Friendship Star Quilt Block and Variations using Half Square Triangles and Squares

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today I would like to show you a bunch of variations you can make with the Friendship Star quilt block and other blocks made using just Half Square Triangle units and squares. All of these blocks are easy to put together so they are good beginner blocks. Let's get started!

Fabric Requirements for Friendship Star Quilt Block and Variations:

I've only used three fabrics in these variations - light, medium, and dark. You can make up some Half-Square Triangle units (or dig into your stash of orphan patchwork units) to go along with the squares. (You can find the tutorial for making Half Square Triangle blocks at: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block

variations fabric requirements

Layouts:

Friendship Star:

We'll start out with the basic Friendship Star quilt block. You will need four Half Square Triangle units and five light squares. Really easy and is very charming in a quilt!

friendship star

Simplex Star:

Also known as the Pinwheel and Wings in a Whirl, the Simplex Star is just a Friendship Star with the four light corners replaced with a medium tone fabric.

simplex star

The Lost Goslin':

Where do they come up with the names!? The Lost Goslin' is the same as the Simplex Star above but the center light square is replaced with a medium square.

lost goslin'

New Home:

This one is a little different with color placement. Not sure I would like it done in a quilt center but a pieced border using the New Home block would be nice. So the Half Square Triangles of the Friendship Star block have been replaced with Half Square Triangles made with the medium and dark fabrics.

new home quilt block

Ribbon Star:

The Ribbon Star (I think it's also known as Lattice Star) is very pretty when made into a quilt top. Years ago I made a scrappy quilt with this block and was so pleased with how it turned out. As you can see, you arrange eight Half Square Triangle units around a light center square. 

ribbon star quilt block

Nine Patch Star:

Technically, you could call all of these blocks Nine Patch Star! This is a nice arrangement as you will get a pinwheel where four blocks come together.

nine patch star block

Eccentric Star 1:

This is essentially the same as the Nine Patch Star above except all the Half Square Triangle units are the same colors (light and dark) and a medium toned square is in the middle (and I have it twirling in the opposite direction). Once again, you will get a pinwheel where four blocks come together. 

eccentric star 1

Eccentric Star 2:

Same name - totally different look! This reminds me of a water wheel more than a star. Think I might have to dig through all my scrap Half Square Triangles and sew this into a quilt! Once again, you use eight Half Square Triangle units around a center square. All that's different is color placement and orientation of the Half Square Triangle units.

eccentric star 2

Box:

Once again, this is essentially the same as the Eccentric Star 2 above but the center square is the medium toned fabric.

box quilt block

Formal Garden:

As you can see from the picture, this is the same layout as the Box and Eccentric Star (2) except the center square is now light. 

formal garden quilt block

Conclusion:

It's quite fun to play around with basic units like the Half Square Triangle and see how many different blocks you can come up with. You could make a sampler quilt using all of them!

All of the above blocks sew together just like a basic Nine Patch block - sew the units into three rows and then sew the rows together - easy peasy!

I hope you've enjoyed this look at a few of the many ways you can arrange Half Square Triangles and squares - and maybe some inspiration for your next quilt!

Happy Quilting!

Elaine

P.S. The medium and dark fabrics in these examples are from the Spice colorway of In the Beginning Fabrics' Seasons collection. The light is from my stash.

 


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4 comments

  • Thanks for the tutorial, Elaine! I love seeing how the same small units can be combined into completely different blocks. And assembly-line sewing gets the smaller units made up in no time at all. :-)

    Donna on
  • Hi Junie,
    I’m so glad you are enjoying these blocks!
    For a 9" finished block, each square needs to be 3.5". To make the HSTs for the block, I would cut 4" squares, make the HST and then trim it to 3.5" square.
    For a 12" block, each square would be 4.5" and I would cut the squares at 5" to make the HSTs and then trim them to 4.5" square.

    Elaine Huff on
  • I love your blocks. I usually make 12" or 9" blocks. Can you please tell me what size of squares and half-squares I would need to cut in order to get a 12" or 9" block?

    Junie on
  • Using these lay out would make a wonderful quilt! Will have to try it out of my stash. Thank you!

    Marge on

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