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!!!
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Scrappy Rainbow Star Blocks I would love to see them!! You can email me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc or or add it to my flickr group here ;) I can't wait to see your Scrappy Rainbow Star Quilt Blocks!!!