pulling from stash, my question of the month is what type of fabric do you find yourself buying the most of?  

My fabric kryptonite is anything with text on it.  Hand writing and typewriter prints are my absolute favorites.  My stash is overflowing with them.

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