There is a multitude of ways to make star quilt blocks and a handful of ways to make star quilt blocks easily from triangles. Now is a good time to play around with some of these ideas to make some lovely ‘star’ pillows or wall hangings for holiday décor! Learn how to make triangle star quilt blocks easily and quickly with this easy tutorial.
Triangle Star Quilt Blocks
- FABRIC - Closely woven cotton or quilting fabric. Amount and colors depend upon which type of star and which type of quilt you choose to make.
- CUTTING TOOLS - Rotary cutter and self healing cutting board, Quilting ruler
- TEMPLATES - Triangle templates (Not essential, but useful)
- SEWING SUPPLIES - Sewing machine, Iron and ironing board, strong thread, removable marking pen.
60-Degree Triangle Star Quilt Blocks
Cutting the Triangles
To cut the triangles you can choose to use a triangle template, a 60 degree ruler or even a conventional quilting ruler as long as it has 60 degree lines marked on it. The most economical way to cut the triangles is to cut a strip of fabric the height of your triangles, then cut triangles out of that strip, rotating the template or ruler to get as many triangles as possible from the strip.
If you are using an ordinary quilting ruler, line up the 60 degree lines with the bottom of the strip and cut a triangle, then rotate and line up the top of the strip to get the next triangle, and so on. To make a 15” (38cm) complete block, you need to start with strips which measure 4 ¼” (11cm). This makes an ideal block to create a pillow cover.
Arranging the Triangles
The next step is to plan how you will place your triangles so that they will form a star shape. The focus points of your star need to be in a darker or contrasting color. The aim is to get 4 rows of triangles that can be sewn together, and then to sew your 4 rows together. This makes sewing the points of the triangles much easier. Plan this ahead of time, then place the triangles in the correct order next to your sewing machine so that you can just pick up and stitch each triangle.
- As you sew each triangle together, rotate them as you did when cutting them, to make straight rows.
- Use ¼” (6mm) seam allowance and press the seam to one side.
- Press all the seams in a single row in the same direction, then all the seams in the next row in the opposite direction so that your seams will nest nicely. This nesting helps match up your points and gives neater and sharper points to your star. So for example, press all the seams in rows 1 and 3 to the left, and all the seams in rows 2 and 4 to the right.
- Also be sure that when sewing each triangle together, there is a ¼” ( 6mm) seam allowance at the top and bottom of your points, so that the points aren’t cut off when you sew the rows together.
When all the rows are sewn together, trim the sides to form a square block, as shown by the lines on either side of the diagram above. The blocks can now be sewn together to make a wall hanging or a quilt. You can separate the stars by sashing if you wish, or place them alternately with plain blocks. A single block of this design makes a lovely star-shaped pillow cover. Add batting, backing, and borders, and quilt as desired.
Ribbon Star Block (Made with HST)
First, a reminder on how to make the half-square triangles.
- First, measure out and cut out your squares. Don’t forget to include your seam allowances! The size of your squares will depend upon the size block you want to make.
- Draw a diagonal line on the back of one of your squares. Use a marker that wont bleed into your fabric and can easily be removed. Place your two contrasting fabric squares right sides together. Be precise when matching up your squares.
- Pin your squares together, then sew a ¼ inch (0.6 cm)seam on either side of your diagonal line. You can draw stitching lines for yourself, or simply use your sewing machine foot as a guide. This method is ideal for string piecing, where you prepare quite a number of squares in advance, and then sew along your diagonals one after the other without cutting the thread between pieces. This saves a lot of time. Be sure to remember to stitch on both sides of your diagonal line.
- Cut along your diagonal line, open out, and you will have two half square triangles. Press these new squares you have created, and square them off neatly to make sure your seams match up perfectly when you are putting your final block together.
Arrange your half square triangles as follows:
This design is known as the ribbon star block. This will also make a great pillow cover, or multiple squares can be put together to make a full quilt or wall hanging.
Royal Triangle Star Quilt Blocks
If you enjoy working with half-square triangles, you can make even more complex star blocks, still using the same method of construction, but arranging the half squares differently. This block is called a royal star quilt block and is made with a large central plain square, surrounded by half-square triangles and other smaller plain blocks.
Ohio Star Quilt Blocks (Using Quarter Square Triangles)
This block is also known as the Ohio Star. Again, a reminder on how to make the quarter square triangles.
- You will start with half square triangles as described above.
- Next, place your half square triangles right sides together, nesting the seams. Your seams should be laying in opposite directions. i.e. one facing up, one facing down. Your different colors must also be opposite- darker fabric on top of the lighter fabric, and vice versa.
- Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. It must be at 90 degrees to your seam, and it will bisect the seam.
- Sew a seam ¼” on either side of your line.
- Cut along the line in between the seams. Trim to size.
To make the star design, you will need to place quarter square triangles alternately with plain blocks.
Triangle Star Quilt Blocks - In Conclusion
These are just a few ideas of what you can make with triangles to make yourself star blocks. If you put together a few triangles and then play around with them by rearranging them and flipping them, you will find a whole lot more possibilities.
If you are someone who celebrates Christmas, you could make a whole range of triangle star pillows and have a lovely collection in Christmas colors. If not, stars are an iconic patchwork shape to create, and you could still have a lovely collection of triangle star pillows, in whatever colors you fancy! Or make a ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ baby quilt! There are so many ways to use these triangle star quilt blocks!