I love quilts with stars, whether they are pieced, paper pieced, or appliqued. I have made them entirely with stars, such as this Christmas quilt, or mixed with alternating blocks. Here is my latest star quilt block, which is going into a sampler quilt.
Two of my friends and I are making star quilt blocks which will be later turned into a quilt. We were supposed to meet every month and exchange blocks, but life is getting in the way. I did make another block, though, and I think it came out so cool!
I was looking for 12-inch star quilt blocks and came into my office, grabbed the first book I saw on the shelf, and, as I always do, turned to the back and began flipping through the pages from there. What was my surprise when the last quilt of the book – the first one I saw – featured a star block! You have seen this star block before, I am sure, but I was attracted by its construction.
The most common star blocks have a square in the middle, four flying geese, and four corner squares. In this block, two rectangles replace the center square and the top and bottom flying-geese units – the latter are made by adding squares to the rectangles. Easy!
So, off I went to my studio, selected the fabrics from the Gretel fabric collection (the collection we chose for this quilt) by Riley Blake Designs for this star block, and began cutting. My next surprise: I had leftover half-square triangles from a previous block (I will show you two more I made below) – I only needed to trim them to size. This is getting better by the minute, I thought.
I lined up everything next to my sewing machine and began sewing.
I added the squares to both ends of each rectangle using the stitch and flip method. Yes, I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of the squares first for good measure, even though they were not too large and I could have just aligned the corners with the blue tape you see on the acrylic extension table.
Usually, the flying geese have the same fabric but I ran out of the fabric used on the half-square triangles and used the pink fabric instead. The block will just look scrappier.
It is time to stitch together the half-square triangles. I am making three blocks so I pin the seams together and chain piece them.
Perfection! Notice how I pressed the seams open. I do this to make life easier for Melissa, the long-arm quilter and to prevent her from breaking a needle, which happens if we have bulky seams for her to quilt over.
Next, I stitched the red rectangles to the flying geese, the blue and pink squares, and the rectangle to the last units. Although we often assemble a quilt block in rows, I will assemble this one in columns.
The striped fabric is going in different directions depending on the corner, and that was by design. I like the texture it is adding to the star.
Again, I chain piece the first column of the three blocks using a 1/4″ seam.
Well, the seam did not come out right over the pinned area, so I redid it and will rip those stitches off.
Here is the completed block in all its glory. Fun construction, don’t you think? The middle rectangles stand in place of three patches, and I like it. It saves me from stitching a couple of seams, and that is good enough for me.
Now, let me tell you about the book where I found this block. It is called The Big Book of One-Block Quilts: 57 Single-Block Sensations, published by Martingale. I love their series of “Big Books” because you get so much inspiration in between the two covers! This one has 57 quilt patterns, one more interesting than the other! Quilts with stars? Yes, it has many!
The round-up of quilt designers is amazing and their creativity shows in the wide range of blocks, techniques, and colorways used. Modern or traditional, easy or more intricate, bright or neutral are some of the options you will find in this comprehensive collection of one-block quilt patterns.
What I like about single-block quilts is that I select the fabrics I will be working with, then figure out the block I will be using, practice by making one if I don’t already know how to put it together, and then I just chain-piece the whole bunch together.
Many of the patterns shown in the book have fun unexpected designs, others have fabulous fabric placement. Some remind us of old favorites, others are totally fresh and new.
And here is the very last one on the book, the one on the far right above, where I got that block I showed you above. Quilts with stars have a special attraction to me and on the photograph above alone you see three different patterns. You can expect another star quilt block tutorial coming to a blog post near you!
You do not have to make a very large quilt as any of the patterns in The Big Book of One-Block Quilts can be turned into wall hangings or small quilts. For instance, I designed this patriotic quilt and then made four blocks for a smaller version of it. Here is a mini quilt I made from another patriotic quilt pattern. When I like a quilt block a lot, it becomes a prime candidate for a small project.
Before I forget, here are two more of the star blocks I have made for our project. When we are done, I will photograph all the blocks together (including theirs and the ones I have not blogged about yet) for you to see.
I hope you like these ideas for quilts with stars, and that you have a weekend filled with entertainment of the sewing type!