My-Size Stars Quilt Tutorial

Haul out your scraps, or charm packs, or layer cakes, or even jelly rolls.  This quilt will put them to good use.  This design is special because it can use ANY size square you have on hand, or might wish to create.  Really. My sample blocks were sewn with charm (5-inch) squares, but the finished quilt shown below used 3-inch squares.  The directions are the same!


NOTE:  All dimensions are in inches (“) and sewing assumes a 1/4” seam allowance.


First you need to decide what size your base square will be.


Here is a little size information to get you started

Base Square Size Finished Block Size
2 1/2 inches 3 1/2 inches
3 inches 4 1/2 inches
4 inches 6 1/2 inches
5 inches 8 1/2 inches
6 inches 10 1/2 inches

 Once you have settled on a block size, you need to decide how many blocks you need to build the quilt you have in mind.  Again, a few suggestions.

NOTE:  Don’t let all those numbers scare you. I am not totally happy with this chart, but wanted to have some suggestions.  The flexibility of this pattern leaves a lot of decisions to the imagination of the quilter.  That said, please let me know of any ideas you have to present the information more clearly.  Thanks!

Throw Twin Queen
Base Square Size Block layout/Finished size Block layout/Finished size Block layout/Finished size
2 1/2″ 17×17, 59 1/2 x 59 1/2″ 20×25, 70×87 1/2″ 27×30, 94 1/2×105″
3″ 13×13, 58 1/2 x 58 1/2″ 16×20, 72 x 90″ 21×23, 94 1/5″x103 1/2″
4″ 9×9, 58 1/2 x 58 1/2″ 11×13, 71 1/2 x 84 1/2″ 15×17, 97 1/2 x 110 1/2″
5″ 8×8, 68 x 68″ 9×11, 76 1/2 x 93 1/2″ 11×12, 93 1/2 x 102″
6″ 6×6, 63 x 63″ 7×9, 73 1/2 x 94 1/2″ 9×10, 94 1/2 x 105″


Once you have decided the size of your base square and the number of blocks you need, multiply the number of blocks by six.  That is the total number of squares you will need to complete the quilt.  Half (three per block) will be light and half will be dark.

For example, if I were building a throw out of 5″ base squares, I need a total of 64 blocks, which, when multiplied by 6 equals 384.  Divide that in half.  I need 192 dark squares and 192 light squares. Clear as mud?


You will also need batting, backing and binding in accordance with the size of the quilt you finish.  If I can help in determining yardage, please let me know.


Your base squares will be used three different ways:

1. As base squares.  No additional cutting required.

2. As half squares.  Each square is cut in half with a single cut.  This yields a bar shape.  For example, a five-inch square, cut in half, becomes two half squares that are 2 1/2″ x 5″.

3. As quarter squares.  Each square is cut in even quarters with two cuts.  This yields four small squares.  For example, a five-inch square, cut in quarters, becomes four quarter squares that are 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″.

There are two basic versions of the block:  light center and dark center.

For each “dark center” block you need

Dark:  1 base square,  8 quarter squares (two base squares, cut in quarters)

Light: 4 half squares (two base squares, cut in half), 4 quarter squares (one base square, cut in quarters).

For each “light center” block, you need the opposite

Dark: 4 half squares(two base squares, cut in half), 4 quarter squares (one base square, cut in quarters).

Light:  1 base square,  8 quarter square (two base squares, cut in quarters)

I cut all of my base squares first.  Then, as I was ready to piece each block, selected my six pieces, three light and three dark, and cut and laid them out.  That way I didn’t have too many small pieces floating around at once.

First, I built my flying geese-type shapes using the four half squares and the eight quarter squares.

Mark a diagonal line on the back of each of the eight quarter squares.  This is your stitching line.  Line each quarter square up with one end of each half square.  Stitch along stitching line.

Do the same with another quarter square on the other side.

Repeat for all four half squares.  Trim off corners 1/4″ away from stitching line.

Iron open.(Color change here, don’t be confused)

Prepare to assemble your blocks.

I like to sew my blocks into three strips first.

Then iron so your seam allowances will nest well.

Sew the three strips together and, ta-dah, a finished block.

The block goes together really easily once you get the hang of it.

I hope you will enjoy this tutorial and feel free to share anything you make using it.  Also, ask questions and give suggestions.  I want this to be as helpful and usable as possible and need all the help I can get. 🙂


Pat Chubb’s Version


Butterfly Stars baby quilt

2015-02-07 16.12.54

Julie’s Version


41 thoughts on “My-Size Stars Quilt Tutorial

  1. Nice! Very clear. Interesting that the flying geese unit finishes so that the point is lost “underneath” the center square of the star. So much easier than worrying about some being cut off while others aren’t. I didn’t even notice until I saw the finish flying geese unit. I had to scroll back up to look at the finished quilt again.

  2. i like the 5″ charm square size block…i love that it uses only 5″ squares cut 3 ways…eliminates soooo much measuring…my next project after the one i’m working on…thanks so much for the tutorial..i love the pattern….

  3. Ohh, I like this block, and I especially like that all of the math is figured out for me! It is amazing that you have managed to explain it in such a way that I can start with any sized block! Woo Hoo! I will either do a practice run with my light and dark oldish Moda charms that I had originally planned to use with simple applique hearts on half, or I will tackle the 8 inch squares of 1930’s prints I cut yesterday in prep for another, simpler quilt! Choices – I love them!

  4. Great tutorial! This actually helps me with a current project I’m working on, using the same block. I like the effect of the dark and light centers too.

  5. Thanks for the tutorial! I’ve been trying to decide on blocks for some Independence Day decor, and these look managable!

