Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A tiny bit of crazy and my month for the Make it Modern Bee

I know I whined a bunch about getting everything finished last time I posted.

Well, guess what? I spent all weekend sewing (well, the time I was not socializing/hosting a batchelorette party) and I am doing great. I am not going to talk about my April goal progress now. That will come later this week along with a whole bunch of pictures. For now I give you this outtake.

I was off on Thursday and Friday (because I spent all last weekend working) and I just made some quilty goodness. By Saturday, I could work on (more) fun stuff.

My design wall was looking lonely so I pulled this stuff out of my WIP box.

Color! Glorious crazy colors! These are so much fun!

Most importantly, May is my month in the Make it Modern Bee. 

Directions for my Bee Mates:

I have chosen the Lone Starburst Block. It is a free PDF paper pieced star designed by Six White Horses. You can click on the link to download the templates.

It finishes at 12.5"x 12.5".

I would like you to do your star in either blue or green fabric on a gray background. I am not picky about the shades of blue or green (really anything from turquoise to lime green, to true blue, anything...). I also do not care what color gray you choose, just use something from your stash. I would ask that you make the narrow band of the star a coordinating solid and the two star colors separate coordinating prints (as in my example below). 

This block is paper pieced. Rather than writing out a tutorial, I thought I would just walk through some tricks I used to make this block, give you a (rough) cutting chart, and direct you to some awesome paper piecing tutorials. If you are a pro at paper piecing just ignore this (better yet, read them and tell me if there is something I can learn).


- You need to print 4 copies of the pattern. I start by using paper scissors to roughly cut each star section out (for a total of 8), be sure to not to trim off the gray seam allowance.  Make sure your printer scaling is set to 100% and that you check the scale on the paper to make sure that it printed correctly. The next thing I do is use a pencil to label where I am going to put each fabric (ie. gray, solid, print 1, print 2).

- Adjust your machine's stitch length to 1.

- I start by cutting all of my fabrics for the whole block. I am going to pass on my cutting dimensions, but I warn you they are a tiny bit generous, because I find it easier that way and I want to make this beginner friendly.

8 - 4.5"x 3"- center print (number 1)
16 -1.25"x 5"- coordinating solid (blue or green) (numbers 2 and 3)*
8 - 4"x 1.5" - outside print (Number 4)
8 - 5"x 1.5"- outside print (Number 5)
8 - 4"x 3.5"- gray solid (Number 6)
8 - 5"x 5"- gray solid (Number 7)

*this has been updated to 1.25" wide to make it easier to position.
- If you have never paper pieced before here are two tutorials. They are both very good and offer directions.  I am sure there are also tutorials on you tube or elsewhere on the internet. Whatever works for you.
  • Six White Horses tutorial (I pretty much use this method, except I use a washable clear glue stick to attach the first piece of fabric instead of a pin).
- I use a washable (clear) glue stick to stick my first piece of fabric to the paper and trim as I go using an add-a-quarter ruler (but any ruler will do).

- I leave the paper on until I get half of the star all sewn together. Then I rip off the paper before I sew the two halves together. I have encountered different opinions on this, but I have found this helps me get the seams matching at the end.

- I use lots of pins when I sew together any of the segments to make sure all of the points align. 

Ignore the dirty ironing board... it is gross. Sorry...

- I press the seams with a hot iron and no steam as I am assembling the segments. Then, right before I remove the papers, I add steam and a spritz of Best Press (a spray starch alternative, but I think starch would work the same). This is probably also controversial, but it works for me.

- I also press my segment joining seams open, cause I like the look. But, I am not picky about this.

Whew! If you got through that you deserve a medal. Seriously, thank you for helping me make these block. I am so in love with these stars! I really appreciate you all paper piecing for me.

Thank you.

PS - If you have any questions, email me, message me on Flickr, comment here, whatever works. I am sure I am incredibly unclear and I would be happy to explain.



  1. I love this star and almost chose it for my stitch tease bee block this month. Instead I went improv.

  2. Yay yay yay! I can't wait to print this off and get started! (Unfortunately, no printer at home, so I'll have to wait a couple of days. *Sigh!*)


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