From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Rise and Shine for the Morning Star quilt block. Time's a-wasting—there's triangles to be made!
In this tutorial you'll find:
It's time to cut up and sew!
Hate to paperpiece? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Click here for instructions to make your Morning Star using traditional piecing methods.
Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:
1/4" SAs are used through this tutorial.
When instructed to press, first press the patches in the closed position just as they came off your sewing machine.
This sets the seam, melding the fibers of the threads into the fibers of the fabric.
Pressing instructions are highlighted in yellow throughout this tutorial to make them easy to find.
I like using nested seam allowances as much as possible to make matching seams more accurate.
Four Brave World (BW) units are needed to complete our Morning Star block. The sample block it is paperpieced. Download and print the pattern following the instructions below.
If paperpiecing doesn't blow your skirt up, click here to go directly to the green cutting chart for traditional techniques and skip printing these patterns.
You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.
On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to 100% before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.
Choose your finished block size from the chart below and print the corresponding number of pages for a total of 4 units.
Print the Brave World Paper Piecing Units
| Click on the|
Finished Block Size
this many copies
for each block
BW Unit Size
To create your Morning Star you'll need a light, a medium and a dark plus a background fabric. Good contrast between them is essential for all your piecing to show.
Please label all your patches. The numbers are used throughout this tutorial.
Cutting Chart for a~ Paperpiecing PLUS Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size||Sub|
|1||Light||4||1¾" x 1¾"||2¼" x 2¼"||2¾" x 2¾"||---|
|2, 3||Bac||4||2⅜" x 2⅜"||2⅞" x 2⅞"||3⅜" x 3⅜"|
|4||Med||2||3⅜" x 3⅜"||4⅜" x 4⅜"||5⅜" x 5⅜"|
|5**||Dark||2||3¼" x 3¼"||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||---|
|6**||Light||1||3¼" x 3¼"||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||---|
|7**||Bac||1||3¼" x 3¼"||4¼" x 4¼"||5¼" x 5¼"||---|
|8||Light||1||2½" x 2½"||3½" x 3½"||4½" x 4½"||---|
| **I prefer to cut my patches extra large for QST, stitch, and then trim them to perfection. If you prefer to do the same, add a bit extra to the measurements for Patches #5, #6 and #7 above (I added 1/2" to each dimension for the sample block). |
There is a chart further down in these instructions where you need it for trimming them.
If you have a perfectly reliable 1/4" seam allowance use the dimensions in the cutting charts for this patches.
Brave World units
We've made a BW block before.
In this step we'll paperpiece the individual units for our corners.
General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing
After adding each patch, press the unit as it was sewn to set the seam. Then press it open. It is automatically pressed towards the last patch added.
Steam is optional and usually curls the pattern. If that bothers you, don't use steam. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. It really just depends on my mood.
Cut out four units just past the dashed outside line. No need for perfection. We trim to size after the last patch is stitched.
Use a tiny bit of Elmer's Washable gluestick to adhere the wrong side of #1 in position on the unprinted side of the pattern. Use the dashed placement guides for quick positioning.
With RST, position a short edge of #2 with #1.
Stitch on the solid line between #1 and #2, starting and stopping a good quarter inch before and after the line.
Stitch ALL your paperpieced seams in this manner.
With RST, align a short edge of #3 (blue arrow) with the other side of #1.
Stitch and press as before.
Next we trim the patches to establish the placement line for #4.
At your cutting mat with the printed side up, pull back the pattern from the stitches just a bit (blue arrow).
The paper may rip. It happens. If it's a big rip, use a big of Scotch Brand Magic Tape® to repair it.
Position the ruler's edge on the solid line between #2, #3 and #4.
Use your thumb to crease the pattern on this line (blue arrow).
Fold back the paper on itself and align the 1/4" mark on your ruler with the folded edge of the paper.
Trim away the excess fabric with your rotary cutter leaving behind a perfect 1/4" seam.
With RST, line up the long side of #4 with the cut edges. The point of the triangle should be opposite the corner of the patch in the pattern (white arrow).
Stitch and press.
At your cutting mat, place the 1/4" line of your ruler on top of the solid outside square line. Trim away the excess with your rotary cutter.
Repeat for all the sides of all the the units.
No time to quilt? Pin this tutorial for later.
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print. If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Encyclopedia.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
It does make a fabulous coffee table book though.
Click any image or link for more info