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.
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.
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!
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 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.
Below are the links to the downloads.
My favorite paperpiecing papers are:
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:
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.
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.