Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Wonky Star Quilt Block Tutotiral

Yesterday a good friend asked if I would show her how to make a Wonky Star Quilt Block.  I figured, while I was showing her I might as well show here, so I took some photo's along the way :)  I tried to make this really in depth, as I know the "wonkiness" of this block can scare people away.  Follow along, and you will see just how easy they are to make ;)

So to start, you are going to needs some squares for your background (normally neutrals)  and some squares for your star (normally colors).  We choose to use 2 fabulous charm packs, Kona Sunset and Kona Sandcastle.  I love how adding a range of neutral colors in the background adds a little something extra :)

Aren't those just so pretty!!!  I love the Kona Palettes Robert Kaufman puts together!!!    Now, you don't have to use Charm Squares, you can use any size square, just so long as they are all the same size to start.  (Although if you got to small, it would be a little difficult ;)  Just know that whatever size square you use, your finished block will end up being the size of your square times 3 and then less 1 1/2.  So for example, with the 5" charms the block will be 5 x 3 = 15 - 1.5 = 13 1/2" Square.  (so if you want a 12" block start with a 4 1/2" square :)

For each block you will need 8 Background Squares and 5 Color Squares.  Cut 4 of the Color Squares in half diagonally.   Note - If you are making more blocks than 1 you can add more variety by mixing the print triangles from other blocks so you have 8 colors instead of 4.

Start with a Background Square and a Color Triangle.  Place the Triangle onto the square with the edges of the triangle hanging over the square at least a 1/4" on the bottom and side.  Note - Here is where you might want to take into account the "overlap" of your star points.   If you want to have the overlap when you put your star together to be opposite on top and bottom and side to side (as mine is above) do all of your first triangles on either the left or right.  Don't alternate.  If you want your overlap to be the same direction all the way around the star, do half of your triangles hanging off the left and half hanging of the right.  If you want to add to the overall Wonkyness, just don't stress about it ;)

Stitch a seam a 1/4" from the edge of your Color Triangle.  You will see that I stitch from one edge to the other, which isn't necessary as the ends are being stitched together, but it makes chain stitching your pieces a whole lot easier.

This step is just to double-check.  Once you have made a bunch, you will start to really feel confident and will cut this step out all together.  But for the first few times, go ahead and finger press the seam and check that the Color Triangle is completely covering the background square on the side and bottom.

Fold the Color Triangle back down onto the Background Square and using your ruler, align the 1/4" mark on the ruler with your stitched seam.  Cut along the edge of the ruler trimming off the excess and creating a nice little 1/4" seam.

Press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  (You will see that in this picture I actually pressed towards the Background Square but father down the line I was wishing I would have pressed the other way ;)   Now just repeat this process to make a total of 4 for the 4 sides of your star.  And as you can see, you can really vary the angle of your triangle to create some super fun wonky points.   (Oh, And if you are doing more than one block, repeat for however many blocks times 4, this is where chain stitching can really save you some time ;)

Now it is time to add the second point to your star sides.  This process is the exact same as before.  Place a Color Triangle on the opposite side of your pieced unit with at least a 1/4" hanging over the side and bottom.

Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of the Color Triangle.  Once again, chain stitching at this step can save you a lot of time ;)

Now check to make sure the side and bottom are covering the background square by finger pressing the seam.  (And sometimes it might be a tiny bit off, that will be okay, just remember this is wonky, no need to stress :)

Now place your Color Triangle back onto the Background Square and align your ruler 1/4" over the stitched seam.  Cut off the excess along the edge of the ruler creating a 1/4" seam.  You will be cutting some of the first Color Triangle when you do this ;)

And once again press the seam towards the Color Triangle.  And you can see again, there is a lot of different angles you can try out.  It doesn't have to have a lot of overlap, just a 1/4".   Repeat this process (if you weren't chain stitching) to make a total of 4 star side units.

And now it is time to trim the star side units.  You will be trimming the units to the same size as your original square.  So I will be trimming back to 5" square.  Align your quilting ruler so that the 5" mark aligns with your raw edges on the three sides of your background square.  Trim along the 2 sides.

Now rotate your block 180 degrees and align your 5" marks with the two trimmed sides and the top of the Background Square.  Trim along the remaining side.  And you have a fabulous 5" Wonky Star Side.

And if you want to add a little more variety in your cutting, you don't always have to align right along the top of your Background Square.  On blocks that have a lot of Colored Triangles crossover on the bottom, you can align anywhere from top to bottom, as long as the the whole block fits within the 5" marks.  Still use the sides of the Background Square though to align the sides.  You will need to trim 4 sides doing it this way ;)

Trim all 4 Wonky Side Star Units.  Don't they just look so fun!!  (and once again, if you are doing more than one block, go ahead and trim them all now ;)

Now grab your Units and your remaining 4 Background Squares and 1 Color Square.  Lay them out as shown.  This is where you will want to watch your overlap if you were planning on it being a certain way.
But once again, don't stress to much here, it will add to the overall Wonky effect if you just want to place them however ;)

So now, you can start sewing your block pieces together.  Start by laying the center square in each row onto the first square with right sides together.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of all three pieces.  I didn't bother with pins here as you aren't needing to worry about seams.  Press the seams towards the non-pieced blocks.

Now place the last square in each row onto the center square with right sides together.  Once again, sew a 1/4" seam along all three edges, aligning as you go.  Press towards the non-pieced squares.

And you should now have three rows like thus that are all going to "nest" together perfectly because of the pressing.  Let's do it ;)

Place the top row onto the center row with right sides together.  This is where the pins need to come out.  Nest each seam so they they are right next to each other and pin in place.  I like to pin either end as well so they don't shift when sewing.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  I like to press this seam open to reduce bulk.

Now repeat for the bottom row.  Place the bottom row onto the center row with right sides together, nest and pin the seams, and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press the seam open.

And you have a fabulously Wonky Star Quilt Block!!   See, easy right :)  Now go have some fun getting your Wonky Groove on :)

I hope your enjoyed this tutorial and if you make some of your own Wonky Stars I would love to see them :)  You can add them to my Flickr Group here ;)   I can't wait to see what fun projects you come up with using this awesome Wonky Block ;)

Have a Happy (Wonky) Quilting Day!!!
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  1. Thank you for how generous you are with your tutorials. Have a great holiday season!

  2. This has been on my list a long time! Your instructions are awesome, thanks so much! This may be my next project :)

  3. Nice tutorial. I guess my friends and I are a bit lazy. We don't trim the back and even when we hand quilt, it's not a bother. Here's what we did, although the top is not complete, you get the picture. We work with scraps.

  4. Love this concise tutorial. I had made a fons&porter wonky star but they are exact and all the same. I prefer your really wonky stars, they are fun! Thank you so much! I have shared with friends that like this too. I think its my new fav block, no points to worry about!


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