Hoot Family

Monday, January 28, 2013

Rainbow Fabric Fun: BOM Stringy Stars

Hi there! Welcome to the 2nd ever Rainbow Fabric Fun Block of the Month Tutorial! Rainbow Fabric Fun is our little rainbowy quilting group on Facebook - we run swaps of rainbow fabric, swap ideas and tips on everything fabric related and some stuff that isn't! We run regular monthly swaps, so please feel free to pop by and say hi!

Alrighty! Let's get to it :)

What you will need:

- 4 x Template A
- 4 x Template B
- 16 x (1inch x 5inch)of each of 8 colours, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple,Pink, Black/Grey tone on tone fabrics (pssst... if you have spare charm squares they are PERFECT for this :) grab a minimum of 4 charm squares and cut 4 strips from each, or cut 2 strips from 8 different charm squares for a bigger colour mix)
- 2 x (2.5inch x 5 inch) of each of the 8 colours
- White Homespun cut as follows:
- 8 x (1inch x 5.5 inch)
- 4 x (7.5inch x 7.5inch) cut diagonally into 8 half square triangles
- 4 x (5.5inch x 5.5inch) cut diagonally into 8 half square triangles
- A spare full bobbin, to stave off bobbin rage. Trust me, totally worth the extra minute it will take you in your prep time to fill a spare bobbin! Nothing worse than running out when you are on a roll and having to stop and refill another bloody bobbin!

Firstly, cut out your templates, you should have 4 of template A and 4 of template B, don't forget NOT to cut of your seam allowance :) For the purposes of this tute, template A will be Yellow, Red, Pink and Blue. Template B will be Orange, Blk/Grey, Purple and Green. It can't hurt to write that on the template if that makes it easier to remember as you are piecing.

Now grab a template, a colour bundle and a 1inch white strip.

Place white strip and a coloured strip right sides together. Line white strip up with centre of template piece - ensuring centre of tip is lined up with centre of white strip. Pin in place with template at the bottom, white right side up, colour right side down.

Set your stitch length on your sewing machine to a short length. I use 1.8 but your machine. You want a nice tight stitch length - it will make tearing the paper out easier later - BUT you don't want it so short that it is painfully slow to sew or that it is so short that it cuts the paper for you - I like it 2 points above the minimum stitch length but your preference may vary :)

Using a scant 1/4inch seam allowance sew first piece in place. Finger press seam open and the place next coloured strip on the other side of the white and sew. Iron seams open.

Continue to place coloured strips at each end, ironing after sewing a piece to each end.

Once you have sewn 8 strips to either side of the white, grab a 2.5x5inch strip to cover the end, sewing the same as above. (I know you are going to ask me why not just continue with the one inch strips to the end like other strip piecing patterns do. Well the simple answer is becuase a bigger piece at the end makes it easier to piece together later on, less seams so close to the centre when you are trying to get 8 points to line up!)

Ta Da!! the front of your first piece!

And the back!

Now for trimming up :)

Your piece should now look like this from the back:

And like this from the front:

Remove the paper from the back of the block - I hate hate hate this bit. It is messy and there is inevitably little bits that just dont want to come out, but if you have made your stitch length short enough it shouldn't be too bad.

Now for the lather rinse repeat part of this tutorial. You need to repeat the above for all remaining 7 colours.

Sometimes, there is an opps. What happens if you tear the paper off when ironing?

Simple. Just pin it and sew the next one. It will be fine, do not panic!

And once you have all 8 diamonds done, sit back and admire your rainbow!

You have now completed the main part of your block! Piecing those pieces to make new pieces lol is next! We are now going to make each colour an eighth segment of our block, we are going to make them triangles.

Did you notice that both templates are the same shape? Well they are, but inverted. Remember how we wrote down earlier which colours belonged to which template? This is where we need that piece of information;)

Template A: Grab one 7.5inch HST and one 5.5inch HST. Your coloured piece, place it on the table in the same direction as a back slash - \ - place the 7.5inch on the left and the 5.5inch on the right as per the picture below:

Line up each triangle on each side. The triangles will be longer than the diamond side. That is ok. Because you will be folding them over so they will line up. Sew using quarter inch seam. For your own sanity, it is best to sew with the seams down! It will also make it all sit nicer!

For Template B: Grab one 7.5inch HST and one 5.5inch HST. Your coloured piece, place it on the table in the same direction as a forward slash - / - place the 7.5inch on the right and the 5.5inch on the left as per the picture below:

Sew using quarter inch seam. You now have two triangles, which you will now sew together to create a square!

Once you have your square, you can either make more squares or alternatively sew 4 pieces into a rectangle :)

I find it easier to work with two rectangles, you may find it easier with 4 squares, totally up to you!!

Once you have your two rectangles, pin your points and sew them together and you block is complete and ready for trimming!

Ok, this is where I have a confession to make. When making this block I miscalculated the size of the HST needed for the corners of each piece. I had it wrong. What that meant was that my centre points do not line up and the centre of my block is bowed somewhat. It makes a PERFECT cushion cover, but does not make a good quilt block. Rest assured the measurements of the pieces above have been corrected, you WILL get a nice smooth block. These things happen within the world of quilting, we call it "Shit Touch" though perhaps we should call them "Love Bumps" instead :)

I hope that you enjoy making this block as much as I enjoyed it. I have never proclaimed to be much of a teacher, so if I have missed anything, or you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask!


  1. OMG Emily, that's GORGEOUS!!!!! x

  2. War a beautiful block hopefully I will get to sew it tomorrow

  3. I have just finished making one of these - will post a picture on facebook shortly! thanks for the tutorial!

    1. So pleased you made one! Please le tme know if there was anything that I could have made easier or clearer! And I would LOVE to see photos!!!

  4. ive made the diamonds and come to the time to take the paper off and the sewing is coming undone. looks like I will have to do it again :(

    1. Juliane, try making your stitch length shorter, it should stop the stiching coming undone :)