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Christmas Star Challenge







1.                  Make one test copy first, then hold it up to the light with the original you got from me and see if it is an exact copy.  If it varies even slightly, don’t use it.  This is extremely important.  If the paper copy is not true, you won’t be able to sew the blocks together precisely.


2.                  The pattern you have been given has already been enlarged so you should all have the same size pattern to start with.


3.                  You can use tracing paper, copy paper or there is a foundation paper you can purchase from for 5.95 for 100 sheets.


4.                  You will need to make 8 copies per block. 


5.                  After you have made copies of the patterns, cut them out on the outer line using paper scissors or an old rotary cutting blade.  The pattern includes the ” seam allowance.




1.                  Once you have decided on your fabric scheme, each strip is cut from selvage to selvage and is approximately 40” long.


2.                  The width of strip needed for each area of a pattern is indicated on the pattern .





3.                  Strips do not need to be cut precisely, the size shown on the pattern is the minimum size strip that will work easily.  Strips can always be wider than needed if you have extra strips remaining from another project that you want to use.  Just be sure that the strip is at least as wide as indicated on the pattern.



Background of the star              yard

#4 & #5


#1 ray of the star                                  3/8 yard


#2 & #3 ray of the star             yard


#6 & #7 ray of the star             yard


#8 & #9 ray of the star             yard





Background (#4 & #5)             2  strips  2 ”

Corner Triangles                       2 squares 6 ” then cut once diagonally


#1                                                                    2 strips  2 ”


#2 and #3                                                         3 strips  2”


#4 and #5                                                         2 strips  4 ”


#6                                                                    2 strips  1 ”


#7                                                                    2 strips  1 ”


#8                                                                    2 strips  1 ”


#9                                                                    2 strips  2”




1.                  Use 80/12 or 90/14 quilting, jeans/denim, or universal needle.

2.                  Set the stitch length shorter than normal---about 16-18 stitches per inch or 1.5-2.0 per centimeter.

3.                  Set your iron on cotton with NO steam.  Protect your ironing surface by covering it with a piece of muslin.

4.                  The large bold numbers indicate the order in which the strips will be sewn.

5.                  Always keep the seam allowances to the right.

6.                  Arrows point away from you toward the sewing machine.  This helps you position the pattern correctly.  The new section being added to the paper will ALWAYS be to the right of the needle when sewing; the previously sewn section with the lower number will be to the left.

7.                  In the first step of every pattern, both strips 1 and 2 will be added at the same time.  Place fabric strip 1 and fabric strip 2 with right sides together and with strip 1 on top.  Align them so that the seam allowance is on the right side, just as if you were sewing them together with a standard ” seam.  Lay these strips on your sewing machine throat plate. 

8.                  Look at the paper pattern and find the line between area 1 and area 2.  This is the line on which you will be sewing.  Position the pattern so that area 1 is to the left and area 2 is to the right.  The arrows in both sections should point toward the sewing machine.  Look at your fabric strips on the throat plate and visualize where the ” seam will fall.  Lay the paper pattern on the fabric strips so that the line between area 1 and area 2 falls on the ” seam line.  Make sure the pattern is positioned down far enough that there is fabric under the top point of area 1 including the seam allowance.  Sew across the paper on the drawn line.



9.                  Continue with the remaining patterns down the strip. The patterns can be butted up to each other.  Make sure the raw edges of your fabric strips stay aligned on the right side as you sew.

10.              Open out fabric strip 2 from strip 1 and finger press.  Cut the units apart with scissors.  When cutting the units apart, follow the angle of the paper and look at the paper pattern to be sure you do not accidentally trim too close to the areas you are piecing.  (You can piece each one individually if you want or strip piece these).

11.              Using a dry iron press on the fabric side by opening out strip 2 with the iron.  Do not IRON but press.  (You can certainly stretch your fabric as you are on the bias).

12.              Trim away the excess fabric close to the edge of the paper.

13.              Lay strip 3 on your machine throat plate with the right side up.  Find the line between area 2 and area 3 and position the paper pattern so the line is ” from the right raw edge of the strip.  The arrow in area 3 should point toward the machine.  Sew across the line.

14.              Do all 8 units.

15.              Press open strip 3 on all units and again you may choose to trim away any excess fabric that extends beyond the outer edge of the foundation.

16.              Follow the same steps to add the other strips.

17.              When all the fabric strips have been added, use a rotary cutter to precisely trim ” from the seam line around all the edges.

18.              Remove all your paper from the back of the pieces and press the pieces neatly.  Clean up all loose threads.











1.                  Begin by sewing the 8 pattern pieces together into pairs.  With the narrow points toward you, press the seams to the left.

2.                  Join the pairs into two groups of 4, pressing the seams to the left. 

3.                  Join the halves to make the octagon.

4.                  Sew the corner triangles to the four corners of the octagon and press toward the triangles.  The triangles are slightly oversized so that you can trim the finished block to 18 ”.

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