The Alternating Block for Square in a Star Quilt Block - a Free Tutorial

Posted by Elaine Huff on

As promised, here's the tutorial for the alternating block for the Square in a Star quilt block that I did last week. This is a tweak on the classic alternating block for the State Fair block. I love the traditional look it creates with the Square in a Star block plus it looks good on its own! Let's get sewing!

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Alternating Block for Square in a Star:

• Light/White: 1 - 4.5" square, 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 8 - 2.5" squares
• Light/Blue: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 4 - 2.5" squares
• Dark/Blue: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 4 - 2.5" squares
• Dark/Purple: 4 - 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, and 4 - 2.5" squares

Sewing Directions:

Half Flying Geese Units:

Step 1:

This unit is basically the first half of a Flying Geese unit. You can find my detailed tutorial using the no-trim method for making Flying Geese at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-flying-geese-block.

Using the Light/Blue 2.5" squares and Dark/Blue 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, sew together four Light Blue/Blue units as shown in the picture below. In the picture you can see the four steps needed to complete the unit. Please note the orientation of the diagonal line.

Step 2:

Make a total of four Step 1 units.

Middle Units:

Step 3:

Sew together a Step 2 unit with a Light/White 2.5" x 4.5" rectangle and press the seam allowance toward the White fabric as shown in the picture below.

Step 4:

Repeat Step 3 for a total of four Middle units as shown below.

Diagonal Stripe Units:

Step 5:

Repeat Step 1 only using four Light/White 2.5" squares and four Dark Purple 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles. Note the orientation of the diagonal line.

Step 6:

Using the picture below for a reference, repeat Step 5 only on the opposite corner of the Dark/Purple rectangle and using a Dark/Blue 2.5" square.

Step 7:

Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for a total of four units like the ones shown below.

Step 8:

Using the remaining Light/White 2.5" squares, the Dark/Purple 2.5" squares, and the Light/Blue 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles, sew together four Diagonal Stripe units as shown in the picture below. This will be a repeat of Steps 5 through 7.

Corner Units:

Step 9:

Sew together a Step 7 and a Step 8 units and press the seam allowance toward the Step 7 unit as shown below.

Step 10:

Repeat Step 9 for a total of four Corner units.

Putting It All Together:

Step 11:

Lay out the Light/White 4.5" square, the Corner units, and the Middle units as shown in the picture below. From here the block goes together like a basic Nine Patch block.

Step 12:

Sew the units into three rows as shown in the picture below.

Step 13:

Press the seam allowances toward the Middle units as shown below.

Step 14:

Sew the three rows together - you're done! Well, except for the pressing.

Step 15:

Press the seam allowances away from the center of the block as shown in the picture below.

Layout Suggestions:

Here's the layout with the Square in a Star block:

And here it is with the Square in a Star block in an on-point layout.

And the basic 4 x 4 layout:

And now set on-point:

In this example I've added in a pieced sashing and cornerstone:

And here's the same pieced sashing but with an on-point layout:

Conclusion:

I had fun putting this block together. I wish there was more contrast between the dark purple and dark blue in the pictures. Once again I'm blaming my camera instead of my photo editing skills - lol! This traditional looking block would be a great way to showcase some fancy quilting or an applique in the center.

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!

Elaine

P.S. In case you missed it, here's the link for the Square in a Star tutorial: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-make-the-square-in-a-star-quilt-block-a-free-tutorial

P.P.S. Check out my patterns I have for sale on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/fabric406