Construction of the Evening Star block Construction of the Evening Star block
Construction of the Evening Star block

The basic Evening Star block is very straightforward to piece and is effective in two colours or as a scrappy block. The trick comes with choosing the fabrics and getting the scale right for the block. If you are using plain fabrics the centre square can look a bit dull.

Conversely, if you are using a large pattern it can get lost on the smaller pieces. To help decide if the scale is right for your block, cut a hole in a piece of A4 paper the size of the patch you want to cut and lay it on the fabric. Does the pattern show well? If you are happy with the placement you can put a pin in the centre of the patch and use that as a marker for cutting the fabric.

This is especially useful if you want a particular motif in the same place in a number of blocks but it can use more fabric.

Figure 2: The impression of a transparent layer
Figure 2: The impression of a transparent layer

Firstly, draft the pattern to the size you want. This is a four patch block so a number divisible by four makes the calculations simpler.

Take the measurements for your patches and you can decide whether to piece by hand or machine.

Flying Geese

The double triangles pointing towards the outside are called Flying Geese and can be pieced by a number of quick methods.

I find the most accurate is to start with a rectangle and lay a square RS together on the corner and sew across the diagonal.

This uses more fabric but you do not seem to stretch the bias seam as much and can use the small triangles that you cut off in another project.

Alternatively, piece as half square triangles if you dont mind the extra seam in the middle. Refer to the piecing diagram in Figure 1 and piece the centre block first. Then add the outer Flying Geese and finally attach the top and bottom strips.

Figure 3: 'Stars for Starr' by Davina Thomas
Figure 3: 'Stars for Starr' by Davina Thomas

Some more ideas

 

  • You can create another change of scale on a whole quilt top by careful placement of fabrics. By changing the fabrics in the red and white quilt a larger version of the block is created.
  • You can also create a floating effect by changing the colours to make it look as if the fabrics are transparent as shown in Figure 2.
  • If you are feeling clever you could replace the centre square with a smaller Evening Star block. How small could you go?

 

When I was researching this block I also found the following blocks in Figure 4 are also called Evening Star. Plus you will probably find in some quilt books that this pattern is referred to as Sawtooth Star amongst other names.

Figure 4: These blocks are also called Evening Star
Figure 4: These blocks are also called Evening Star