Friday, December 7, 2012

Scrappy Rainbow Star Tutorial

Well I finished my bee block and decided to take some photo's along the way :)  This is a great block to bust some of those scraps and who doesn't love working with rainbows :)   Enjoy!

To start - You will need some white yardage and scraps sorted by color.  Shown is my red pile, but you will need a pile of red, pink, purple, blue, aqua, green, yellow, and orange :)

We'll start by cutting squares from our yardage.  For a 16" finished block you will need (4) 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares and (4) 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares.  Now set those squares aside.  Note for size changes - If you want a larger 20" block do (4) 5 1/2" and (4) 6 1/2", if you want a smaller 12" block do (4) 3 1/2" and (4) 4 1/2" block.  Basically you are doing the math for a 16 patch block and on the second set of squares adding an inch :)

And now you are ready to start building some scrappy blocks.  So pick a color of scraps to start with and grab 2 scraps.  These do not have to be the same size, just make sure you have 2 straight edges. Use a 1/4" seam to sew the entire block.   Sew the 2 straight edges together and press towards either side.

Now time to start adding.  The basic thing you need to remember when adding is to have a straight line.  Now this could simply be to the right of the 2 scraps we just sewed, but I like my crazy patch to have lots of angels.  So,  just lay your ruler at any old angle along the two scraps and create a new straight line.  Then add a new scrap to the straight line created.  Always press towards the piece you just added.

Once again, create a new straight line and add a new piece.  When creating new straight lines, you don't have to cut an entire side, you can create new sides by cutting off portions, as long as the line is straight, you are good to add.

Also remember,  don't bother trimming pieces as soon as you have added them.  Often times, you find that having extra hanging over comes in handy when trimming because it allows for greater angles to be cut.

And lastly, if you find you have a long line you want to add to but want to keep the scrappy look, you can always sew 2 scraps together first and then add it to the straight line created.

Just keep making straight lines and adding until you have at least a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares.  (If you are changing the size of your block, make your square the size of the larger white squares.)   You can spin your ruler at any angle to get it to fit.  (Also, as you get toward the outside of your block, don't be afraid to add bigger scraps as about 3/4" from the outside will be trimmed down. )

Once your block is large enough, cut a 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" square from it.  (And if you want to make more than one block, be sure to save those scraps you cut off, they make great starts for a new block.)

Repeat this process to make a total of (8) 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares, one in each of the aforementioned colors.

Now, cut all your scrappy squares once diagonally to create 2 triangles each.  Also, cut your white 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" squares once diagonally.

Match your triangles as follows.  One white triangle with 1 of each color triangle   And then match the remaining 8 triangles as so - aqua and green, yellow and orange, blue and purple, and pink and red.

Place each set of triangles with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the long side.  If the color color combo's get a little off because of all the seams don't stress, that's why we trim down.   Press the seams towards the white of those triangles and open for the color color combo triangles.

Trim all of your newly formed squares down to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" using the diagonal seam as a guide.  If you are unsure how to do this, see the 6th and 7th steps of this tutorial :)  (If you changed the size of your block, trim down to the size of your smaller white square.)

Now you are ready to layout your block.  Place your squares, including your set aside 4 1/2" white squares as follows.

Start your block by placing your 16 squares into pairs of 2, 2 sets for each row with right sides together.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the edge.  (You might want to pin due to the scrappy nature of the block.) Press the color/color seams open.  Press the color/white seams towards the white.

Now, you can sew those pairs into 4 quadrants.  Place the top pairs from rows 1 and 3 onto the bottom pairs of rows 2 and 4 with right sides together.  Take care when pinning to nest those center seams so you get nice points.  Sew a 1/4" seams along the pinned edge.  Press open.

Now sew the quadrants into 2 rows.  Place the right hand side quadrants onto the left hand side with right sides together.  Once again, take care to nest those center seams.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge. (See next picture for note on stitching).  Press open.

In order to get really nice sharp points, watch for the little white triangle made in the seam of your piecing.  Sew directly along the bottom of that white arrow to get a perfect point every time.

