Irish Star Quilt Along Part 4: Irish Star STAR Block TUTORIAL

Welcome back to the Irish Star quiltalong.  If this is your first visit, or as a refresher, refer to the IRISH STAR QUILTALONG tab above for previous posts and general information.

Today I am sharing the STAR block for our Irish Star quilt.  The construction is a little different and took me a few tries to get it right.  Please feel free to ask for clarification at any step of the way.  Some readers have decided that they are going to make the STAR blocks their main project and let the Chain blocks be their leader ender–works for me!


I look forward to seeing all your quilts grow!

NOTE:  below the first measurement given is for a 1-1/2″ base square quilt.  In parentheses are the sizes for the 2″ and 2-1/2″, in that order.


MATERIALS–FOR ONE BLOCK (29 pieces in all):

*4 base size squares 1-1/2″, 2″ or 2-1/2″–from your scrappy squares

*For star center and points- 8 base size squares 1-1/2″ (2″, 2-1/2″) and 1 center square 2-1/2″ (3-1/2″, 4-1/2″)

*From background– A) 4 1″x1-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x2″, 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″); B) 4 1″x2″ (4 1-1/4″x2-3/4″, 4 1-1/2″x3-1/2″); C) 4 1-1/2″x2-1/2″ (4 2″x3-1/2″, 4 2-1/2″x4-1/2″); D) 4 1″x2-1/2″ (4 1-1/4″x3-1/2″, 4 1-1/2″x4-1/2″);


  1. Attach one base square to one A background piece.  Repeat a total of 4 times.DSC00617
  2. Normally I am not obsessive about pressing direction and just let things go as they will, but this time, PRESS OPEN.  You will thank me later.  Particularly if you are using 1-1/2″ base squares. DSC00618
  3. Arrange your base square-A units around your star center.  NOTE:  The colored square will be UP and OUT from the center.  The background pieces are IN and DOWN/TOWARDS the star center.  Place your background B piece next to them. Keep this reference point in mind. DSC00620
  4. Complete your corner sections by attaching the B background piece to the base-A units. Repeat a total of four times.
  5. Now you are going to build the points of the stars using your background C pieces and the Star Point base square pieces. You will use the stitch-trim-flip method.  I recommend you add the star points by stitching from the middle diagonally towards the point.  This reduces the likelihood of the fabric being “eaten” by the machine.
  6. Attach one to each background piece.  Stitch-trim-flip and iron open.  Then add the second point piece to each background C.  Stitch-trim-flip and IRON open.
  7. Time to complete the star units by adding background D to the TOP (pointy part) of the unit you just created.
  8. Lay out your star parts–you should have 9 small units to assemble.  Double check that the corners are correctly aligned with the colored base squares UP and OUT compared to the star center.  Check again. Avoid your seam ripper. 🙂DSC00647
  9. Finally, assemble the block 9-patch style, one row at a time.
  10. Ta-Dah!  You have created an Irish Star block.  YAY!  Now, how many more do you have to go?  Only 180 for me!!!20170807_142936

Let me know how it is going and if you see any errors (especially that) or if you have any questions.  I am so happy with my growing collection of blocks.  It is going to be a beautiful quilt.DSC00655

You can start to see the chain effect, though it becomes much more noticeable when the blocks are assembled. DSC00653

24 thoughts on “Irish Star Quilt Along Part 4: Irish Star STAR Block TUTORIAL

  1. Thank you. I really wanted to do some of the stars along with the others. I have 18 of 81 done. LOL I need this done by December, so I’d better get busy.

      1. If you are using 2-1/2″ base squares, you have made enough blocks for 2 queen size quilts. That is AMAZING! I haven’t posted finishing instructions yet, but, if you split each type of your blocks almost in half–40 in one pile and 41 in the other–then combine them so one quilt will have 41 chains and 40 stars and the other will have 40 stars and 41 chains. Lay them out alternating. One will have stars in the corners and one will have chains in the corners. If you want to make it larger than 90″ square, I would suggest a 2-1/2 plain border (94″). Or, if you want to go larger, add on an alternating base square/background (98″), or even another background after that (102″) that will make 2 VERY LARGE quilts.

  2. I am not making the math work in my head. I will have to cut out pieces and actually do it. LOL I’m glad you are the one who had to do the math this time. =)

  3. Hi, I love this pattern and would love to try. I would like to make the twin size, with the 2 1/2″ blocks. I wanted to know how many blocks that I would have to make of the stars and irish chains; I drew out a diagram and did the math. What I ended up with was 32 irish chains and 31 star blocks; and that was if I started with my irish chains block. I know that there are 63 blocks in all, with 9 rows of 7 blocks; does that sound right to you? I love the way that you have it set up, and the reasons for the back ground and the colors. Not sure if I will be able to pull it off; but I sure am seriously thinking about it. It would be my first quilt along ever, and I couldn’t think of a nicer group of ladies to do it with. And being a leader ender I wouldn’t be under a real tight time line. Nevertheless I am closely following what you are doing and love it! So thanks!

    1. Your math looks right to me. I do hope you enjoy making your blocks as much as I have. And, yes, there is no deadline and you can take your time, working on it as you work on other things. Feel free to ask more questions as they come along.

  4. This looks great and thanks for posting
    Could you do the centre edge rectangles as HST joined together. I hate wasting the corners 🙂

  5. So far I have 10 of the chain blocks done, working on them at my leasior. Don’t know yet how big it will be. Right now I’m just enjoying making them.

  6. Deanna, I just discovered your blog yesterday and then found this great Irish Star Quilt-along. I love it and started straightaway. Your instructions are brilliantly clear, and the extra information very helpful. I love the star – it works so easily and all fits together so well. I have already done 17 blocks because for years I have cut my scraps into 2 inch squares and saved them, making them into bright scrappy quilts, and I have two biscuit tins of 2 inch squares ready to go! I have made all of my stars in plain navy blue, my background is white and my scrappy squares are mainly bright and pretty , so the result is very clean and crisp. So thrilled thus far…..
    Thankyou for sharing this quilt.
    Is there some way that participants post photos as the quilts start to reach completion? I would love to see everyone’s finished quilts.
    Neralie in Australia.

  7. I am wondering if the cutting instructions need to be adjusted for the star. In the tutorial, the points of the star are cut off. In the picture of your stars, the points are good. Do we need to adjust our cutting on the star points?
    I am not to that point yet since I am still cutting those dreaded 2″ squares.

    1. I cut up my small scraps and put them in containers with the size marked on it ready to use when needed. It makes it a lot easier and helps with those scrap piles.

    2. Marcia, the stars only look to have tips cut off, but when the pieces are sewn together the seam which uses up some extra fabric moves the tips to the correct places. You do not have to change anything in the cutting. 😊

  8. Mine is done. I haven’t made a large quilt – 49 blocks. I quilted around the stars by hand. Now I am starting another one with black and gold stars for my grandson. I have just removed all my pinks and florals from my stash of 2 inch squares. Can’t risk any girly touches with this boy!

  9. I Just started this quilt. I’m not sure of the size yet. I did the Cocalico Rose quilt and absolutely love it! You must come up with another design now!!!

  10. Just found your site today and your quilts are just wonderul scrap busters. The irish star quillt is my favorite and I can’t wait to get started cutting blocks for it!

  11. For the star units, I’m going to figure out how to use one solid background square so that cutting all those extra pieces to on top of the stitch and flip units won’t be needed.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It is nice to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s