Countdown to Christmas: Shining Star

Every quilt needs a shining star somewhere in it.  Hopefully, this sweet little block adds some sparkle to your project. 🙂

Hello, Kathy Ludowese here from Gathering Friends Quilt Shop!  We’re in our 20th year at Gathering Friends Quilt Shop, set in a small Midwestern village Bird Island, MN.  We’ve been designing and playing with color since we opened in 1998.  Moda has long been our fabric of choice and we have lots of it!!

My block finishes at 6″ (6-1/2″ unfinished).







Fat Quarter of White fabric
Fat Quarter of Red fabric
Fat Quarter of Green fabric



From neutral:

  • (4) 2½” squares
  • (4) 1½” squares

From red:

  • (2) 3″ squares
  • (2) 2″ squares
  • (12) 1½” squares

From green:

  • (2) 3″ squares
  • (2) 2″ squares
  • (4) 1½” squares

This block has a lot of seams that meet and create bulk. Pressing instructions are given, but feel free to press all seams open if you wish to reduce bulk.


Layer a 2″ red square and a 2″ green square, right sides together.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and stitch a ¼” on each side of the line.

Cut on the line and press seams toward the red.  Proof to 1½”.  Make 4 pieced squares.

Sew the pieced squares together as diagrammed, to form the pinwheel center.  Press seams in the top row to the left and the bottom row to the right.
Pay close attention to angle and the color placement.  Press center seam open.  Proof to 2½”.  Make 1.

Position a 1½” red square on opposite corners of the 2½” white square.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and stitch on this line.
Trim seam allowance to ¼” and press the seam open.  Following the diagram for color placement, repeat this procedure on the opposite sides of the
white square with a 2″ red square and a 2″ green square.  Proof to 2½”. Make 4 star point squares.

Sew a star point square on each side of the pinwheel center, as diagrammed. Press seams away from the center.  Make 1.

Layer a 3″ green square and a 3″ red square, right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and
sew ¼” on each side of the line and press the seam toward the green. Proof to 2½”.  Make 4 pieced squares.

Position a 1½” white square on the red triangle.  Draw a diagonal line from corner to corner and stitch on this line.
Trim seam allowance to ¼” and press the seams toward the white. Proof to 2½”.

Sew a pieced square to each side of the remaining star point square.  Press seams toward the center.  Make 2.

Assemble block, as diagrammed.  Press the seams towards the center.  Proof to 6½”.

TaDa!!!  The finished block…Enjoy 🙂

This block finishes at 6″ (6-1/2″ unfinished).

Pinwheels are my favorite block, they’re so fun to play with.    Here’s a pinwheel with pizzazz!  You could play with a variety of colors or keep it to the 3 for impact.  If you use this in a project, I’d love to see it!  Feel free to share it with me at

Kathryn Ludowese

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Kathryn Ludowese

Kathryn Ludowese

I'm an avid quilter, whose passion for design and color has carried me into owning Gathering Friends Quilt Shop for the last 18 years with Deb, my sister-in-law.We love to design patterns and write books....24 books and counting.As any typical quilter, I can't leave a pattern the way it's supposed to be.I need to change it, tweak it and create a different look.One of my favorite things to do is play with color, texture and layouts to make each quilt original. My work is really just playing!Of course, my amazing family reaps the benefits of having a quilting mom and grandma, so it's a win-win.Family and quilting are at the top of my list!To see more creativity go to
Kathryn Ludowese

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9 comments on “Countdown to Christmas: Shining Star

  1. Judy D says:

    What a pretty block!

  2. mauricette says:

    Merci pour ce joli bloc !
    Bonne journée hivernale

  3. RM says:

    This block doesn’t look right. If the 4 corner squares were made as the instructions say the seam between the red and green pieces would be corner to corner not 1/4″ in from the corner. Am I seeing right?

    • VMR says:

      I agree, picture and directions don’t match

      • VMR says:

        Lesson learned, no more posting until I have made the block. It turned out wonderfully. Thank you for a great block.

    • Pamela Rapp says:

      The seam is corner to corner, but when you sew the sections together with a quarter inch seam, then that diagonal seam only goes to a quarter inch from the edge. That’s what you want because when you sew this block to another or to sashing with a quarter inch seam – Voila! – you won’t lose your points!

    • Dot says:

      The illustrated block still has its outer seam allowances. When the corner square is sewn to the side square-in-a-square unit, the seam allowance between those two units makes the diagonal line end a bit away from the raw outer edge. All will be well when the blocks are sewn together.

  4. halejm says:

    Love your block and fabrics! Thank you….

  5. Suzi says:

    This should be rated “Ambitious”!!!

Comments are closed.