Talk about star power - this Friendship Star Quilt Block packs it all in five different sizes!
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Skill Level: Beginner
The classic Friendship Star quilt block is a marvelous place to practice making half square triangles. It takes just four of them plus five cut squares to make it.
In the following tutorial, we use two fabrics, but it works equally well as a scrappy block—just make sure there is a good distinction between the lights and darks so the star points don't disappear.
On this page you'll find instructions to make this block in 5 different sizes. Four common variations on this block are also illustrated.
Did you know that other radically different blocks are called 'Friendship Star'? Those are pictured, too!
Let's get piecing!
These abbreviations are used on this page:
Seam allowances (SA) are 1/4".
When you are instructed to press, first press the pieced unit flat to set the seam. Then open the patch, pressing from the front. Seam allowances are pressed to the dark fabric unless otherwise noted.
Click the images below to see the full collection. We share any commercial and/or free patterns that showcase them, too. (For inspiration, of course!)
Sample Block: 6" (6-1/2" unfinished)
Design Type: Even 9-patch, Star
The dimensions in the chart below are for squares
For example, Patch #4 for our 6" sample block is cut 2-1/2" x 2-1/2".
For the HSTs, I prefer to cut oversized squares. Those patches are marked with ** below. If your seam allowance is always spot on, cut exactly as instructed in the chart. If you'd like a bit of wiggle room, cut those HST patches a bit larger. Then trim to size after stitching.
Cutting Chart for a~Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|Unfinished Block Size||3½"||5"||6½"||8"||9½"|
| **I prefer to cut my patches extra large for HST, stitch, and then trim them to size. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #1 and #2 above. |
There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them to size.
Draw a diagonal line on the backs of two 2-7/8" squares with a pencil or other marking tool.
With RST, layer a light square with its dark counterpart, aligning all the edges.
Stitch a quarter inch away from both sides of the line, and repeat for the second pair of squares.
Cut these units in two on the drawn line.
You now have 4 HSTs. If you started with oversized patches (as I did in this tutorial) you'll need to trim them. Use the chart below.
|Trim HST to…|
For more detailed instructions on making HSTs with this technique, visit Half Square Triangles: Technique #1.
Here are our HST after trimming.
Lay out your HSTs and cut squares as they will be sewn.
Stitch the units in the rows together. Press with the SAs towards the cut squares and away from the HST. This allows for your seam allowances to nest which makes matching them oh-so-much easier!
Stitch the rows together.
One final press (don't forget to try out our Best Technique for Pressing Quilt Blocks for amazingly flat finished blocks!) and your Friendship Star quilt block is finished.
There are several closely related block variations, each successive one involves just a bit more piecing.
Very close to the original design except that a third fabric is added.
Very much like the New Home above, but notice that the HST units are flipped on their vertical access. The corner patches are a darker value.
Nine Patch Star
HSTs are added to the corners in a pinwheel fashion to add movement to the block.
Ribbon Quilt Block
The same units as in the Nine Patch Star above only the corners are all rotated a quarter turn.
Another excellent variation for scrap quilting!
Click here for instructions to make it.
Four patches are added in the corners along with a 3rd fabric. They make a nice secondary pattern when the blocks are joined edge to edge.
Just like so many of the other basic blocks, 'Friendship Star quilt block' is used to name several others...ones that look nothing like what we made for this page.
Here are three of them...
An intricate looking three fabric block.
On closer inspection you can see it's all basic construction techniques: four patches, Flying Geese, connector corners, and cut squares.
The second Friendship Star quilt block includes y-seam piecing and four fabrics.
Those these first two are, indeed, different, they are similar in appearance. This one will be the more difficult of the two to piece.
Note, too, that this design uses elongated diamonds instead of symmetrical diamonds.
Completely different than the previous two blocks, but still using y-seam piecing, and still called 'Friendship Star'.
You've finished your star quilt block, and you're ready for more!
Browse our collection of 40+ stellar star quilt block patterns. All have instructions and cutting charts in multiple sizes. If templates or paper piecing is used in the tutorial, there's a free download for you of those materials.
Eeny. Meenie. Miney. Mo.
Which star quilt block will you sew?
For a star-studded quilting experience, choose from almost 70 bedazzling star quilt patterns—for beginners and beyond—click here.
For EVEN MORE blocks to make, visit our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library with over 200 blocks to choose from in multiple sizes.
Free downloads are included in all sizes for any blocks require paper piecing patterns or templates.
For a list of all the 200+ quilt block patterns on this site, start here.
If you know the name of the block, shorten your search by using these links:
Click here if you're looking for blocks with at least some paper piecing.
Click here if you're looking for the basic building blocks of quilting, i.e., Flying Geese, half square triangles, quarter square triangles, etc., along with several techniques to make each.
And finally, use these links to find blocks in these finished sizes:
For you, are quilt block designs like potato chips...
...you can't have just one?!!
Check the amazing resources I rely on for all the quilt block designs you see on this website.
To see if they're worthy of a spot in YOUR quilting library, CLICK HERE.