Skill Level: Beginner
The Eccentric Star quilt block is a quickie to make, just like its kissin' cousin, the Ribbon Quilt block.
Just make your half square triangles with our 8-at-a-time method. Two squares of fabric, four lines of stitching and a bit of trimming is all it takes. You'll create perfect units every time.
Let's get started!
These abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
All seam allowances (SA) are 1/4" and are pressed toward the darker fabric unless otherwise indicated.
I use two different quarter inch presser feet for our Eccentric Star—one with a tick mark on the side and the other with a guide on the right hand side. Watch for them in the photos below.
Sample Size: 7½" finished / 8" unfinished
Attributed to: Nancy Cabot
Design Type: Even 9-patch
Like any star block, choose two fabrics with good contrast so that the points don't get lost.
I've starched my quilt fabric before cutting. The benefits are three-fold:
To keep the Cutting Chart less cluttered, the measurements below are all for squares, i.e. 5 1/4" means to cut a 5 1/4" square.
Cutting Chart for an~ Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|4 1/2"||6"||7 1/2"||9"||12”|
|1||D||1||5 1/4”||6 1/4”||7 1/4"||8 1/4”||10 1/4”|
|2||L||1||5 1/4”||6 1/4”||7 1/4"||8 1/4”||10 1/4”|
|3||L||1||2”||2 1/2”||3"||3 1/2”||4 1/2”|
|Unfinished Block Size||5"||6 1/2"||8"||9 1/2"||12 1/2”|
|Grid Size||1 1/2"||2"||2 1/2"||3"||4”|
First mark two diagonal lines from corner to corner on the back of the light #2 square. A mechanical pencil is perfect for this because the line stays nice and fine. Always.
Next layer the #1 and #2 squares, RST. For this 9" finished sample block the squares are pinned together so that they don't shift while sewing.
Pins are positioned away from the stitching lines.
Press the sewn unit flat to set the seam.
From the chart below, find the Center/Midpoint Measurement that corresponds to your Finished Block Size.
|Center/Midpoint||Trim HST to...|
|4 1/2"||2 5/8”||2”|
|6 "||3 1/8”||2 1/2”|
|7 1/2"||3 5/8”||3”|
|9 "||4 1/8”||3 1/2”|
|12 "||4 5/8”||4 1/2”|
At your cutting mat, align this midpoint measurement line on your ruler with the edge of the sewn squares. The opposite side of your ruler should cross through the center of the drawn 'X'. (Pretty close is good enough since we started with generously sized patches.)
Cut the squares in half along the ruler.
Now turn the mat and repeat.
You now should have four equal size pairs of stitched patches.
Cut each in half along the diagonal pencil line.
Press the HSTs with the SA toward the darker, #1 fabric. Refer to the chart above and trim the HSTs to the size that corresponds to the Finished Block Size for a total of 8.
Arrange the patches to create the Eccentric Star design.
Sew the patches in each row together.
Where a light edge meets a light edge and forms a 'V', I've used a pin to help hold the seam together. The pin isthisclose to the line of stitching.
This seam is bulky because both SA are pressed toward the dark.
And this is how the match turned out.
The trickiest part of this block is keeping the HST oriented correctly and not flipping them accidentally at the machine.
This is how the stitched rows look in their proper position.
To make it less confusing, flip the bottom row of patches. Now it's easy to see that the top and bottom rows are pieced exactly the same.
Return the rows to their proper positions. With RST, stitch them together.
Your finished Eccentric Star quilt block looks like this.
This family of designs is built on a 3x3 grid with HSTs on the sides that 'pinwheel' around a solid center square.
You'll find cutting and piecing instructions for several variations of this simple patchwork design on this website. Click the image to go to the pattern page.
For more designs, check out our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library.