Under the Stars, an Easy Patchwork Bed Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 03

    Make an Easy Star Quilt

    Under the Stars Quilt Pattern
    Under the Stars Quilt. Janet Wickell

    Under the Stars is a patchwork bed quilt pattern that's constructed with 35-star quilt blocks. The blocks are identical in structure, but 17 have a light center and light strips around their edges and in 18 the light areas are replaced with a very dark fabric.

    The quilt is shown assembled with mostly neutrals, except the deep red fabric used for star tips and for the squares in the sashing. Change the fabrics to suit your own tastes and use a wider variety of fabrics if you wish.

    Quilt blocks finish at 10-1/2" square and are surrounded by sashing with cornerstones. Sashing isn't used next to the border, but you can add it if you like.

    Finished Quilt Size: About 69" x 90"

    Black small-scale print:

    • 2-1/2 yards
    • for squares and outer strips of dark blocks

    Lightest background with small print:

    • 2-1/4 yards
    • for squares and outer strips of light blocks

    Medium neutral:

    • 3-5/8 yards
    • background or inner star tips (all blocks) and for border

    Light neutral:

    • 1-1/2 yards
    • for sashing strips

    Deep red:

    • 1-3/4 yards
    • for star tips and sashing cornerstones

    Backing:

    Binding:

    Continue to 2 of 3 below.
  • 02 of 03

    Sew Star Blocks in Two Color Variations

    Star Quilt Block Patterns
    The two versions of the star block used in the Under the Stars quilt. Janet Wickell

    Two variations of the star quilt block are used in Under the Stars. The only differences between the two are the placement of color and contrast in the large center block and the long strips that lie on the outer edges of each block.

    The strips of patchwork that have half square triangles at their ends are made using a quick pieced flying geese technique. If you prefer, construct those units with the no-waste flying geese method, another easy technique.

    Quilt Block Cutting Instructions

    Begin by cutting only enough fabric to make a couple of quilt blocks. That's good advice for any quilt you make from a pattern.

    Black Fabric

    • (18) 5" x 5" squares (can cut from 5" wide strips of fabric)
    • (72) 2" x 8" bars (can cut 2" segments from strips cut 8" wide from selvage to selvage)
    • (72)2" x 2" squares (can cut from 2" wide strips of fabric)

    Lightest Fabric

    • (18) 5" x 5" squares (can cut from 5" wide strips of fabric)
    • (68) 2" x 8" bars (can cut 2" segments from strips cut 8" wide from selvage to selvage)
    • (68)2" x 2" squares (can cut from 2" wide strips of fabric)

    Medium Neutral

    • (140) 2" x 5" bars (can cut 2" segments from strips cut 5" wide from selvage to selvage)
    • (140) 2" x 2" squares (can cut from 2" wide strips of fabric)

    This will leave enough yardage to cut two 5" wide borders on the lengthwise grain (do not cut yet. When it's time to create borders, measure and cut the side borders first.)

    Deep Red

    • (560) 2" x 2" squares (can cut from 2" wide strips of fabric)

    Sashing Cutting Instructions

    Deep Red

    • (22) 2" x 2" squares (can cut from 2" wide strips of fabric)

    Light Neutral

    • (58) 2" x 11" bars (can cut 2" segments from strips cut 11" wide from selvage to selvage)
    Continue to 3 of 3 below.
  • 03 of 03

    Make Both Variations of the Star Quilt Blocks

    Star Quilt Block Patterns
    Assemble a star quilt block for the Under the Stars project. Janet Wickell

    Sew the Star Quilt Blocks

    If making quick-pieced flying geese units is a new technique to you, refer to the general instructions before assembling the quilt blocks. The units for this quilt have a longer gap between the triangle ends and the center of the bar, but they are assembled in exactly the same way.

    1. Gather four 2" x 8" light bars and eight 2" x 2" red squares. Draw a diagonal line on the reverse side of the red squares, from one corner to the opposite corner.
    2. Use the quick pieced flying geese technique to sew a red star to each end of each bar, making sure seams are oriented as shown, upper illustration. Add a 2" light square to each end of two of the patchwork bars you just created. Press seam allowances towards the squares.
    3. Gather four 2" x 5" medium neutral bars and eight more 2" x 2" red squares. Sew the squares to the ends of each strip exactly as you did the previous strips. Sew a 2" medium neutral square to the ends of two of the patchwork strips, pressing seam allowances towards the squares.
    4. Find a 5" x 5" light square. Sew a medium neutral patchwork bar without squares on the ends to the right and left sides of the large square. Press seam allowances towards the large square.
    5. Sew a medium neutral patchwork strip with end squares to a light patchwork strip without end squares as shown, bottom left illustration (units above block center). Press seam allowance either way. Repeat to make another identical unit.
    6. Sew the 2-strip units you just created to the top and bottom of the quilt block, placing the medium neutral strips against the block center. Press seam allowances towards the block center.
    7. Sew the remaining long patchwork bars (with squares at the ends) to the left and right sides of the quilt. Press seam allowances towards the center of the quilt (if too bulky, press towards outer bars).
    8. Make a total of 17 identical quilt blocks.
    9. Make 18 more blocks, but use black print components to replace lightest squares and long bars.

    Add the Sashing

    Refer to the Finished Quilt on Page One

    1. Arrange quilt blocks into seven rows, each with five blocks as shown on page one, alternating block types in rows and from row to row vertically.
    2. Place a sashing strip vertically between blocks in each row. Sew the strips between the blocks, carefully matching block and sashing midpoints and strip ends with block ends. Secure with straight pins for sewing. Press seam allowances towards the sashing unless you plan extensive hand quilting within the sash.
    3. Create six horizontal rows of sashing and cornerstones. Each row has five sashing bars with 2" red squares separating them. No squares are used at the ends of the strips. press seam allowances towards the sashing (towards the squares if you pressed vertical sashing towards the blocks).
    4. Sew the rows together and press.

    Sew Borders to the Quilt

    1. Use 5" wide lengthwise grain strips of medium neutral fabric to make borders for the quilt, cutting the side borders first. Borders are an opportunity to square up the quilt before the finishing steps, so be sure to follow border measuring and cutting instructions.
    2. Mark the top for quilting if necessary. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing and baste.
    3. Quilt the quilt. Trim excess batting and backing, squaring up edges carefully if necessary.
    4. Finish by applying doublefold mitered binding.