Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hands2Help - Kate's Color Wheel - A Scrappy Quilt (Or Not!)

Hi, all!

Y'all, our guest bloggers are really outdoing themselves this year! This week Kate, who blogs over at Katie Mae Quilts, is sharing her wonderful talents with us. I love her blog bio, so I'm going to share it word for word: "I'm an Air Force wife and mom to two kids who are obsessed with minky quilt backs. I've let robots take over my housekeeping so I have more time to sew. I run half marathons (because full marathons are too long)." All I can say is I want some of those robots, Kate! You are going to love the quilt she's created for us today, and if you're like me, by the end of the post, you'll be mentally pulling fabrics out of your stash!


When I told Sarah I could write a guest post for Hands2Help, I actually had no idea what I was going to do it on. I started doodling tesselating shapes on graph paper and ended up with this pattern - it’s not the one I thought I was going to get, but I really love it!

I thought they would nest more, like a non-hand-pieced Grandmother's Flower Garden. Turns out those are hexagons...not octagons! You'd think with a kindergartner hanging around, I'd know my shapes better.

This version has that fantastic star in the middle, which I like even better than nesting shapes. And it's deceptively easy to put together - as long as you’re not afraid of bias edges. And you shouldn’t be! Just handle them carefully and everything will be fine.

The best part is how easily it can be customized, since the center portion is 10x10 blocks. So, the quilt will be your block size x 10.

I designed this tutorial to finish at 52” because it fits perfectly on a minky back. (I try to donate quilts with minky backs to kids’ charities because my kids are total minky snobs and think all child-size things should involve minky. This one is the correct size for Little Lambs Foundation and Happy Chemo.) 4” finished block x 10 = 40” + 2” stop border + 4” border = 52” square.

I considered doing this two different ways - scrappy and not - but ultimately decided on scrappy to keep with Sarah’s theme. (Even though I had a FQ bundle of Marvel superhero fabrics begging to be used.) Then it went together so quickly that I had plenty of time to make the alternate version! So you get both - aren’t you lucky?

  • Neutral - 1 yard
  • Eight octagon fabrics - either cut from scraps, one 5" strip width of fabric (WOF), or one half of a fat quarter (cut from the 18" side, so not a fat eighth)
  • Border - 2/3 yard
  • Binding - 1/2 yard (cut at 2.5")
  • Backing - 1-2/3 yards minky or 3-1/3 yard regular fabric

(Selvages are at the top and bottom of this diagram)
  • Note A: check your WOF before cutting the border strips. One of mine was long enough to cut four strips; the other needed a bit more, so it would be cut from one of the scrap pieces.
  • Note B: you can make the neutral scrappy with (32) 4.5" squares and (12) 5" squares, and (4-5) 2.5" WOF strips for the inner border

Here’s where the fun is! You can:
  • From the same fabric, cut (1) 12.5x4.5” strip, (2) 4.5” squares, and (2) 5” squares
  • From scraps, cut (5) 4.5” squares and (2) 5” squares (Want it to be scrappier? Piece each 4.5” squares out of four 2.5” scraps.)

  • From FQs, cut according to chart. (You can get two octagons out of one FQ if you want less variety. Or cut (12) 2.5” strips from the leftover to make scrappy binding. Or set it aside and totally promise yourself you’ll make another quilt out of the scraps. Someday!


  • For the neutral/print half square triangles, draw a diagonal line on eight of the neutral squares. Pair with one of each color of the print squares. Stitch 1/4" on each side of the line. Cut on the line. Trim to 4.5" square. (I use the Quilt in a Day triangle ruler, so I trim before pressing.) Press open.

  • For the other HSTs, take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, pet the cat for luck, and cut the second print square and four neutral squares in half on the diagonal. Pair one of each print triangles with a neutral. Pair the other print triangle with its counterpoint in the design. (For my exact color wheel, it’s green/yellow, red/purple, teal/blue, pink/orange. If you’re using your own layout...lay it out first!) Stitch using a 1/4" seam. Trim to 4.5" square. Press open.  Sarah's note:  If you starch your squares before cutting on the diagonal, they'll be less likely to stretch - although you should still handle them carefully!

