How to Create a Variation of the Braced Star Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

This version of the Braced Star quilt block is quick and easy to create and uses only a light, medium and dark colored fabric. It's construction is based off of the basic Eight Point Star block (also known as the Ohio Star although I use that name for a different block - so confusing!). Anyway, let's get sewing!

braced star quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Braced Star Variation Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 1 - 5.5" square and 5 - 4.5" squares
  • Medium/Yellow: 1 - 5.5" square
  • Dark/Blue: 2 - 5.5" squares and 4 - 2.5" squares
braced star fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Square in a Square Unit:

Step 1:

Using one of the Light/White 4.5" squares and the four Dark/Blue 2.5" squares sew together a Square in a Square unit for the center of the block. You can find my tutorial for making a basic Square in a Square block at

braced star 2

Hourglass Units:

Step 2:

Next you will make four 3-color Hourglass units using the Light/White, Medium/Yellow and Dark/Blue 5.5" squares. Trim/square up the units to 4.5" square. You can find the tutorial for sewing together a basic Hourglass (and a 3-color one) at

Here's a picture of the first step.

braced star 2

And a picture of the completed units all trimmed/squared up to 4.5" square.

braced star 3
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Putting It All Together:

Step 3:

Now you can lay out the Square in a Square unit, the Hourglass units, and the four remaining Light/White 4.5" squares as shown in the picture below.

braced star 3

Step 4:

From here this variation of the Braced Star block goes together just like a basic Nine Patch block. Sew the units into three rows as shown below.

braced star 4

Step 5:

And press the seam allowances away from the Hourglass units as shown in the picture below.

braced star 6

Step 6:

Then sew the rows together as shown below.

braced star 6

Step 7:

And press the seam allowances. As you can see from the picture, I've pressed mine away from the center of the block but you can press whichever direction you prefer. You're done! I told you it was quick!

braced star 7

Layout Ideas:

Here's the basic 4 x 4 layout:
quilt 1
And this is the same layout as above but sashing and cornerstones were added.
quilt 2
This example shows an alternating chain block called Alabama.
quilt 3
This on-point layout uses a large Hourglass block for an alternating block.
quilt 4
This on-point version also has an alternating 6-Grid chain block.
quilt 5
This example is also on-point but has blue sashing, cornerstones, and setting triangles.


This Braced Star variation was fast and easy to piece together. It's simple design really makes it stand out in a quilt. While I think that if the Dark/Blue 2.5" squares were yellow, then the star would look more like it was "braced", I do like the color placement.

I hope you've enjoyed this Braced Star Variation 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 quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.

Happy Quilting!


P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:

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