Tag Archives: quilt blocks

Star block – Wyoming Valley

Another block with lots of pieces – this one, the Wyoming Valley Block, was designed and published by ‘Nancy Cabot’ in the 1930s according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia.

In grey-scale the block looks like this

Wyoming Valley block greyscale

but then add some colour in –

Wyoming Valley block

or change the colours and add a few more

or change the colour placement entirely to get a block that looks completely different.

Wyoming Valley block e

And in a quilt they could look like these –

Wyoming Valley quilt cWyoming Valley quilt bWyoming Valley quilt a

Download a quilt a colour and/or the rotary cutting measurements (courtesy of Electric Quilt) to make a 12 inch block – note that I have changed the block slightly, adding a line so there is no Y-seam – or download the templates to make the original block with Y-seam.


Another Star Block

This week’s star block is similar to last week’s and is called Robbing Peter to Pay Paul. According to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns it first appeared in a pattern book published in (or before) 1895 by the Ladies Art Company – thought to be the first mail-order quilt pattern company. You can download the rotary cutting instructions for a 12 inch block (as given by Electric Quilt) here.

Rob Peter block d

It is usually coloured with just two contrasting colours as above but sometimes with two shades of one of those colours. Changing the placement of those colours can change the look of the block quite considerably. . .

. . . which is especially noticeable when they are put together in a quilt. First with two colours –

Rob Peter quilt fRob Peter quilt e

and then with three –

Rob Peter quilt dRob Peter quilt cRob Peter quilt b

Or you can alternate two of the colourings to give a different look.

Rob Peter quilt a

Download a quilt to colour (and/or cut up to play with) here.

You could also collect the instructions for all the star blocks and make a stellar sampler quilt – or two.

Or just use two of them such as today’s Robbing Peter to Pay Paul with last week’s Memory.

Rob Peter plus Memory


Rising Star

Just two star blocks this week and we are still looking at ones based on the Sawtooth Star.

Rising Star has a mini Sawtooth Star in its centre.

Rising Star blocka

Download the rotary measurements for a 12 inch block. You can have a bit of fun playing with the colour placements.

Rising Star blockb

Rising Star blockc

Eight Hands Around has triangles added to the four corners.

Eight Hands Around blocka

Download the rotary instructions for a 12 inch block.

Play with the colour placements again

Eight Hands Around blockb

Eight Hands Around blockc

Putting the two blocks together, and changes of colour placements can make some interesting quilts.

Quilt b

Quilt a

Download a blank quilt of the two blocks to colour. Look on the Tutorials page for more information on making the various units within the block.

More Sawtooth variations

A variation of the Variable Star (or is Mosaic no.19?) is this one – Half-Square triangles in the corners but turned to face outwards.

Variable Star and Pinwheels

When put into a quilt the corner triangles make Pinwheels where the blocks come together

Variable Star and Pinwheels quilt


You can add squares into the centre – this is called Sawtooth 16-Patch

Sawtooth 16-patch

and the quilt it makes looks like this

Sawtooth 16-patch quilt


I think you could have quite a lot of fun with this one – it may be the colours I’ve used, but I can see a ‘garden’ quilt here with fussy-cut floral prints where I have the pale grey background and the chequerboard effect could be small floral prints with greens or perhaps it is ‘gravel’, so different shades of grey/brown?

Moving on before I get carried away – this one is the Frayed Sawtooth Star with squares in the corners and the centre (which is a stretched 9-patch)

Frayed Sawtooth Star

and its quilt –

Frayed Sawtooth Star quilt


Or you could just do 4-patches in two corners and the centre

Sawtooth Star variation

and its quilt could look  like this

Sawtooth Star variation quilt


Download the Sawtooth colouring page and have a go at designing your own variations – or drawing these ones in – and colouring them.

More variations next week!

Sawtooth Star variations

Having looked at Sawtooth Star last time I thought we could have a look at a few variations of this block over the next couple of weeks. Some of them are well-known and have recognised names and some of them I’ve drawn – but this doesn’t mean that no one else has before me.

The Variable Star is a Sawtooth Star with a Square-in-a-Square in the centre.

Variable Star

And when put into a quilt could look like this

Variable Star quilt


but it might look more interesting if we alternated the colours

Variable Star quilt a


Mosaic no.19 is a variation on the Variable Star with Half-Square triangles in the corners which you could colour in different ways – here’s two and the quilts you get using just these on their own


Mosaic 19 quilt

Mosaic 19 quilt a


Similar to this is the Variable Star Variation (which to my mind is more a Sawtooth Star Variation)

Variable Star variation

and the quilt it makes

Variable Star variation quilt


There’ll be more variations next week. In the meantime you could download the Sawtooth Star colouring page from last week and use it to design your own variations and quilts.

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!