How to Make the Free Trade Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

This lovely traditional star-in-a-star quilt block finishes at 16". So you don't need too many blocks to make a quilt! The block also goes by the name Coronation. I found several tutorials for making this block but they only used the inner star for the entire block. We're going to do the full one with two stars. Let's get started!

free trade quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 16" Finished Free Trade Quilt Block:

  • Light/Print: 4 - 4.5" x 8.5" rectangles, 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, 5 - 3" squares, and 14 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium/Blue 1: 1 - 3" square, and 8 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium/Blue 2: 4 - 3" squares
  • Dark/Burgundy: 8 - 4.5" squares

free trade fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Corner Units:

Step 1:

Using four Light/Print 3" squares and four Medium/Blue 2 3" squares, sew together eight Half Square Triangle units as shown below. Trim/square up the units to 2.5" square. You can find tutorials for making a basic Half Square Triangle at and

free trade 1

Step 2:

Lay out two Step 1 units and two Light/Print 2.5" squares as shown in the picture below.

free trade 3

Step 3:

Sew the patches into two rows and press the seam allowances toward the Light/Print squares as shown in the picture below.

free trade 4

Step 4:

Sew the two rows together and press the seam allowances. In the picture below you can see that I pressed using the twirl method. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 for a total of 4 Corner units.

free trade 5

Center Unit:

Step 5:

Repeat Step 1 only using a Light/Print 3" square and a Medium/Blue 1 3" square. You'll have two units. 

free trade 2

Step 6:

Repeat Steps 2 through 4 to make one Center unit like the one shown below.

free trade 6

Flying Geese Units:

Step 7:

Sew together 4 Flying Geese units using the Light/Print 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles and Medium/Blue 1 2.5" squares. You can find my method for making no-trim Flying Geese blocks at

free trade 7

Step 8:

Next you'll need to repeat Step 7 using the Light/Print 4.5" x 8.5" rectangles and Dark/Burgundy 4.5" squares. I do an extra step on these larger sized Flying Geese. I sew (in the seam allowance side) about 1/2" from the first seam.

 free trade 8

Step 9:

Then when you cut in between the seams, you get an extra Half Square Triangle that can be used in another project. 

free trade 9

Center Star:

Step 10:

Lay out the Center unit, the Step 7 Flying Geese units, and 4 Light/Print 2.5" squares as shown in the picture below.

free trade 10

Step 11:

Sew the units together into three rows as shown.

free trade 11

Step 12:

Press the seam allowances toward the Flying Geese patches as shown in the picture below.

free trade 12

Step 13:

Sew the three rows together. This is where some of the tutorials I found for this block stop. It is a pretty star - but let's make it even prettier!

free trade 13

Step 14:

Press the seam allowance away from the center of the unit as shown below.

free trade 14

newsletter signup

Putting It All Together:

Step 15:

Lay out the Center Star unit, the Step 8 Flying Geese units, and the Corner units as shown in the picture below.

free trade 15

Step 16:

Sew the units into three rows as shown below.

free trade 16

Step 17:

Press the seam allowances away from the large Flying Geese units.

free trade 17

Step 18:

Sew the three rows together.

free trade 17

Step 19:

Press the seam allowances toward the center of the block. All done!

free trade 19


I usually use a tone on tone white or ivory for the background fabric in these tutorials. But I loved this light print from this collection and decided to try it out as the background. I'm pleased that it looks better than I thought it might!

I enjoyed putting this block together. There are a few more steps than normal but you end up with a 16" block! 12 blocks and a border would make a nice-sized throw! Also, when multiple blocks are sewn together, you will get another star at the intersections.

hope you've enjoyed this Free Trade 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. Would you like a PDF of this tutorial? If so, check out

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


Share this post

← Older Post Newer Post →