Evening Star Quilt Block Pattern With a Nine-Patch Center

  • 01 of 05

    How to Make Evening Star Quilt Blocks

    Evening Star Quilt Blocks with Nine Patch Centers
    Janet Wickell. The Spruce Crafts, 2006.

    This variation of the Evening Star quilt block pattern has a nine patch quilt block at its center instead of a single large square of fabric, giving you more opportunity to add splashes of extra color. Evening Star is perfect for quilters of every skill level, and even beginning quilters can sew the block with ease.

    Don't be surprised if you see the same basic star pattern called many names. The term Variable star is one, but there are many others.

    About the Star Blocks in the Photo

    The Evening Star quilt blocks in the photo are both assembled in precisely the same way but notice that the block on the left has a 3-dimensional look. That happened because its center nine patch and striped corner squares are bold in comparison to other fabrics. Sew with fabrics that contrast even more to achieve a more recognizable 3D appearance.

    Evening Star Finished Size: 12" square

    Quilt Block Materials and Cutting Chart

    The pattern explains how to quick piece three Evening Star quilt blocks at a time to help you draw from a stash of leftover fabrics. For lots of identical blocks, cut additional fabrics and substitute fabric colors as desired.

    Some of the strips are perfect for fat quarters, and even the long strip can be altered to cut 3" squares from those handy cuts of fabric.

    Squares for Quilt Block Corners

    • One: 3-1/2" x 44" light green strip cut into twelve 3-1/2" squares

    Strip Pieced Nine Patch Centers

    • Two: 2-1/2" x 15-1/2" medium blue strips
    • One: 2-1/2" x 15-1/2" light green strip
    • Two: 2-1/2" x 8" light green strips
    • One: 2-1/2" x 8" medium blue strip

    Half Square Triangle Units for Star Tips

    Read the options on Page 3 before cutting fabric.

    • Twelve: 3-7/8" very dark blue squares
    • Twelve: 3-7/8" very light blue squares

    You're in total control of color and color value, so put their characteristics to work for you to control the final look of a quilt.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Sew Nine Patch Quilt Blocks for the Star Block Centers

    Patchwork for Variable Star Quilt Block
    Janet Wickell. The Spruce Crafts, 2006.

    Sew Nine Patch Block Strip Sets

    Use a 1/4" seam allowance for all seams.

    Strip Set A

    1. Right sides together and edges aligned, sew a medium blue 2-1/2" x 15-1/2" strip lengthwise to a light green strip of the same length. Press seam allowance towards the blue strip.
    2. Sew a second medium blue strip of the same length to the opposite side of the green strip. Press seam allowance towards the blue strip.
    3. Square up one end of the strip set and cut six 2-1/2" segments from the squared up end. Set units aside.

    Strip Set B

    1. Sew a light green 2-1/2" x 8" strip lengthwise to each side of a 2-1/2" x 8" medium blue strip. Press seam allowance towards the blue strips.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut three 2-1/2" units from the squared up end.

    Assemble the Nine Patch Blocks

    1. Arrange two units from Strip Set A and one unit from Strip Set B as shown in the diagram above--with the Set B unit in the middle position.
    2. Sew the rows together. Seams pressed in opposite directions should butt nicely for a good match. Press new seams away from the center row.
    3. Repeat to make three nine-patch blocks.


    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Sew Half Square Triangle Units for Star Quilt Blocks

    Make Patchwork for Variable Star Quilt Block
    Janet Wickell. The Spruce Crafts, 2006.

    Sew the Star Tips

    Most of the star tips were sewn from triangle square units, also called half square triangles and one of the most common quilting components.

    It's easy to create the units by sewing two squares together with two diagonal seams, then slicing them apart midway between the seams to produce two identical triangle square units. The cutting instructions for this pattern match that method.

    Read the triangle square instructions and make 24 triangle-squares. Sew 12 pairs together as shown in the diagram above, with the light fabric forming a "V" between the dark triangles.

    Optional Star Tip Method

    An alternative method produces star tips without a seam running through the central fabric.

    Cut squares and rectangles instead of light and dark blue 3-7/8" squares. Use the Alternative diagram above as a guide.

    Cutting for Optional Method

    • (12) 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" light blue rectangles
    • (24) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" dark blue squares
    1. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each blue square.
    2. Align the square with a corner of the rectangle, edges matched exactly and right sides together. Position the line as shown.
    3. Sew a seam directly on the line.
    4. Cut away the excess fabric, leaving an approximate 1/4" seam allowance past the seam (see this diagram for an example).
    5. Repeat to sew a square to the opposite side of the rectangle. Be sure to position the seam as illustrated. Trim.
    6. Press seam allowances towards dark blue tips.
    7. Make a total of twelve identical units.

    It helps to improve accuracy if you press to set seams before you trim the tips of the flying geese. That little bit of extra pressing removes tiny bumps that can occur between the thread and the fabric.

    Once you're familiar with the process use chain piecing techniques to speed up assembly.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Assemble the Evening Star Quilt Block

    Assemble the Variable Star Rows
    Janet Wickell. The Spruce Crafts, 2006.
    1. Sew with a quarter inch seam allowance.
    2. Arrange one nine-patch block, four-star tip units, and four light green squares as shown.
    3. Sew the components of each row together. Press seam allowances away from star tips.
    4. Sew rows together, butting adjoining seams to help you match seam intersections. Secure with straight pins to keep fabrics from shifting.
    5. Use the remaining units to assemble two more star blocks.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Evening Star Quilt Layout Ideas

    Variable Star Examples
    Janet Wickell. The Spruce Crafts, 2006.

    Above are three simple layouts for nine evening star quilt blocks. The two examples on top show the blocks set on point. One in a strippy setting--with triangles running between block openings to create strips. The other using plain squares between blocks and triangles around the outer edges.

    The bottom drawing illustrates how blocks would look set side by side. Squint when you look at that layout and some of the other value possibilities will become more obvious.

    The quilt A Joyous Celebration contains a smaller evening star block without the nine patch center. Snowball blocks placed between the star blocks make the stars appear to be set on point.

    Combine the evening star blocks with one or more other blocks. Use sashing between them. Add dramatic borders. There's no end to the layout possibilities.