Simple Star

Materials

Based on 112cm wide fabric

  • one FQ of dark gold
  • one FQ of light gold
  • 50cm of red for stars, border and binding
  • 1m of blue for background
  • 30cm of sparkly blue for borders
  • 110 x 110cm (44in square) of backing fabric
  • 110 x 110cm (44in square) of wadding

Finished Size

41 1⁄2in square (105cm)

Skill Level

Novice

Seam Allowance

1/4in

This simple throw was designed by Davina Thomas as a quick project to make in the run up to Christmas. Davina has used quick pieced techniques - you only cut squares but end up with triangles. The nine inch blocks are surrounded by sashing with triangles in the corners which make another star pattern

Preparation

For all cutting instructions that include squares and rectangles it is quickest to cut a strip the width of one of the measurements and then to turn the ruler and cut into squares or rectangles the required size.

Cut:

  • Thirty six 3 1⁄2in squares of the blue background fabric
  • Ten 4 1⁄4in squares of the light gold fabric
  • Ten 4 1⁄4in squares of the blue background fabric
  • Twenty 3 7⁄8in squares of the dark gold
  • Ten 3 1⁄2in squares of the light gold fabric
  • Twelve 9 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in strips of the blue background for inner sashing
  • Twelve 9 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in strips of the blue border fabric for outer sashing
  • Seventy two 1 1⁄2in squares of the red fabric for sashing points
  • Sixteen 2 1⁄2in squares of the red for sashing corners

Blocks and sashing

  1. Take the 4 1⁄4in squares of light gold and draw a diagonal line on the WS. With RS facing, pair each with a blue square. Sew 1⁄4in either side of the diagonal line. Cut the square in half along the drawn line. Press open the half square triangle and trim off the ears.
  2. Draw a diagonal line on the 3 7⁄8in dark gold squares. With RS facing, pair with the half square triangles made above. Make sure that the line is opposite to the first unit and sew as above. See Figure 1.

Note that this method produces left hand and right hand points. We have allowed enough squares to ensure you have four matching points for each block.

Figure 1: Piecing the Star Points
Figure 1: Piecing the Star Points
  1. Piece the blocks following the plan in Figure 2. Make nine blocks. You will have some spare pieces which can be used to make a matching cushion, (a quick Christmas present perhaps?).
  2. Put the small red squares RS together on the corner of the blue sashing strips and sew exactly on the diagonal. Trim off the excess triangles from the back and press open. Repeat on all four corners to give a strip with four triangle corners as shown in Figure 2. Make twelve.
  3. Make the outer sashing as above using the sparkly blue sashing strips.
Photographs by Jonathan Farmer
Photographs by Jonathan Farmer

Quilt Top and Borders

The outer sashing is pieced with red squares to carry the star design into the border.

  1. The outer sashing is pieced with red squares to carry the star design into the border.
  2. Sew three outer sashing strips to two red squares. Make two for the top and bottom borders. Place RS together with the centre panel and pin at all the seams. Sew and press to the border.
  3. Make two more for the side borders but add two red squares to the ends of each piece. Sew to the sides of the quilt and press to the border.
  4. Measure the quilt top through the centre and cut two strips of red 1 1⁄2in wide by this measurement (it should be 35 1⁄2in). Place RS together with the edge of the quilt and sew. Press to the border.
  5. Measure and cut borders in red for the top and bottom as above. Be sure to measure including the border just added.
  6. Measure the quilt top again and cut four 2 1⁄2in strips in blue border fabric and sew two of them as above to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  7. Cut four cornerstone squares 2 1⁄2in in red for the outer corners. Sew to each end of the remaining two strips. Check the measurements and pin in the middle of the border and at the corner point. Sew in place and press towards the border.
Figure 2: Block and Sashing Layout
Figure 2: Block and Sashing Layout

Quilting and Binding

  1. Press the quilt top and cut off any loose threads. Lay the backing fabric WS up and place the wadding on top. Place the quilt top RS up on top. Smooth out all wrinkles and creases.
  2. Tack together well either by hand or use safety pins.
  3. Quilt as desired. As this was designed as a quick and easy project there is only the minimum of quilting round the big stars and both sides of the red border. You could, if wanted, add more quilting by outlining the small red stars as well and filling in the background with lines of echo quilting or crosshatching.
  4. Cut four strips 1 1⁄4in wide across the width of the red fabric and use to bind the edge of the quilt sandwich with a single binding. This quilt binding has mitred corners but you can bind each edge separately if you prefer.

Other Ideas

Take the spare blocks left over and piece another centre section, add one or two borders and use for a matching cushion.

This quilt was deliberately made so that all the pieces could be cut from one strip across the width of standard fabric but if you wanted to make it larger you could try any of the following options.

Obviously, you will have to buy extra fabric to accommodate any changes.

  • Making the blocks 12in will make it 50in square
  • Make the sashing wider - with 4in sashing it will be 49in square
  • Change the width of the borders - 2in and 6in borders will enlarge it to 51in square
  • Putting the blocks on point will make it 56in square
  • Adding extra blocks - a 4 x 6 block arrangement would make it 52 x 74in

Have fun, and donít forget you can make this in other fabrics - quilts arenít just for Christmas! The fabrics used are from the Makower Christmas range, available from all good quilt stores. See Makower for details of your local stockist.

First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 10 Number 10 - November 2002