Friday, April 25, 2014

Tutorial: Star Sampler Quilt Assembly

Today we're so excited to share the finished quilt top tutorial from the Star Sampler Blog Hop held recently here on the blog! The quilt top features 9 star blocks made by various designers/bloggers, all using Ro Gregg's Marblehead Venetian Glass fabrics with a little solid white added in.
(If you missed any of the star block tutorials from our blog hop, scroll down to the bottom of this post for all 9 links.)

Before we begin the actual tutorial, we'd like to share some insight on our process: 
  • Our blocks showcase a variety of colors because designers were given the option of using any fabrics in the Venetian Glass collection (which includes 3 colorways!). We opted for a scrappy-looking pieced sashing that would help tie all the colors in the blocks together. If you'd prefer a single fabric sashing, we give you the requirements for that as well.
  • Among the things we considered in block placement: background color of the blocks (the 4 non-white background blocks were spread out), balancing complex blocks vs. simple, and balancing color placement. There's no wrong answer in block placement!
  • If you'd prefer a smaller project (maybe a 4-block wall hanging or a 3-block table runner), simply make fewer sashing strips and add the borders on when your center is complete. 

You'll Need:
  • Nine 12-1/2" square star blocks
  • 1-1/3 yards solid white
  • Fat quarter each of 6 coordinating prints (for sashing; if you'd prefer a single fabric sashing you'll need 1/2 yard total)
  • 1-3/8 yards large circle print for outer border (or 2 yards for lengthwise border cutting*)
Assemble the Quilt:
1. From the white solid, cut eighteen 2" x 12-1/2" white strips and eighteen 2" x 15-1/2" strips. Sew the shorter strips to opposite sides of each block; sew the longer strips to the top and bottom. Note: If you're concerned that the range of blocks may have a slight variety of finished sizes due to piecing discrepancies, cut these white strips slightly wider and then trim blocks after white frame has been added to measure 15-1/2" square (unfinished). (Be sure to center block before trimming!)

Here, all the blocks have the white frames added. This allows all of the blocks to float, and also helps to tie the different blocks, particularly those with non-white backgrounds, together with a common look. 

2. Cut three 3" x 21" strips from each coordinating print for piecing the sashing. Ours uses the identical fabrics and order in each sashing strip; feel free to change yours up for variety. Sew six 3" x 21" strips together lengthwise. Make 3 strip sets. Crosscut the strip sets into twenty-four 2" wide strips. Note: If you prefer to use a single fabric for the sashing, cut twenty-four 2" x 15-1/2" strips. 

3. Cut one 2" x 42" white strip and cut into (16) 2" white squares. Decide upon your block placement, and use a design wall to lay out the blocks, pieced sashing strips, and 2" white sashing squares. 

4. Make 3 block rows by joining 3 blocks alternating with 4 sashing strips. Press seams all in the same direction. Make 4 sashing rows by joining 3 sashing strips alternating with 4 white squares. Press seams all in the opposite direction from the block rows. Join the block rows and sashing rows together.

5. Cut six 2" x 42" white strips. Sew short ends together into a long strip and use to add the inner border. Cut seven 6" x 42" large circle print strips for the outer border, join together, and add to the quilt. (*If you prefer, from 2 yards of border fabric, cut four 6" lengthwise strips. You'll have a little leftover fabric, but you'll avoid piecing the borders.)

What a star-studded beauty! 
What do you think? Do you  have a favorite block from the quilt? Would you/did you make them all? Are you drooling over that cool outer border print? 

If you missed the star block tutorials, find them here: 

     Star #1: Connie of Free Motion by the River
     Star #2: Joanne
     Star #3: Fabri-Quilt blog team
     Star #4: Dawn from Spring Water Designs
     Star #5: Heidi from The Whimsical Workshop
     Star #6: Fabri-Quilt blog team
     Star #7: Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts
     Star #8: Tammy from Tamarinis
     Star #9: Monica from Diary of a Quilt Maven

And just for fun, an outtake from a windy day:

Happy Friday!


  1. The Star Sampler quilt is beautiful and what a great tutorial!! Thanks for sharing and the last photo with the quilt blowing in the wind......too cute!

  2. Yummy, yummy, yummy. The center block is my favorite, and yes, I am drooling for that border fabric. Love the inspiration.

  3. My DIL inherited a quilt top from her grandmother and asked me to finish it for her. It's a sampler of 8 point stars. I'll be looking to see how you quilt this for ideas. Your sampler is lovely. I love the sashing and borders.