Midnight Stars Quilt

Hi All! I’m Heather and I’m eager to share this tutorial with you! I’m a big fan of Basic Grey. When I heard that they were coming out with Little Black Dress 2, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this beautiful fabric.  Midnight Stars is 4 super sized stars, combined to make a nice sized lap quilt. 

2 Layer Cakes of Little Black Dress 2
5/8 yards black print accent
5/8 yards black dot on cream binding
4 yards backing.fabric
Batting, at least 80"x 80"

Start by taking your layer cakes and separating them into dark and light piles. For this quilt, we’ll need 32 of the darkest prints and 32 of the lightest prints. Reserve the more “medium” prints for the backing. In this quilt, I wanted a little more black in the quilt, so I cut two additional 10” squares from the black accent fabric.

Tip if you’d like to make this quilt with another fabric line, use one layer cake and choose 36 layers for the stars. Take 2 ¾ yards background fabric and cut into 36 10” squares. 

Take all 32 dark squares and cut in half on the diagonal. Take remaining 18 light squares and cut in half on the diagonal.

Choose 14 Light squares for the four corners of each star. Where the four stars come together in the center, you’ll only use 2 squares, cut in half. Lay these all out on your design wall (or, design floor in this case!) 

Using the finished quilt as your guide lay out your quilt top. Take your time, making sure to balance light and dark, until you’re happy with your layout. For the center square within a square, cut 4 grey layers in half on the diagonal and arrange as shown. I think it took me almost as much time to arrange the top as it did to sew it!

Here's how one quarter of the quilt should look before it's sewn. (This block is actually made from leftovers from the layer cakes. It will become part of the quilt back.)

Now to sew!

Use a ¼” seam allowance throughout. It doesn't need to be a perfect 1/4 inch, but a consistent seam allowance will give you great results!

Take each of your half square triangle pairs, and sew together on the diagonal. This is a long bias edge, so handle carefully. Press seams to one side, to the dark when possible. I usually will sew 4 of these at a time, chain stitching. 

Trim each hst unit to 9.5” Use the diagonal line on your ruler to trim each block accurately. After sewing, pressing and trimming, I return the blocks to my design wall (or design floor in this case!) I find that if I do more than 4, there’s a good chance things will get turned around. We don’t want that!

Trim all of the 10" corner layer cake squares down to 9.5".
Your can piece this in one of two ways: you can piece it as four giant blocks, or you can go row by row.

For our sample, I sewed row by row.  Sew column 2 to column 1, chain stitching. After sewing these, I returned them to the design floor (again, I really don’t want to mess up the order!) Continue to sew column 4 to 3, 6 to 5 and 8 to 7. Continue to sew until all the rows are sewn together. Once all the rows are sewn, to keep things in order, I take a pin and place it in the top left corner of each row. I alternate which way I place the pin, so I know which way to press the seams. For the odd rows, press one way. Press the evens in the opposite direction. I do pin where the blocks line up. Where the star points meet, go slowly, pin, pin, pin and take your time. Try not to cut off any points. Are mine perfect? Not all of them, but most of them are close enough.

If you prefer, you can sew each large block first, then sew the four blocks together. 

Sew your blocks together in rows. Again, alternate the direction in which you press the rows, so that you'll have nice interlocking seams when you sew the rows together to complete the four blocks. 

Sew your four large star blocks together.

Hey, guess what? You finished the top! My dog, Chase thinks you're awesome!

Want to make a fancy backing to go with?

Take the remaining 10 squares leftover from the top. I cut 4 10” squares from my black accent fabric, then chose 4 matching black dot/tan squares and 8 grey squares. Lay them out as above, and sew the block.

From you backing fabric, cut one piece of fabric 36.5” x width of fabric. (Your star should measure 36.5”. If your star measures differently, use that measurement.) Cut this into two pieces. I didn't want my star to be exactly centered, so I cut at approximately 30”, making two pieces: 36.5" x 30" and 36.5" x 12". Sew these pieces to each side of your star.  From remaining backing fabric, cut two pieces 45” x width of fabric. Remove selvages, and sew these pieces together, to create one piece of fabric approximately 45” x 82". Cut this unit into two pieces along the long length. Again, I didn't want mine centered, so mine are about 30” x 82” and 15” x 82”. Sew the 30” piece to the top of the star unit, and the 15” piece to the bottom of the star unit.  Your backing is finished!

Layer your quilt top and back with batting. Baste and quilt as desired. Thanks to my friend Maria O'Haver for doing such a beautiful job on the quilting!

Cut binding fabric into 8 pieces 2.5” x width of fabric. Join on the diagonal to create double fold binding. Attach to top of quilt. Hand sew to back of quilt.

My favorite quilt photo shoot location!

Woo, woo! A new quilt!

You did it! 

Thanks for following along with me. I’d love for you to stop by my blog and say “hi”!

1 Midnight Stars Quilt, 72"x 72"

Heather Kojan


Quiltjane said...

Heather, your quilt is gorgeous. The Basic Grey fabrics are perfect.

Quiltjane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CruiseFan said...

WOW ....
this so so great!
Thank you for a very good tutorial.
Finally I have no excuse any more to make something "fabulous" using up the grey fabrics I have accumulated over the years.....

Irene said...

Awesome and beautiful quilt. Great tutorial

Laura said...

It turned out great! I love your bridge photos. Makes me wonder what is below (I would surely drop the quilt! Ack!)

Karen said...

Beautiful! I might try a smaller version with charm squares to make a wall hanging. I love the colors!

trish loesch said...


I love, love, love this quilt. The colors are fabulous! I want to make one.

Mary Pat Callihan said...

Holy cow! I just love it! The colors, the design....the whole thing just rocks!

Jo said...

Great quilt!!

Pat said...

Yikes, how did I miss this one! Beautiful quilt.

Janice said...

I love this quilt. Great!

Janet said...

I love the larger block size and the fabric selection. It really shows off the beauty of the prints in the Basic Gray collection. I definitely want to try those out.

Cheryl said...

I love the huge star blocks and the colors!

Amy Verne said...

Love it. Maybe I can do it on the retreat!

Linda said...

Beautiful quilt, I'm putting this one on my to make list.

Helen Vigansky said...

If I wanted to make a queen sized quilt, do you think doubling your requirements would be adequate>

Heather said...

Thanks all for your lovely comments! Helen, I think if you upped it to a nine patch, you'd have more that plenty. The star blocks are 36" each, so with nine, your quilt would finish at about 108" square. So, upping the fabric and by an additional half (3 layer cakes, etc) should be ample. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Heather said...

Oops, I should never try to leave comments before my morning coffee. Helen, yes, double up, 4 layer cakes should do the trick. You'll have plenty of squares. You might just want to get a bit of extra black yardage. Again, please let me know if you have any other questions!

Becca said...

I'm working on a quilt using this design. Thank you, Heather, for sharing such a great pattern with us.

craftytammie said...

It's gorgeous! I love it against that rock background too. :)

quiltnewbe2010 said...

I absolutely LOVE your backing fabric! It really sets off the single star very well!

The LadyBugs Garden said...

I absolutely love this. Ii seems easy. I will be making one of these quilts. Oh yes I love the back also!!. Thanks for the tute

Dodo said...

Crazy question, but would this work with charm squares?

Heather said...


Yes, I think it would. Of course, you'd have a much smaller quilt!

Each block would be about 16" square, so the quilt top would end up around 32".