Monday, August 13, 2012

{Sew} Beautiful Bee - Paper Pieced 3 Layered Star & Tutorial

Last night (last week) I broke down and finally started on my July Bee block. I've had it in my mind for a while, but was deciding whether I should draft the one I wanted to make, or take the easy way out (easy?) and use a pattern that I could just print out.

I decided it was worth the effort, so I broke out the freezer paper and drafted paper patterns for this star. In a stroke of genious I realized that I could simply print copies of the pattern using my printer/scanner. I guess I could have used the other method (I can't find a proper tutorial for it, and have no idea where I learned it). For the other method, print one copy of the pattern and then staple a few sheets of paper together with the pattern on top. Then simply sew over the pattern lines with your machine using a long stitch and no thread (no thread!!) this will make several identical copies of your pattern. So easy!

Alright, I managed to get the pieced sections done (all 16 of them). It really was a struggle to get all the sections pieced out of the fabric Kati sent - since I didn't plan that part ahead! I did manage to finish one quadrant of it, and will finish sewing those sections together today! It's finished!

I'm calling this star a 3 layered star, since I think of it as being three different sized stars that are stacked. (and because I'm too busy to think of a cooler name for it.

Stats: 12" finished
Made for: Kati / From the blue chair
Pattern: drawn by me, maybe I'll share it later this week. Here it is!

Free paper piecing pattern here

Download image from googledocs.
Open using Microsoft Office, and print as "Full page fax" (no margins etc)
Double check that the square at the top of the print out is 1".

  • Cut along the outer lines, and across the three diagonal lines (at the arrows) 
  • Sew pieces in order 1-4 leaving 1/4" seam allowance around the outside of the paper pattern.
  • Use the same fabric for each number (in my example 1 is bright yellow, 2 is dark grey, 3 is light yellow, 4 is light grey)
  • Trim sections leaving 1/4" around all sides
  • Sew sections together in order. 
  • Four of these blocks will make one 12" finished block (12.5" before sewing full stars together)

Enjoy! If you use this pattern I'd love to see it! Feel free to drop me a line, and add it to the Mommy's Nap Time flickr group!


  1. that's gorgeous! I love paper pieced stars - the points are always so pointy :-D

  2. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I definitely want to make this!

  3. This is really beautiful! I'm glad you didn't take the "easy" way out. :)

  4. I can't wait to try this out!

  5. I love how this star comes together!I had one tester block that failed miserably, but the second one is much much better! LOVE!!! This is a steep learning curve for me! I will make more stars, I think ;-)
    You can look at the results on my blog:
    ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com
    Hope to see you there!

  6. This block is amazing! After seeing a friend make it for a bee I bookmarked it until I could get to it. Just finished it up today and while it's not for the faint of heart, the results are stunning!

  7. Thank you so much I can't wait to make this.