Dolly Madison Star Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Make Dolly Madison Star Quilt Blocks

    Dolly Madison Star Quilt Block Pattern
    The Spruce / Janet Wickell

    Dolly Madison star is an easy quilt block pattern that's similar to Ohio Star. We changed Dolly Madison's layout just a tiny bit to make it easier to assemble.

    Dolly Madison Star's Structure

    • The quarter square triangle units that make up the star tips in the Dolly Madison star are easily created by using quick pieced half square triangle units as their parents.
    • The block's center is a simple nine-patch unit.
    • Block corners are made with easy rotary-cut fabric squares.
    • Finished block size: 9 1/2" x 9 1/2"

    Fabrics You'll Need

    Use your stash to make a set of scrappy quilt blocks and then sew them together in any way you like.

    Quilting Fabrics and Cutting Instructions

    • Bright red: Two 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" squares
    • Blue print: Four 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" squares
    • Neutral background: Two 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" squares; Five 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares**; Four 3 1/2" x 3 1/2" squares
    • Black or navy print: Four 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares**

    **Alternate method: The center nine-patch can be strip pieced—a good method when making many identical blocks. Use 1 1/2" wide strips of the two fabrics and create strip sets that mimic rows 1 and 3 (identical) and row 2.

    Use the segment size and number of segments needed to calculate strip length, for instance:

    1. If you're making three quilt blocks, you will need 6 row-1 segments/row-3 segments.
    2. 6 segments x 1 1/2" for each segment length = 9".
    3. Add 1/2" to 1" for squaring up the strip set before cutting segments.
    4. Cut two 1 1/2" x 10" neutral strips and one 1 1/2" x 10" black strip.
    5. Sew the neutral strips lengthwise to each side of the black strip. Press, square up and cut away the six 1 1/2" segments.
    6. Calculate strip lengths for the center row in the same way.
    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Assembly Instructions

    Dolly Madison Star Quilt Block Pattern
    The Spruce / Janet Wickell

    Sew the Star Quilt Block

    1. Pair a 4 1/4" red square with a blue print square of the same size.
    2. Use an easy quick piecing method to create two half-square triangle units from the pair. Each completed unit should measure 3 7/8" x 3 7/8".
    3. Repeat to make two more identical half-square triangle units.
    4. Pair each 4 1/4" background square with a 4 1/4" blue print square, using the same method to create additional half-square triangle units.
    5. Use the same technique to make quarter square triangle units from your half-square "parents." Pair a red/blue print unit with a background/blue print unit. When positioned right sides together for sewing, the blue print halves should be against a contrasting fabric, not blue against blue.
    6. When cut apart, each quarter square triangle unit should have two blue print triangles across from each other. The neutral and red triangles will be in the remaining positions as illustrated.
    7. Arrange the 1 1/2" background and dark squares into three rows as shown, center illustration.
    8. Sew squares in each row together. Press seam allowances towards the darker fabric.
    9. Join the rows, matching seam intersections carefully.
    10. Arrange your pieced components and the 3 1/2" background squares into three rows as shown. Sew components of each row together.
    11. Press seam allowances towards the background squares in rows 1 and 2; towards the nine patch unit in the center row.
    12. Sew the rows together, matching seam intersections. Press. The quilt block should measure 9 1/2" x 9 1/2".
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Layout Option

    Dolly Madison Star Quilt Layout
    The Spruce / Janet Wickell

    This example illustrates a scrap quilt made by arranging the quilt blocks on-point. The star areas of blocks are the same, but the outermost background fabrics differ.

    The switch is enough to add a bit of variety to the quilt—varying fabrics within the stars would result in an even scrappier project.