Stars - Inspiration
Welcome to Week 4 of Stars month! Watch out, this week is packed full! More demo's, free patterns, free EQ layouts!
Inspiration. By now you have practiced some or all of the various techniques and have assembled at least one complete star, right? Now, what to do with it? Each month in our ongoing Techniques series, we'll include some inspiration for you using the theme we've been working on. All four of the April lessons will remain online indefinitely, so bookmark it and refer to it again and again.
Free is a very good price! Check out our Free Patterns page for a wide variety of free blocks and quilt patterns. Here are a few that feature stars:
Wishing for something other than a Variable Star block? Here are 2 video demonstrations showing how to use specialty rulers that give you even more variety in your star blocks. To watch the videos, click on the tab within this tutorial, at the top of this page. The Tall Triangle Ruler, by Darlene Zimmerman, gives you an easy way to make long, narrow points, in any size you like. The Tri Rec tools provide you with yet another shape for triangles, perfect for star blocks.
Now, on to the inspiration!
If you like to design, or have thought about designing your own quilts, or you tend to modify every pattern you buy, then this is exactly the right place for you! We'll provide the finished block size we used and the quilt size to help you get your creative juices flowing! As an added bonus, each of these quilt layouts were designed in EQ6 (Electric Quilt, version 6). If you own EQ6, you can download our files here and modify them to your hearts content. We've left off outer border measurements below, because you'll want to do your own thing. Of course, we've shown them in Connecting Threads fabrics, but you can design your quilts in any fabric, including your stash.
Keep in mind these are not patterns, there are no instructions. This is for the adventurer within. If you prefer to only follow a specific pattern with instructions, this might not be for you and you could check out our kits with patterns.
Floating Stars. Do you have spare star blocks laying around from a previous project, or a class you never finished? Use it in any simple layout to make your star pop! Here, we've used the simple rail fence with just one Star for a unique design. It could work with any simple layout, and any number of stars. Odd numbers are best for visual interest. You could place 3 stars in a corner for another cool effect.
Shown in Mama's Cottons II. Measures approx. 38" x 47". Blocks are 9" finished.
Dual Sized Stars. Try using two different sized Star blocks. You could vary the color for a scrappy look, or keep it uniform.
Shown in Antoinette. Measures approx. 52" x 52". Block size is 12 1/2" square.
Another effect here with two sizes of stars could be to use plain fabric in two of the smaller star spaces to create a more defined diagonal line across your quilt....like this:
Shown in After Hours. Approx. 52" square, using 12 1/2" blocks.
Here's another way to use the same star block in two sizes. This time we laid them on point. We used very large stars, but this could be a wonderful miniature project as well.
Shown in Firecracker. Approx 52" square with 25" and 12 1/2" finished star blocks.
Signature Quilts. Quilt groups and quilty friends are always looking for new ideas to incorporate signatures for friendship quilts. Here's just one idea - include a space inside a star block! In our example, we left the center medallion blank, but you could applique something specific to the recipient...maybe even a photo?
Shown in Firecracker. Approx 52" square, using 10" finished blocks, set on point around a medallion center. The star blocks were made in two colorways.
Simple Super Stars. Nothing beats simple! Here we've used a basic Variable Star that shows off a pretty focal in each center. Sashing is simple, with corner blocks, along with a simple square border. But both the sashing and the border squares could easily be made scrappy to give a more colorful, less planned look...and a great way to use up scraps! The outer border could also repeat the larger focal to tie it all back together.
Shown in Antoinette. Approx 63 1/2" x 75 1/2" with 9" finished Star blocks and 3" squares in the sashing and border.
Mix and Match. Stars. Stars are wonderful when paired with other blocks! Here, we've paired a Variable Star with a Double Nine Patch. This layout would work well with a different star in every space instead of the same repeated. The stars could also be scrappy, allowing the Nine Patch chain effect to "outline" the stars.
Shown in Bed & Breakfast. Approx 49" x 67" using 9" finished blocks.
Here's another Mix and match quilt, this time with a Snail's Trail block combined with a Variable Star, set on point. You can really play with color for a wide variety of effects with this combo!
Shown in Sweet & Sour. Approx. 53" x 64 1/2", using 12 3/4" finished blocks.
Placemats. Can you ever have enough placemats? This is a great place to play with designs because simpler is better. Start with one star and add borders until you're happy with the size. Repeat for every place setting! Then move on to matching table runners! We made ours patriotic, but you can make something for every season.
Shown in Firecracker. Approx. 18" x 13", with a 7" finished Star block set on point.
Table runners. Stars are perfect for table runners! Start with an odd number and begin adding sashing and borders until you like the size. Make them match your placemats, above. We used three blocks on ours, and turned one on point to show more background color with the setting triangles.
Far left shown in Antoinette, approx. 15" x 35" with 9" finished star blocks, Far right shown in Sweet & Sour, approx 18" x 43" with 12 1/2" star blocks set on point.
Borders. Stars make excellent borders! Nearly any quilt design could be enhanced with a star block border. We show it on a square quilt, but it will work on any shape, traditional or not. We left this unfinished on purpose so you can imagine your own quilts in the center.
Shown in Firecracker.
Pillowcases. Don't forget pillowcases! Stars are a great way to dress up the edge of a pillowcase. Make one to match the quilt you're giving as a special gift to that special someone!
Shown in Antoinette. Approx 31 1/2" x 22", with 5 1/2" star blocks.
We hope you've enjoyed our Stars Technique month! If you'd like to join Karen's free Quilt Along for Stars, click here. All of the free EQ files you see in this weeks lesson can be downloaded here. Please remember these are not patterns, only block layouts for inspiration.
Karen demonstrates the Tall Triangle Ruler, designed by Darlene Zimmerman
Karen demonstrates the Tri Rec Tools, designed by Darlene Zimmerman and Joy Hoffman