Easy (and Scrappy!) Star Quilt Block Tutorial - Keith's Star

Posted by Elaine Huff on

This scrappy star block is great for beginners because you can't lose your star points! It is a new and improved variation of a pattern I made a few years ago. It is also a variation of what I call the Ohio Star block.

keiths star quilt block

The original pattern was made for a fund raiser for a young man (Keith) who had cancer and he and his family were undergoing financial difficulties. I added the corner triangles to add more interest in a finished quilt. 

Since most of the colored fabrics are 2.5", you can use leftover pieces of binding, mini-charms, or cut 5" charms into quarters. Great way to use up your scraps.

Of course you don't have to make this a scrappy block - it will look just as great with a planned color palette! 

Fabric Requirements for a 9" Finished Keith's Star Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 4 - 3" x 4.5" rectangles, and 4 - 3" squares
  • Assorted Prints: 1 - 4.5" squares, and 12 - 2.5" squares

keiths star fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Corner Unit:

Step 1:

All you need to do here is "snowball" one corner of the Light/White 3" squares with an Assorted Print 2.5" square. First, mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of one of the 2.5" squares (actually just mark all 12 at once - it saves time).

Then match up one corner of each square and sew along (or very close to) the marked line (top left image).

Match up the 2.5" square corners and press (top right image).

Trim away the seam allowance (bottom left image).

Refold the Assorted Prints fabric to finish the unit (bottom right image). That was easy peasy!

keiths star 1

Step 2:

Repeat Step 1 for a total of four Corner units.

keiths star 2

Modified Flying Geese Units:

Step 3:

This unit is constructed just like a basic Flying Geese block except that the rectangle is 1/2" wider than normal. You can find the tutorial for my method of making Flying Geese blocks at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block

So, from top to bottom:

Sew an Assorted Prints 2.5" square to a Light/White 3" x 4.5" rectangle (same as for the Corner unit)

Match up the Assorted Prints corners and press.

Trim away the seam allowance, and

Refold the Assorted Prints fabric.

keiths star 3

Step 4:

Now you need to repeat Step 3 on an adjacent corner. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for a total of four Modified Flying Geese units.

keiths star 4

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Putting It All Together:

Step 5:

Lay out the Corner units, the Modified Flying Geese units, and the Assorted Prints 4.5" square as shown in the picture below.

keiths star 5

Step 6:

From here the block goes together like a typical uneven Nine Patch block. First sew the units into three rows and shown below.

keiths star 6

Step 7:

Press the seam allowances away from the Modified Flying Geese units as shown in the picture below.

keiths star 7

Step 8:

All that's left is to sew the rows together and...

keiths star 8

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances toward the center of the block as shown below. Finished!

keiths star 9

Block Options:

You can replace the center square with various blocks such as a Four Patch:

keiths star option 1

Or a Pinwheel:

keiths star option 2

Or any other 4" finished block (a Snowball or Square in a Square would look great)!

Layout Options:

Here's a normal 4 x 4 layout with a small border. That diamond that forms at the intersections really adds to the quilt. Pretty cute!

quilt 1

In this example I added sashing and cornerstones. The cornerstone then becomes the center of a shoo fly design at the block intersections.

quilt 2

There's not much different here except that I changed out every other center square with a four patch. So you can mix it up and it still looks great.

quilt 3

For those of you who want to avoid matching the seams on the Corner units from block to block, you can just eliminate the triangle. Now the only seams that come together are of the light background fabric and it won't be noticeable at all if they don't match perfectly.

quilt 4

Had to do a couple on-point layouts. Here's just a normal layout.

quilt 5

And here it is with sashings and cornerstones. 

quilt 6

And here is a more traditional method of color placement:

quilt 7


This is such a cute block. I like how the stars and diamonds "float" on the quilt top. If you're just starting out, it's a great way to practice Flying Geese. If you're more advanced, it's an easy way to use up some scraps for charity quilts (or yourself!). 

hope you've enjoyed this Keith's Star quilt block tutorial. If you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF.

Happy Quilting!


P.S. Would you like a PDF of this tutorial? If so, check out https://www.etsy.com/listing/1077156485/keiths-star-block-easy-pdf-quilt-block

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-much-fabric-do-i-need


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