  6. hi yeah for the stars tutorial i need all the help too make some and your tutorial sure does it, thanks soooooo much. Star is you too your work shines. by

  7. I am a new quilter and love this pattern! I would like to make a queens size quilt.

    At the risk of sounding dumb…how many blocks would it take to make a queen size quilt and how much yardage for the blocks?

    I am wondering if you can use all different colors (I have alot of fat quarters) or will it not look good? Someone told me all the points should be dark colors…what do you suggest?

    1. Fran, you don’t sound dumb.

      If you are using fat quarters, which you said you have a lot of, to make a queen size quilt, you could cut them into 6″ squares, if they really are 18″ wide, or 5″ squares.

      If 6″ squares, you can get 9 per fat quarter. You will need a total of 540 6″ squares. This means about 60 fat quarters, or about 30 fat quarters each of light and dark.

      If 5″ squares, you can get 12 per fat quarter. You will need a total of 792 5″ squares. This means about 66 fat quarters, or about 33 fat quarters each of light and dark.

      Remember that this makes a very generously sized queen size quilt. You can cut down the number of blocks by shortening the length of the quilt by a row.

      As far as the points being light or dark, I alternated in the sample quilt shown on the tutorial. One square is light with a dark background, and the next is dark with a light background. Of course you can do it any way that suits you. There is no rule that I know of that says points have to be any particular color at all. I say, the more colors the merrier the quilt! Use what you already have and love and you are sure to love the results!

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Please feel free to ask any other questions and keep me posted on how yours is coming along.

      1. Thank you for your reply! I see from your blog you had a quilt a-long called my stars….looks like it was a great quilt a-long….I noticed that all the stars were different. In this tutorial it is one star the same size which is great for me as a beginner. I thought I had alot of fat quarters but not as many as you mentioned! Wow…that is alot. I have to keep getting some stash :)……I have some prints that I already cut to 5 inch blocks so that will work for me. How much fabric would I need for the background for a queen quilt?

        My other question is what is your next quilt along?

        You have a great blog!!

  8. Show the squares before the squares are cut and then show individual squares cut for those that are just starting quilting, both half and quart squares.
    Thank you
    Helen J.

  9. Beautiful and easy looking quilt. I will make this my next project after making 3 baby quilts for expected great grand children. Thankk you so much.

  10. When making the My-Size Stars quilt in a throw size using 5″ squares, could you break that down into yardage for the range of colors (A, B, C,D, etc) and what is cut from the different colors. I’m very new to quilting and need specific directions.

    1. I would be happy to help, but need to know what size quilt you are planning to make. That will let me know how many squares/star blocks you will need and then it will be possible to determine yardage of each color.

    2. I would recommend using a 5″ base block. If you lay it out 6×8 (total of 48 blocks) it will be 51×68, very close to the QOV size. So, with 48 blocks, you will need total of 288 5″ squares. 144 light and 144 dark. Depending on how scrappy you want it….well, you need a total of 2-3/4 yards each of light and dark fabrics. If you cut all from one piece, that will give you enough. If you use scrappy or a mix of colors you will need to divide that 2-3/4 yards by the number of different fabrics you are using.

  11. Yes, the chart is very confusing to me. I am a very new quilter, but love this look. Why is the throw using a 3″ base block smaller than the throw using the 2.5″ base block?

    1. The chart was not my favorite part of this pattern, but I did want to highlight the flexibility of the design. To answer your question, the throws are all about the same size, but use a different number of blocks. So, the 2.5″ base block, which creates blocks that finish at 3-1/2″, uses 17×17 blocks, or 289. The 3″ base block, which finishes at 4-1/2″, uses 13×13 blocks, or 169. I hope that helps. Thank you for your question. Deanna


  12. aww This would Be fun to do for the Grandkids. . fast and Easy..
    This turned out very Cute..
    Thank You for Sharing

  13. Thank you for writing and sharing such a detailed tutorial. I’m still in the “stitch in the ditch” and straight line “quilt as you go” work. This will be my first “star” and I’m very much looking forward to learning new skills. Again – Thank You!

  14. This is a beautiful quilt pattern that I’d like to try, but before I do, please explain to me what a “base” square is. Thank you!

    1. The “base square” is the size square you want to use throughout the quilt. You will notice that all the pieces of the blocks can be cut from a single size square. That is where the term “base square” comes from. Decide what size finished block you want, or start with the size squares you already have. Either way it is easy to calculate the number of squares you need to create the size quilt you want.

  15. So great!! Your directions are super clear! The quilt I made was so beautiful. Made a Quilt of Valor using these easy, super fast instructions. Forgot to take a pic b/4 shipping it off – guess I will just have to make another.

  16. Thank you!!! I have been contemplating making a star quilt for awhile, and I like this type of star. I wanted to use 5″ squares in the center,( I have a lot of charm packs) but couldn’t find a pattern that used them. I’m going to print this out for future use with other sizes. And I think I’ll make mine really scrappy.

  17. I just found your star pattern and being a beginner you did a great job illustrating things for me. thank you. I do wish it had example of yardage for bigger squares or background yardage. but thanks I’m gonna try a star quilt now.

    1. I haved tried to download your pattern because I would love to make it but have been unable to do so don’t know what the problem is

      1. The BEST tutorial on the net!!!! SO much information beyond a pattern and in a very readable and understandable format, then resulting in a super quilt anyone can make and love. Thank YOU.

  18. Wonderful tutorial and that quilt with burgundy, blues and white is inspirational. It will be perfect for my partner, an ex-paratrooper. The burgundy and sky blue are their dress uniform colours. He will be delighted with it, I just need to collect the colours andstart.Thank you!

  19. I just found you and loved the quilts, giving us square sizes is wonderful. Thank you so much. I look forward to following you.

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