Simple Blocks – Star X

Star X, or The Silent Star, is both a variation of Ohio Star and of the Swamp Angel block. It has five QST units but unlike the last block it has Half-Square Triangle (HST) units instead of plain squares. You can download the tutorial pages for both these units from our tutorials page and the instructions for the block here.

star x block

Try playing with the block colourings and settings as before to see what you can make – there are lots of opportunities for play with the shapes in this block.

star x quilt a

star x quilt b

star x quilt c

Star X

Free pattern for Christmas

Yes, we know its still August (just) but the Christmas fabrics are in the shops and we’ve still got some bits left over from last year but the new ones are very tempting . . . !

So to help you use up those left over pieces we’ve re-jigged a pattern written for Young Quilters by Dianne Clarke more years ago than any of us would like to think about. Sufficient to say that most of those Young Quilters are now adults, many with potential Young Quilters of their own.

Christmas bells can be hung from the tree, turned into garlands (there’s some lovely Christmas ribbons out already to thread them on) or just added to wreaths and other decorations as an extra ‘garnish’!

Download the pattern here – Christmas Bells

Simple Blocks – Clown’s Choice

Clown’s Choice is almost a reverse of the last one – it has five QST units and four plain square. You can download our tutorial on Quarter-Square Triangle units from the tutorials page and the instructions for the block here.

clown's choice block

As with the other blocks we’ve looked at this one gives you much better looking quilts if you play around with the colourings of the blocks.

clowns choice quilt a

clown's choice quilt b

clown's choice quilt c

Clown’s Choice




Don’t forget to look at the Tutorials page of the blog to find downloadable help for quick-piecing the various units you need to make patchwork blocks. There are also links to a series on Rotary Cutting running on our sister blog over the summer. Just added to the tutorials page are a few on binding as well.

So if you want your quilt to go from this


to this (but preferably the same colour – sorry can’t find a photo of the finished pink one!)


check out the tutorials page for advice on binding.

Simple Blocks – Ohio Star

This block really needs no introduction – everyone’s favourite 9-patch star block it has a great many other names including Texas Star, Variable Star, Lone Star, Flying Crows and Happy Home. This block has four QST units and five plain squares. You can download the instructions for making the units from our tutorials page and the instructions for the block are here.

Ohio Star a

If you set this block straight set, edge to edge, the stars can disappear – all you see are plain squares and rows of triangles. But try changing some of the colours around or adding sashing to separate the blocks and you will get very different quilts.

ohio star quilt b

ohio star quilt c

Ohio Star


Simple Blocks – Triplet

As suggested by its name, Triplet has three QST (Quarter-Square Triangle) units. You will find instructions for these units on our tutorial page and can download the instructions for the block here.

triplet block

This is another block that on its own, set edge to edge, all the same colouring doesn’t look too interesting, but change the colours around a bit and rotate the blocks or set them on point and you start to develop something a liitle more exciting.

triplet quilt a

triplet quilt b

and in a completely different colourway –

triplet quilt c



New pattern added

Another star sampler pattern has been added to our Payhip page. This time its a small one – the blocks are only 6 inches square. The quilt appeared in The Little Book of Stars published by David and Charles back in 2001 but the pattern was not given. After repeated requests Chris has finally got around to writing it up.

mini star sampler

Ideal as a table topper or a wall hanging the quilt measures 26 inches square. Templates are given for all blocks and rotary cutting instructions and/or foundation piecing patterns are included where appropriate. You could hand or machine piece it as you prefer.

Here are a few ideas for different colourings –

mini star sampler a

mini star sampler b

mini star sampler c

You can go straight to the pattern to download it here. It costs £8 as there are so many blocks and patterns included.