This is pieced a little different than the usual rows, so make sure to lay it out on a design wall (or floor!) first to check the pattern.
  • Piece the blocks in rows A/B and K/L, then piece the rows together, adding the 8.5” neutral blocks to each end
  • Piece the blocks in columns D/E/F and G/H/I, then piece the columns together, adding the 16.5” neutral square to the middle
  • Piece the blocks in rows C and J
  • Piece A/B to C, and K/L to J
  • Piece ABC to DEFGHI, then to JKL

If you are using the 12.5" strips for the non-scrappy version, piecing is the same - you just have a little less piecing. 


Piece the neutral 2.5” WOF strips together, then cut (2) 40.5” strips and (2) 44.5” strips. Sew to the vertical, then horizontal sides of the top. Piece the border print 4.5” strips together, then cut (2) 44.5” strips and (2) 52.5” strips. Sew to the vertical, then horizontal sides of the top.

Quilt as desired. Cut and attach six 2.5" binding strips.

Sit back and admire your work!
I'll have my finished versions of Color Wheel on my blog next week, and stick around for my weekly linky party, BOMs Away Mondays, hosted with Lyn from What a Hoot. We highlight the minuscule weekly accomplishments on Block of the Month projects!


What a fabulous tutorial! My only complaint is that I'm not at home this week, and can't pull fabrics and make one right away - - - and I know just the perfect fabrics for this quilt!  I'm also thinking that a Christmas version would be so pretty, especially if the star in the middle was made with some sparkly or metallic fabric scraps!  Oh, the possibilities.....

Just a reminder - you can print out this post as a PDF by clicking on the green PDF button under the signature on this post.  If you don't see a green button, go up to the title of the post and click on that, then check in the window that opens.  You should see the green button under the signature!

And with that being said, this is also a check-in day, so feel free to link up below and share your progress!  Don't worry if you haven't finished yet, or if you haven't even started sewing yet - maybe you've only got your fabrics pulled, or a great idea (or today's tutorial has inspired you!)  There's no requirement to link up, but it is a good opportunity to cheer each other on - so join in the fun and show us what you've been doing for H2H this year!

There'll be another great guest blogger next week - don't miss it!!




  1. Very cute quilt pattern. I have never used the octagon shape. 'Have been looking forward to the progress link party. 'Got mine linked-up.

  2. Super pattern, really easy to follow wording, and diagrams, and the mixed colours are great.

  3. Kathy,
    Great pattern, another way to use up my stash. Already printed the pattern.

  4. I am almost done with my first quilt for hands2help - one more side of the binding and it is done and then on to the quilting of the second one.

  5. Ahhh, love rainbow quilts! This is a fun one. How do you keep minky from stretching on the longarm?

  6. Cute pattern. Thanks for sharing!

    And I goofed up one of my links - the one for Little Lambs. I went to crop the image and it went kerfluey. Please delete that one w/o the picture. Thanks.

    I linked a photo for a Happy Chemo finish and a photo for a Little Lambs finish. As soon as I find boxes they will be mailed.

  7. This is a fabulous quilt! Thank you so much for the tutorial.

  8. This is a great tutorial. And I love the pdf generator!!

  9. I'm definitely going to give this one a try! I love the scrappy look here!

  10. This is right up my alley, being a scrappy kind of girl makes it easy for my choice of options of style.
    Such a versatile quilt. Thank you

  11. What a wonderful pattern. Love the colors and shapes.

  12. Thanks for another great idea!

  13. Sarah, I mailed a pkg to Emily today and wanted to give her the track number. What's her blog or email? Thanks

  14. I have my quilt top finished and bought the backing fabric last week!! I don't have a blog so I'm not sure how to post my progress pictures?


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!