How to Sew the Traditional Kansas Star Quilt Block - a Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The Kansas Star (or Crystal Star) quilt block is a classic block that first appeared in print in the Kansas City Star publication. The block is made entirely of square in a square patches so it is easy to sew together. Let's get started!

kansas star quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Kansas Star (or Crystal Star) Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 4 - 4.5" squares, and 20 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium/Print: 5 - 4.5" squares
  • Medium/Blue: 8 - 2.5" squares
  • Dark/Purple: 8 - 2.5" squares

kansas star fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Square in a Square Units:

Step 1:

Using a Medium/Print 4.5" square and four Light/White 2.5" squares, sew together a Square in a Square patch. You can find my detailed tutorial for making a basic Square in a Square block at In the picture below you can see the first four steps.

kansas star 1

Step 2:

Repeat Step 1 on the other two corners of the Medium/Print 4.5" square to complete the patch.

kansas star 2

Step 3:

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for a total of five Print/White Square in a Square units like the ones in the picture below.

kansas star 3

Step 4:

Using the Light/White 4.5" squares, the Medium/Blue 2.5" squares, and the Dark/Purple 2.5" squares sew together four White/Blue/Purple Square in a Square patches like the ones shown in the picture below. Note the placement of the 2.5" squares.

kansas star 4

Putting It All Together:

Step 5:

Lay out the five Print/White square in a square patches and the four White/Blue/Purple square in a square patches as shown in the picture below. From here the block goes together like a basic Nine Patch block.

kansas star 5

Step 6:

Sew the patches into three rows as shown below. This is the hardest part of this block - getting those points to meet. Just take your time and don't worry if they're not perfect (mine certainly aren't!).

kansas star 6

Step 7:

Press the seam allowances toward the Print/Blue/Purple square in a square units.

kansas star 7

Step 8:

Sew those three rows together to complete the block!

kansas star 8

Step 9:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of block as shown in the picture below. You're done!

kansas star 9

Layout Suggestions:

Here's your basic 4 x 4 layout. It's a little too busy for my taste. Although you do get the darker star and a lighter star (the medium blue points) showing up.

quilt 1 

And here is that basic 4 x 4 layout but with dark sashing and light cornerstones added. 

quilt 2

In this example, I added in a pieced sashing and cornerstones to get another star to appear (the medium blue star). This also creates a light area for some fancy quilting!

quilt 3

For this layout I alternated every other block with a modified blue and white "Stepping Stones" block. 

quilt 4

Here's the same idea as the previous layout but it is set on-point with light setting triangles. 

quilt 5

For this example I've used the basic layout but put it on-point.

quilt 7

Here's an on-point layout using the pieced border and cornerstones idea.

quilt 6

And here I've added sashing and cornerstone to the basic on-point layout.

quilt 8


All in all the Kansas Star (or Crystal Star) block was easy (and quick) to sew together. I like all the different ways you can play with the block to get totally different looks. It was fun!

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. If you like it and want to see more, just click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called "Chained Weathervane".

Happy Quilting!


P.S. For other star quilt blocks, check out

P.P.S. Check out my patterns I have for sale on Etsy at

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