Lastly, sew your 2 final pieces together.  Lay them with right sides together taking care to once again, nest all of your seams.  That center seam is going to be awfully bulky but is the most important so take the time to line it up perfect.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge, once again, sewing along the bottom of your little white triangles in the seams.  Once your sewed edge is complete, go ahead and trim some excess out of your center seam.  Not more than 1/8" but just enough to allow you to lay it flat.

Now just press your seam open and give your entire block a good starching so it will lay nice and flat.  Now just enjoy your finished scrappy rainbow star!!!

Doesn't that center look so amazing!!!  I so love it!!!!

If you make your own Scrappy Rainbow Star I would love to see it.  You can add it to my Inspired by Happy Quilting flickr group here :)  Now get busting those scraps and have a Happy Quilting day!!!

And since this finishes up my bee blocks for 2012 I am linking up with Amada Jean's Finish it up Friday :)

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  1. Love the block..great way to use up scraps and bitty pieces! You know that I am drawn to colorful scrappy quilts.

    Have a good weekend,

  2. Oooooh, so pretty! It would look good with black where the white is too.

  3. Sooooo excited! It's just gorgeous, and what a great tutorial!

  4. I love it! Color and favorites. Thank you for the tutorial!

  5. makes me want to start one now

  6. Love this! Very pretty and very modern! Thank you for this great tutorial.

    Have a super great sewing and stitching day!

  7. Love this block ....have a nice day!!evaj

  8. I love the scrappyness of your star! Great way to use up my overflowing bin of scraps!

  9. Your block is great! I love how the colors bounce off of each other. I'm going to have to make a note of your tutorial and come back to it when I have a lot more scraps! You really do need several pieces in the same color family. I'm not there yet. Thanks Melissa!

  10. Truly amazing indeed. Great block and thanks for the tute.

  11. Wow! I luv these blocks going to try this at my next "Scrap Therapy" class. :)

  12. Perfect way to use up some of those rainbow scraps!

  13. I love your tutorials... I always learn so much

  14. Brilliant timing! Not only do I need to make some cushions for our living room, I DESPERATELY need to use up some scraps ... they are taking over ... thanks, Melissa :)

  15. Awesome block and tutorisl!!

  16. This is great and I have heaps of scraps I can use for this

  17. Fantastic tutorial and a gorgeuos block!

  18. Just in time as my scrap boxes are overflowing. thanks for sharing

  19. Okay, when I first saw this block I thought, "no way I can do that." But your instructions are perfect and I think I could indeed make it! Thank you so much---it's beautiful!

  20. I love all things rainbow hued and I so appreciate this tut with the size options. Thank you.

  21. ***Happy Christmas Days*** Many thanks for sharing this beautiful tutorial,I love it.

  22. Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing it.

  23. Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I've got tons of scraps (as so many of us do) and what better thing to make with this than this lovely block!

  24. What a lovely block! Thanks a lot for the tutorial!

  25. mine is not scrappy but I made one. I linked it with the Flickr group. thanks for the tute!

  26. I love it! thanks for this tutorial, I have a huge pile of rainbow charm squares and I will use it to make a quilt with these stars.

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  31. Love this! It caught my eye right away. OK, so I feel stupid asking but I'm wondering how I figure my block sizes out for this star but for a 9 inch block? Can you give me a clue? I've googled it and I feel lost. I appreciate your time. Thank you :) Lovely blog.

  32. Hi, was just referred to your blog, and so happy she did you are amazing. Can you tell me did you machine sew this block or did you hand sew them? I want to hand sew them or even make templates and do EPP. Any suggestions other than I'm nuts? LOL
    Have a wonderful week,

  33. I agree with everyone above, but I am looking at the fabric. Anyway to know what brand it is? I am looking especially for the blues. I am head over heals in love with the Sochi Olympics design. PS To the person who thinks she doesn't have enough fabric. Once you start sorting your scraps into colors, you may have more than you know. Maybe not enuf for a big quilt, but one or two blocks.

  34. I like this pattern but I can't seem to print it. Can you tell me how? Thanks.


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)