Winter's Eve


Depending on the variety of patterns andtones (or scraps) you wish to use, thesequantities will give you plenty of scope forvarying the patterns:

  • Nine fat quarters, or five fat quartersand eight fat eighths, from a variety ofdark and medium/dark tonal fabrics
  • Five fat quarters, or two fat quartersand six fat eighths, from a variety oflight fabrics
  • 60cm of fabric for the border
  • 40cm of fabric for binding
  • 150cm of extra wide backing fabric
  • 140cm (56in) square of wadding

Finished Size

130cm (52in) square

Skill Level


Star Block

  1. You will need to make 16 star blocks intotal, eight using light background fabrics and eight using dark background fabrics.Try to incorporate all of your chosen fabricswithin the 16 blocks – the rest will be used in the checkerboard border.
  2. For each dark star block cut:
    • One 4 1⁄4in square of dark fabric (centre)
    • Four 2 3⁄8in squares of dark fabric(corners)
    • Eight 2 3⁄8in squares of light fabric(star points)
    • Four 4 1⁄4 x 2 3⁄8in rectangles of darkfabric (background)
  3. For each light star block cut:
    • One 4 1⁄4in square of dark fabric (centre)
    • Four 2 3⁄8in squares of light fabric(corners)
    • Eight 2 3⁄8in squares of dark fabric(star points)
    • Four 4 1⁄4 x 2 3⁄8in rectangles of lightfabric (background)
  4. With RS together sew 2 3⁄8in (star point)square to each of the four 4 1⁄4 x 2 3⁄8in(background) rectangles. Trim 1⁄4in from the sewing line so when pressed the square forms a triangle (star point). See Figure 1.
  5. Sew the remaining 2 3⁄8in (star point)squares to the four corner triangle units from step 4. Trim and press as before.
  6. Using a 1⁄4in seam allowance, sew two of the 2 3⁄8in corner squares to one of the star point units. Press seams outwards.See Figure 2.
  7. Repeat this process with one more starpoint unit and using the two remaining light fabric squares. Sew the two remaining star point units to the centre 4 1⁄4in square.Press the seams inwards toward the centre square.
  8. To finish the block sew the star point units made above to the top and bottom of the centre. See Figure 2.
  9. Press the seams away from the centresquare. At this stage the finished blocksize should be 8in square including theseam allowances. Repeat to make all ofthe star blocks.


Figure 1
Figure 1: Sewing the Flying Geese


Figure 2
Figure 2: Assembling the block

Checkerboard Border

  1. Cut 80 4 1⁄4in squares from the remaining fabrics. 40 from light fabrics and 40 from dark or medium fabrics.
  2. Using a 1⁄4in seam allowance, sew pairsof light and dark squares RS together.Press seams towards the dark fabric.
  3. Take each pair and sew to another pair ensuring you are achieving a dark-light pattern as you go. You will need to sew two rows of eight squares long and two squares wide, and two rows of twelve squares long and two squares wide.See Figure 3.
  4. Alternatively, you can strip piece the checkerboard border by sewing dark and light 4 1⁄4in strips together,then cutting each strip at4 1⁄4in intervals. This is quicker but has less variety, as the same two colours will always be touching

Quilt Assembly and Finishing

Figure 3
Figure 3: Quilt Layout
  • Arrange the star blocks to form the middle of the quilt. Don’t rush this stage, try lots of different layouts; make sure you are happy with the arrangements of lights and darks. If you have time pin the blocks onto a sheet and keep in place for a day before sewing together. It is always easier to change a pinned block than a sewn one and it will often look very different the next day. Sew the blocks together to form the centre of your quilt.
  • Following Figure 3, sew the two shorter checkerboard border rows on to the side of the quilt, followed by the two remaining rows at the top and bottom of the quilt. Press towards the outside edge.
  • Cut five 3 3⁄4in strips across the width of the border fabric. You will have to join them to fit the width of the quilt.
  • Measure across the centre of the quilt. Cut and sew two borders to the sides of the quilt. Measure across again including the border and then attach the remaining two borders to the top and bottom.
  • Lay the backing RS down and spread the wadding on top and then the quilt top RS up. Tack or pin, using quilter’s safety pins, the layers together.
  • Referring to the photo for a guide to the quilting, either machine or handquilt. Quilt simple diagonal lines across the checkerboard boarder, plus outlining the star blocks will look effective.
  • Cut off any extra wadding and backing fabric. Cut 2 1⁄2in strips from the binding fabric and join using a diagonal seam into one continuous length. Press the seam allowances open and then press the strip in half along the length.
  • Sew raw edges to the edge of the front of the quilt using a 1⁄4in seam allowance. Mitre the corners as you come to them. Hand-sew using a slipstitch to theback of the quilt.
Quilt detail

First published in Popular Patchwork January 2006