How to Make a Folded Star Pattern for a Quilt
The folded star, also called the Amish star, is a traditional quilt block pattern. This pattern is formed by nine smaller blocks each made up of four, five or six triangles in three colors. The resulting image is a burst-style star with four primary and four tertiary points, similar to an elaborate compass rose. Though the folded star pattern looks complex, there are no curved lines to sew, making this technique well-suited for intermediate quilters. Make many of these blocks into a folded star quilt, or use just one for the front of a pillow sham.
Things You'll Need
- Color A fabric, 1/6 yard
- Color B fabric, 1/4 yard
- Color C fabric, 1/4 yard
- Rotary cutter
- Quilting ruler
- Straight pins
- Sewing machine
Cut fabric A into three strips: 2 1/2 by 10 inches, 2 7/8 by 5 3/4 inches and 5 1/4 by 10 1/2 inches.
Cut fabric B into two strips: 2 7/8 by 11 1/2 inches and a 4 1/2-inch square.
Cut fabric C into four strips: 2 1/2 by 10 inches, 2 7/8 by 5 3/4 inches, 2 7/8 by 11 1/2 inches and 5 1/4 by 10 1/2 inches.
Cut the two 2 1/2-by-10-inch strips into eight 2 1/2-inch squares.
Cut the two 2 7/8-by-5 3/4-inch strips into four 2 7/8-inch squares. Cut each square on the diagonal to make eight triangles. Repeat with the 2 7/8-by-11 1/2-inch strips.
Match one triangle of color A or B to one triangle of color C. Place right sides together and pin across the longest side -- the diagonal cut from Step 5. Repeat for all 12 pairs. Thread your sewing machine and stitch across the pinned sides, keeping a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Match four of the B- and C-colored squares to four of the 2 1/2-inch squares of color C, which you cut in Step 4. Hold the sewn square wrong side up, with the color B triangle pointing down and to the right. Place this on top of the solid-color square, right sides together. Pin along the right side and sew, keeping a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat for all four pairs, making four 2 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch strips.
Pair four of the A- and C-colored squares to four of the B- and C-colored squares. Place the B- and C-colored square right side up on your work surface, with the C-colored triangle pointing down and to the left. Place the other square wrong side up on top, with the C-colored triangle also pointing down and to the left. Pin and sew along the right side, keeping a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat for all four pairs, making four 2 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch strips.
Pair up two of each strip—one from Step 7 and one from Step 8—and place right sides together, keeping the color C triangles on the upper left and right ends. Pin along the bottom edge and sew, again with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Repeat to make four 4 1/2-inch squares.
Cut the two 5 1/4-by-10 1/2-inch strips in half to make four 5 1/4-inch squares. Cut on the diagonal to make eight triangles.
Sew the triangles back into four squares, alternating the colors to make an hourglass pattern. Again, keep a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Set the 4 1/2-inch square (color B) flat on your work surface. Lay a 2 1/2-inch color A square face-down on the larger square, matching up two sides and a corner. Pin and sew along the smaller square's diagonal -- in effect lopping off the corner of the larger square -- then cut off the excess fabric farthest from the center of the large square. Repeat for all four corners.
Press all the squares flat, including the seams, so that the folded star pattern will not look bulky.
Arrange the nine 4 1/2-inch squares you have made to make the folded star: The square from Step 12 is the center, the four hourglass squares from Step 11 form a plus sign with the center -- keep one of the color C triangles of each square facing in toward the center -- and the four squares from Step 9 form the outside corners. Keep the color A triangles closest to the center.
Sew the four squares into one by sewing right sides together. Work in rows first, then sew each row together.