Friendship Star

This seemed like a good star block to start our stellar exploration – it is a nice simple design to make but has a lot of possibilities – and the name is good too!

The basic block just requires two colours and here I have used blues.

fship star a


But you can add a different colour to the centre

fship star b

Or to the background.

fship star c

fship star d

You can download some brief instructions to make a 9 inch block here.

But what about the block in a quilt? The plain block alone is ok but might look better with a bit more colour added although the darker centre helps.

Fship Star quilt a

Fship Star quilt b

And adding another colour into the background can also make a difference

Fship Star quilt c



Fship Star quilt d


and if you turn alternate blocks around

Fship Star quilt d1

But all these blues can get a bit so-so. What happens if we jazz things up a bit? The magic wand in EQ can show us. Notice how changing the emphasis of light, medium and dark can change the design – sometimes the stars disappear altogether, sometimes the centre squares are stand out and sometimes the swirl between the stars.

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If we go back to the original star without the different colour centre – what happens then?

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Included in the pattern download is a blank quilt for you to colour in. How many different ways can you find?

Star blocks

It seems to be halfway through January already, so – Happy New Year! We hope you have enjoyed collecting the Dresden Plate patterns over the last few months and even making one or two of them.

In search of a new ‘theme’ for blog posts we’ve come up with ‘Stars’, and searching for blocks containing that word in EQ and in Blockbase came up with nearly 200 blocks. Of course many of them are the same block with multiple names and many are variations of each other, but there are still a lot of star blocks to keep us going for a few months.

Long ago Chris did a book for David & Charles – the Little Book of Stars – which may still be available second-hand through various websites for a few pennies. The idea was to make a star block the same size as the book for each illustration. As the book was only 6 inches square this proved a little challenging for some blocks and Chris’s piecing skills. Also included were examples of the blocks used in quilts and different colourings of the blocks all done with the aid of EQ and (fortunately) not having to be made from fabric. One quilt was required though – a small sampler quilt made with 6inch blocks –


It was designed to feature the various different types of star and construction methods although no actual pattern was ever given. You can now buy this pattern through our Payhip shop if you wish.

However we will start (soon) with regular posts featuring a variety of stars and ideas plus instructions for making them – though probably at a larger size than 6inches. Watch this space!

Dresden Plate Star

Happy Christmas! We have lots of downloads for you today – the promised colouring book of all the designs featured so far and two sets of templates for today’s block -a Dresden Plate Star. The templates for a 12inch square Star are here.

DP Star xmas dark

It’s never too early (or late?) to start a Christmas quilt or runner and this Star is ideal!

DP Star runner

You can of course make it in a variety of other colours for other times of the year.

You can also make a rectangular Dresden Plate (you can do this with all the designs) and this one would look good as the centre of a Dresden Plate sampler quilt for instance. You can download the templates to make the rectangular block here. It will measure 12 x 24 inches – a runner all by itself!

DP Star long

And here is a quick mock-up (courtesy of EQ) of a Dresden Plate sampler quilt. This one has a controlled colour palette, but a scrappy one would look good too.

DP quilt

We’ll see you next year with yet more ideas and patterns.In the meantime don’t forget to look on the Free Patterns page for yet more ideas with Dresden Plates among other things.

Happy New Year!

Fancy Dresden Plate 10

We’re back to long pointed blades at north, south, east and west this week and the smaller petals have changed shape again – this time they are rounded and ‘dished’.

Fancy Dresden Plate e

I quite like this ‘frilly’ look, but what colours to do? Light background?

FDP e green greyFDP e greenFDP e pink

or dark?

FDP e purpleFDP e darkFDP e blues

And which set of petals should the centre circle match?

So many decisions! Download the templates here for a 12 inch block.

Fancy Dresden Plate 9

Once again the vertical and horizontal petals are longer than the others but this time they have rounded ends. The smaller petals are a mix of rounded and pointed.

Fancy Dresden Plate d

EQ has decided that this block needs to be split into four triangles (or the ‘anchor lines’ need to go to the corners). This gives us added colouring opportunities. To make the block you would applique the completed plate onto a Quarter-Square Triangle background rather than a plain square or a 4-patch.

Bur let’s start with a plain and dark background

FDP d yellow blue

Now change the position of the petal colours

FDP d blue yellow

and then add the two colour backround

FDP d 3d

This is an almost 3D effect so what happens if we make a quilt of this colouring and turn alternate blocks?

FDP d quilt

You can download the templates here to make this block at 12 inches.

Coming soon will be a colouring ‘book’ with all the blocks so far so you can play with your own colour (and background design) ideas.




December EQ Doodles

As many of you know we try every month to put up some EQ doodles on our sister website chrisandbarbaraquilts. And from time to time we try to remember to supplement those doodles here with instructions or templates to make the block or blocks featured.

Barbara was feeling a little festive at the beginning of the month and has come up with two blocks – Five-Patch Chain and Rolling Star which she has combined to make a series of interesting designs. Here’s one of themĀ  and you will find plenty of others on our Doodles page.

Christmas doodle

You can download the templates for a 10 inch Rolling Star block here and the rotary cutting measurements for a 10 inch Five-Patch Chain here. Over on the Chris and Barbara blog you can download a colouring sheet for a quilt – which you can print out as many times as you wish, cut a few up, re-arrange the blocks and design your own doodle.