If you have previously visited this page, you may recall this block was previously published as 'Nell's Star' in reference to the gal who asked the original question.
I believe it's important to properly attribute original work to it's source and designer.
I am happy to let you know that I have received confirmation that this quilt block is, indeed, 'Charleston Quilt' designed by Judy Martin © 1990, from her book Scraps, Blocks and Quilts: Patterns and Techniques (Judy Martin's ultimate series) . Used with permission.
I am a huge fan of Judy's and enthusiastically own and recommend two of her most recent books, Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book and Stellar Quilts. Wonderfully written patterns and sources for inspiration!
Skill Level: Confident beginner with some paper piecing experience
She had purchased the blocks (one is shown below, left) and was looking for a pattern to re-create them.
The block is based on a 2x2 grid and requires four fabrics.
As with all stars, make sure there is enough contrast between the star point and background fabrics so that your pointy points don't get lost.
This quilt block is intended for a quilter with some previous paper piecing experience because:
1) The units are constructed in Sections that must be assembled, and...
2) There are match points between both the sections and the units. Not hard to do with a couple of pins, but you will need to pin.
Before you begin to stitch, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the block pattern.
These instructions are for your own personal use. If you'd like to share them with a friend, please send them back to this website to print them so they have access to these instructions.
If you have questions as you create this block, please use either the FB comments below or Contact Us. (Please include the name of the quilt block.) Your input will help us refine this page and formulate others like it. (A big "Thank You!" in advance for that!)
Now let's get this show on the road!
You'll notice that these quilt block patterns are the 'reverse' of the finished block shown further down the page.
That is because the blocks are asymmetrical. The printed side is actually the backside of the block.
For these patterns to print out at the correct size, YOU
MUST set 'Page Scaling' in your Print menu to 'None'.
To print the free PDF patterns, click on the finished size of block you want to download into your browser, or right-click to download and print:
A 'patch' is the piece of fabric that you cut.
It is stitched to a pattern 'Section'. This block contains 4 each of Sections A, B and C.
After stitching them together, Sections A, B and C form a 'Unit'. One finished unit is shown to the right.
Units look like small quilt blocks, but it takes four units to create the finished quilt block.
To provide as much piecing information on the pattern, itself, the paper patterns are numbered as follows...
Section.Order of Piecing.Fabric Choice ...so "A.1.Bac" refers to Section A, the first patch, using the background fabric.
For this block, you'll need a background (Bac), two star fabrics--one light (S1), one dark (S2)--and a band fabric (Band). Our choices are:
Star - Light
Star - Dark
Usually when you're paper piecing, you whack off a hunk of fabric and work from it.
However, when making several of the same block with the same fabric layout, I find it faster to pre-cut my fabric patches. I suggest you make one unit as directed to confirm that the suggested sizes below work for you.
My preference is to work with generously over-sized patches to minimize ripping out stitches from pieces that weren't aligned quite right.
If you find any that are too big or too small for the way you
work, note your changes, make another Unit to confirm and then cut the
rest of your patches.
|8" Finished Block||12" Finished Block|
|Background (Bac)||A.1.Bac||4||4-3/4" x 2"||7" x 2-3/4"|
|A.3.Bac||4||1-3/4" x 1-1/4"||1-7/8" x 1-1/2"|
|B.1.Bac||4||4-3/4" x 2"||7" x 2-3/4"|
|C.2.Bac||4||1-1/2" squares||1-3/4" squares|
|Band (Band)||A.2.Band||4||2-3/4" x 1-1/2"||3-3/4" x 1-3/4"|
|B.3.Band||4||3-3/4" x 1-1/2"||5-1/4" x 1-7/8"|
|Star – light (S1)||A.4.S1||4||6" x 2-7/8"||8" x 4"|
|Star – dark (S2)||B.2.S2||4||3-3/4" x 1-3/4"||5" x 2"|
And this is what our Charleston Quilt (formerly Nell's Star quilt block) looks like when all the sections and units are stitched together.
Notice pink/fuchsia star points do not touch the edge of the block. The points of the green band will be at the edge of a block once it is sewn into a quilt.
If I was making a quilt from this pattern, I would choose star fabrics with a bit more contrast than those I chose for this example. This is one of the benefits of making a sample block first. Sometimes you just can't quite envision what you've got until it's in a block.
If you need a refresher on how to paper piece, go to our page Foundation Paper Piecing Instructions.
Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite!
Return to the top of these Nells Star quilt block instructions