As you may know, I am in a QCA Stars Bee, where each month, you paper piece a 12 1/2″x 12 1/2″ square block for your “queen”. As I am quilting on a budget, like many others, I have resisted buying one of the many paper piecing books, and have been searching the internet and pinterest for free star patterns that I can use to make my blocks.
Firstly, Wombat Quilts, which I have used for a previous month. Cath has many fabulous templates for free – 8″ and 12″ stars included. Great resource for starting out!
Secondly, a link on Cath’s site led me to Julie Hirt, of 627 Handworks. Julie has a beautiful site, has co-ordinated some lovely quilt-a-longs and has lots of free patterns as well.
This is my June block for Kelly. I used Global Concepts, a pattern of Julie’s and I must say it was one of the easiest to assemble stars that I’ve made. Often the final putting together of a block is where it all falls down, but as you can see, this bright and scrappy star came together beautifully!
Even the centre, which is always a challenge with so many seams intersecting, all met up and sits nicely with no severe lumps.
Janine was our July Queen, and she asked for yellow and grey on white. I was happy to oblige, and many of these fabrics have come from my own quilts, including my very first quilt (back in 2012), a grey and yellow chevron! The fabulous pattern I used here was another from Julie, this time Caldonia. It was so easy to piece, and if you check out her samples, you can make this block look completely different depending on how you arrange your fabrics.
Not 100% perfect centre, but neat and flat and beautiful. I really loved this block!
If you are uncertain of a bee like this, maybe because of your limited resources, I would encourage you to think again. Both of these blocks were 90% composed of scrap fabrics, including some very small or odd shaped pieces. The patterns were free and of excellent quality. I am having so much fun putting together a unique star for these lovely ladies every month.
Have you been in a bee? What sort of challenges did you face?
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Thank you for the links! I love that Caldonia block! I just bought a pattern very similar to it! Darn! I am in three bees and have been really enjoying it! I find it easier to make a block when I’m given clear instructions (including a cut list) and a palette – less for me to think about! It does get frustrating when I’m queen and blocks don’t come in on time or are made incorrectly but that doesn’t happen often. I’ve really been able to expand my skills on improv and seam matching through these bees. Your stars are so bright and cheery!
Thanks Agnes. I had a big smile on my face the whole time I was piecing the bright and scrappy block. My month as queen is August, so we will see how well I go explaining my design idea to everyone 🙂
Some thoughts on the balancing act that is following your passion... - GnomeAngel
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Stunning blocks! I adore scrappy style blocks. Your Queens are going to be thrilled with these! x
Thanks so much Ros, I do hope so!