Monday, February 9, 2015

Busy Bee: Wonky Star

As a member of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild I've got my chance to be queen bee for one of the many bees we're doing this year.  I signed up for the Scrappy Bee because we all know I love scrappy.  Here is my step-by-step tutorial for one of the blocks for my turn at the helm of the hive.  This is the second block tutorial.  Go back and check out the Friendship Star tutorial.  No matter how you use this tutorial, I'd love to see what you come up with.
Like the Friendship Star, the Wonky Star is an easy design to make and resize to fit into many projects.  I'm going to cover how to make one that finishes at 12" by 12" and uses up some scraps and some of these cute little crumb blocks I've got piling up.  At the end I'll give you the measurements for cutting and piecing a block at a quarter this size.
For the larger block all of the squares were made using crumb blocks.   Each of these squares are 4.5" by 4.5".  For more information on making your own crumb blocks I recommend checking out Bonnie Hunter's tutorial about making them.  Victoria Findlay Wolfe has one, too!
This block needs 8 dark/medium crumb blocks and one light crumb block.  To make the star points I started with some left over triangles from the Friendship Stars and pulled a couple 5" charms.  I chopped them mostly on the diagonal to make eight triangles.  With the wonky block you can afford to take some chances!
Sew one of these triangles onto the crumb block making sure it will completely cover the block when pressed.  (If it hadn't covered the block completely I would have just added some more light fabric until it did.  With scrappy you can get away with that kind of renegade behavior!)
Press the fabric, trim the crumb block away and square up the block to 4.5" by 4.5".
Repeat with the another light triangle to create the other point.
The goal is to have this part of the block finish at 4.5" by 4.5" -- not to have perfect points.  You will make four of these blocks.
Once you have all four side blocks done lay them out and arrange as desired.  I just rearranged them so the points didn't get lost in the crumb blocks of the corners.
Sew each row and press.  I pressed the center row towards the middle and the top and bottom rows towards this ends.  This helps the rows to nest when you sew them together.
I webbed the rows (learn more about webbing from this post from Bonnie Hunter) which makes the sewing easier but complicates the pressing.  It isn't for everyone and I don't use it often.
The block should measure 12.5" by 12.5".  If it is a little small you may want to check your seam allowance.  With only a couple seams for this block it should be pretty close.  If it is a little big don't worry about it.
This block is easily made in the smaller size.  I used a crumb block center but the background blocks were 2.5" squares (I have a drawer full of them).  Each smaller unit in this block is 2.5" by 2.5".  Block measures 6.5" by 6.5".  This one uses eight dark/medium squares and five light squares.  Four of the light squares are cut in half diagonally to make the star points and assembled just like the larger block.
I didn't use the crumb blocks on the smaller block.  I think the scrappy dark/medium fabrics make it scrappy enough.  Feel free to make tiny crumb blocks (like the center of this block) if you have some leftover lights.  I usually have few or no light/neutral fabrics.  Block should measure 6.5" by 6.5".
Before writing this tutorial I made a couple blocks.  Then I had to go back and make the blocks for the photos for the tutorial.
Four 12" blocks and four 6" blocks and I'm well on my way to a fun quilt!

If you can't tell, this is my first ever quilt bee!  Have you joined in a quilt bee?

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