Outstanding Stars Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Outstanding Stars Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 58" x 58"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a beautiful Outstanding Stars quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes). For this project, she chose the American Gathering Layer Cake by Primitive Gatherings for Moda Fabric. It's a gorgeous collection in patriotic shades of red, white, and blue. These pretty star blocks are framed with a simple sashing and cornerstones. Watch to the end to catch a glimpse of a second quilt made with solids and no sashing. You're sure to love both versions of this quick and easy star quilt!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a fun project for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this great? We love a red, white and blue quilt anyway and when we can add a star in it just makes it awesome. And this is one of those quilts where it comes together as a secondary block. And I love it when that happens. So let me show you how to make this.

So to make this quilt you’re going to need one packet of ten inch squares and we have used American Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda. And this is a really cool layer cake to use for this quilt because it has almost exact lights and darks which is what we played with in this whole quilt. You’re going to need some sashing and this outer border out here. And for that you’re going to need ¾ of a yard. Our outer border is a six inch border and you’re going to need 1 ¼ yards for that. Our backing right here we used this beautiful star fabric. And we used 3 ¾ yards of backing for that. Now we also quilted it with a stars and loops pattern. So I just felt like it brought the whole project together and works so well. And so I just want to show you how to make this quilt.

The first thing you want to do is you want to go through your fabrics and you want to pair lights with darks. And you can see in the quilt behind us that we paired our light blues with our dark blues and our light reds with our dark reds. Now we didn’t have enough to do all of them that way so we have one block up here that is lights and darks. And so you just do whatever you want and have fun with that and play with it and make it work for you. But the trick in making this block is that we get all of our pieces out of two layer cakes for two blocks. And when I’m talking about a block, I’m talking about this quarter block right here. So let me show you how to do that.

So the first thing we’re going to is we’re going to take our two pieces and I do have two stacked up here so a light red and a dark. And we’re going to cut it right in half like this. And then we have this piece right here. We’re going to take this piece, we’re going to turn it. And we are going to leave one a five inch square like this and so we’ll put that right here. And then this piece right here we’re cutting right in half so 2 ½ by 5 inch rectangles. And we’ll set those over here. Now this piece right here, we’re going to cut one five inch square again and cut it to four 2 ½ inch squares. So right here. And then this one is going to be cut on both sides so we get four 2 ½ inch squares like this. And we’re going to set those up here. And we need one three inch square. Now I know you may be wondering, why a three inch square. That seems like an odd size. Well I’ll show you because it works really cool. This piece right here you’re going to save for another project and you’re going to save your three inch square right here. Now on our block, we are using this block right here. We are putting a 2 ½ on one corner and a three on one corner. And what that does when we add our star legs is the color extends out beyond the star legs and it frames that star up. So let me show you how to do this.

So to make this block we’re going to start with our five inch square and we are going to add a square of the opposite color, a 2 ½ on one side and a three on the other side. You’re going to put those right sides together and we are going to sew corner to corner. And so our two blocks are going to go like this. And you can stick a pin in there, we’re going to sew here to here and here to here. I’m just going to take mine over to the sewing machine and sew right down the side of this. And this makes our center block, the center of our square. We’re going to come over here and sew right down, use, you can draw a line on this, iron a line or you can use your diagonal seam tape. I’m using my diagonal seam tape here. The point of my corner just follows it right up to the end. Alright then what we’re going to do is we’re going to trim these off. Now truth be told I sewed a little line on either side of these and I have a little baggie of these already sewn together for some other project. I don’t know what. I did not use them in this but I used it in another project. And so if you would like to do that you can. So this should remain a five inch square and you want to make sure that that happens.

Then what we’re going to do is we are going to put our red sides on the outside. But to make them pop and give them those star legs we need to add a little half square triangle to the top of our blocks. Now it doesn’t matter which way you sew these but they have to be opposite. And so when I sew them what I do is I put one through my machine right here. Again I’m sewing diagonally corner to corner. And I put one through the machine where I feel like it is normal, you know it’s normal for me. So I’m going to sew it this way. And then I’m going to stop and I’m going to line my other one up and then I’m going to turn it so that it’s the opposite way. And it doesn’t feel quite so normal to me but that lets me know that I’m doing it right. Alright so now we have these two that are snowballed on the corner. And we are going to trim them off right here. And we’re going to press this back. Well actually before you trim, look, make sure they’re right. Make sure those seams are going opposite ways because, you know, that could be a bad mistake. And I have actually made that on this one. So just check them before you cut. Just a word of advice. Word to the wise.

Alright so now we have these two pieces right here. So now these two pieces, these are going to become our star legs. And those little star legs always go toward the contrasting fabric and the bigger triangle. So this is our three inch half square triangle up here and we’re going to put this. Now in this corner up here we want these star legs to pop so we are also going to add the red square in there like this. And we are going to sew this block together. So I am going to add the red square to one of the legs just like this. And then on this one I’m going to sew it directly to the block. So making sure that my three inch square is what I’m attaching these legs to. And making sure that I have opposite colors touching, you know, lights and darks touching. And then we’re going to press these open. So I’m just going to press this up. I’m going to press this open. And then this strip right here is going to be added to this side. And see how it makes those star legs just so easy. Alright we’re going to put that on here like this and sew it up. And I am just going to, what I’m going to match here are where the two top seams coming together right here at the top so I’m just sewing up the side. And right here where this one comes together right here is where I’m matching this. Alright now we’re going to press this open. And you will get two of these squares from each set of ten inch squares that you do.

So this is the block you get and you’re going to go ahead and make all your blocks. Then you should stack them in a, I call this the light because the center is, a light pile and a dark pile. And you can see on our quilt back here you’ve got all these are lights in the middle and all these are darks. And so you can put them together like that or you can scrap it up and do two darks and two lights right here. And that’s fun too. So that’s what I’m going to show you right here. I’ve got this light center and a dark center. And then you will have some of these that are kind of low lights like this. And you kind of have to decide which one is the light and which one is the dark. And so I’m going with this one is the light and this one is the dark right here. And this is together, makes the O, with our star legs on the outside. If we flip these just like this then we’re going to get the block that is behind me. So this is a fun what if block to talk about because there’s so many different things that. Just like that we have the star in the center and it just makes the cutest little block.

And this you’re going to sew together just like a four patch. Then what we did was we just measured the size of our blocks and added our sashing and added a little corner square. Now the corner square we cut out of the border fabric out here. And because you really only need four of them. Now it takes 36 squares to put together to make this quilt. So that’s just about one packet of ten inch squares. And so, you know, you can leave out the ones that are too light or the ones, you know, the ones that you don’t love. But I actually wanted to see what this looked like in a solid with a little more contrast. Because I have that what if thing going on in my head all the time, I want to show you this quilt over here. So here it is over here. This is the solid quilt. And we used Robert Kaufman’s Mermaid pack. And it’s just such gorgeous, delicious colors. But what you’ll notice right away is no sashings. So I left the sashing out and what that means is this block is formed together as one and the star block also comes together as one. So it’s just really fun and beautiful. I enjoyed making it so much. And I hope you have fun. And I hope that you try some different things with it. It’s always fun to see a block in a different way. And we hope that you enjoyed this tutorial on Outstanding Stars from the MSQC.

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