Star Light, Star Bright Quilt

Hi, Kristy from HandmadeRetro back again with another quilt design. This is the smallest quilt I have made for the Bake Shop and one of the smallest I have ever made. It is a quick top to sew up and a great holiday hand-quilting project. Head on over to my blog for some of the story about the quilting and hand sewing locations!

The design of this quilt was inspired in part by comments from Malka Dubrawsky, the designer of the fabric. She has shared her thoughts in the past that one way to make a traditional pattern modern is to dramatically increase the size of the block. So a one-block 8-point star!


1 Fat Eighth Bundle of Stitch in Color 
2 yards 9900 19 Dark Blue Bella Solid for background and binding
1.5 yards 23200 11 for backing

* the amounts above yielded the quilt described below with substantial scraps of the bundle and careful cutting needed for the backing and the binding/border.

45 degree ruler – I used the Simplicity Studio Simpli-EZ 45 degree triangle 8829421by Darlene Zimmerman

NOTE: Any 45 degree ruler will work fine, but please be aware the the dimensions of the background squares and triangles may differ with a different ruler. 

Perle cotton No 8 for quilting in the following colours
Finca 1902
Finca 9985
Finca 3810
Finca 4812
Finca 3324
DMC 947
DMC 972
Quilting Hoop

Cutting the star points
You will need to choose 32 prints to make the points of the star. I chose to exclude the solid prints from the bundle {the cheater print and one other print}.

One diamond is to be cut from each of the chosen fat eighths.

1. To cut the diamond, fold the print upwards about 7.5 inches (or the height of your 45 degree ruler) and press this fold.

2. Place the 45-degree ruler on the fold, with the wide base flush with the fold. Aligning this accurately is very important to ensure a regular diamond shape.

3. Cut around the ruler. Repeat with the other 31 selected prints.

4. When you open these out you will have diamonds.

Carefully taking care not to distort the bias edges, press the crease at the centre flat.

Sewing the Star Points
Once you have all the diamonds cut you will need to join them into pairs and then into sets of four to form an individual star point. To ensure a good spread of colour and design, layout the diamonds out on the floor or on your design wall. I aimed to have four different colours and prints in each point and almost succeeded.
I think this one was taken after they were all sewn together but you get the idea.
To sew the pairs together, align the edges (top right and bottom left) with the points in the seam line meeting the edge of the second diamond shape as pictured.
The diamond apex point of the top diamond will meet at the centre point of the bottom diamond and the pointed base of the bottom diamond will meet at the centre point of the top diamond as shown in the larger picture below.

Sew from point to point – creating a pair of diamonds. Repeat with the other diamonds until all are sewn together.

Press seams to the side. You will be left with 16 pairs with each pair forming a parallelogram shape.

These 16 parallelograms will be sewn together in pairs along the long edge again to form larger diamonds that will become the 8 star points.

The ends of the seams will meet and extend slightly beyond as they did in the previous step. Here it will be important to match the seams in the centre to ensure nice point in the middle of the finished star points.

Match the seam junctions on the seam line. This will mean the seams will form a wide little ‘v’ shape and not meet at the end of the pieces. See picture below.

Pin this junction – it is helpful if the seams from the previous step are pressed in opposite directions.
Sew the two parallelograms together from point to point. Press seams to the side. You will end up with a large diamond made from the smaller 4.

The back of the new large diamond will look something like this if you have pressed your seams to the side.

Repeat until you have 16 pairs of diamonds sewn together.

Sewing the 8 points together!
The 8 individual diamonds will be sewn into pairs, then half a star and the across the centre to form the star, but an inset seam allowance needs to be left at the outside point to allow the background to be sewn on in the next step.

So, on each of the large diamonds mark the quarter inch seam point at the middle diamond point. To do this, draw a line with fabric chalk from the top and bottom halves of the diamond to form a ‘X’.

Sew from this mark right to the end of the to pieces as you normally would. To ensure you start in the correct spot, lower your needle slowly into the centre of the X you just drew, I find it easier to do this before lowering the presser foot. I find it is a good idea to sew a few stitches and then backstitch at the beginning of the seam in this case. Your seams will nest again making sewing right to the end easy.

Join the eight points together in 4 pairs, press seams, then two halves and press seams, ensuring you leave the 1/4″ opening at the start of the seam and sewing right to the end (the centre of the star).

When sewing the two halves together to form the star, nest the centre seams, match and pin all points where the seams need to match and leave the 1/4″ gap at both ends.

You will have a great looking star!

Cutting the background
NOTE – If you use the amount of blue solid listed in the ingredients you will need to cut carefully to ensure you have enough left over for binding. I used 200″ of binding cut from a mix of WOF  strips and half strips left over after cutting the squares. If you want all WOF binding strips ad 1/2 yard to the amount listed in the ingredients. 

From the blue solid you will need to cut:
4 x 13.5″ squares
1x 20″square – crosscut this larger square into four triangles, as shown.

Joining the Background to the star
I started by sewing on the four corner squares first.
On each square mark the 1/4″ point on one corner.

Pin this point matching the centre of the X and the beginning of the seam between two star points, starting at the centre with the needle in the centre of the X and sewing out towards the star point sew one side of the square to one side of a star point. Don’t forget to backstitch at the beginning of the seam.

By performing a little twisting move, bring the other side of the square around to meet the side of the adjacent star point, pin the centre again and sew, starting from the centre and sewing towards the outside of the quilt.

Sew the triangle in the centre in the same way, making the point at the apex of the triangle. When pinning, ensure the point at the outside edge extends 1/4″ beyond the star point. A little more pinning may be helpful because of all the bias edges.

Repeat until all background triangles are attached.

Press the quilt top well, pressing background seams towards the centre of the quilt.

Backing, Quilting and Binding
To ensure the backing is big enough, some width needs to be added to the fabric as listed in the ingredients. You could piece a strip to be added to the side or down the centre from the leftover fabric from the bundle. I chose to embroider the name of the quilt on a strip of Bella Solid and sew this down the centre of the back.

I chose to hand quilt, using Perle Cotton in the colours listed in the garnishes. I quilted 1/4″ and 1″ inside each of the diamonds.

I did the 1/4″ line by eye and marked the 1″ line.

I echo quilted the star in the background sections with lines 1″ apart.

I bound the quilt using binding cut from 2.5″ strips. I was able to cut 3 WOF strips and 6 half-width strips.

One 45″ square quilt!