Royal Star Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library

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Our Royal Star quilt block is a dream to make with paper pieced Flying Geese pairs and half square triangles stitched 8-at-a-time.

The Royal Star quilt block tutorial begins here...

On this page you'll find:

It's to to cut up and sew!




General Instructions


Our Royal Star quilt block is a dream to make with paper pieced Flying Geese pairs and half square triangles stitched 8-at-a-time. Step-by-step instructions.
Pin this tutorial for later

Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • HST - half square triangles
  • Bac - Background fabric

1/4" SA 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.

Then press the SA to the dark unless otherwise noted.

Paperpieced seams are always pressed towards the last patch added.



Download and print paperpiecing patterns


Print the paper piecing patterns you need

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 four Flying Geese Pair  units.

Print the Flying Geese Pair Units

Finished
Block Size
# of copies Link to PDF
Download
6" 1 2"
9" 1 3"
12" 2 4"

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed page(s) the patterns printed at the correct size.

Measure the graphic on the printed pattern to confirm it printed correctlyCheck that your units are the correct size before going any further.

Cut out the units a bit past the outside dashed lines. There are no brownie points for cutting on the line.



Step 1: Cutting for a Royal Star quilt block


Royal Star patchwork designRoyal Star design

Sample Block Size:
   9" Finished
   9-1/2" Unfinished

Remember to label your patches after cutting. The half and quarter square triangles for the double Flying Geese (#2 and #3) are very close in size.

For the sample block a dark background fabric is used, even though a light is shown in the block drawing. That's because I think it's easier to see on the drawing.

It's fun to experiment. How will you color YOUR block?


Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Royal Star Quilt Block

~Traditional Plus Paper Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block SizeSub
Cut
6" 9" 12"
1 Bac 1 3⅝" x 3⅝" 4⅝" x 4⅝" 5⅝" x 5⅝" Symbol for a quarter square triangle
2 Dark 1 2⅜" x 2⅜" 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅜" x 3⅜" Symbol for a half square triangle
3 Dark 1 3⅝" x 3⅝" 4⅝" x 4⅝" 5⅝" x 5⅝" Symbol for a quarter square triangle
4 Bac 1 2⅜" x 2⅜" 2⅞" x 2⅞" 3⅜" x 3⅜" Symbol for a half square triangle
5 Bac 1 4¼" x 4¼" 5¼" x 5¼" 6¼" x 6¼" --
6 Med 1 4¼" x 4¼" 5¼" x 5¼" 6¼" x 6¼" --
7 Bac 1 1½" x 1½" 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" --
8 Med 1 1½" x 1½" 2" x 2" 2½" x 2½" --
9 Med 1 2½" x 2½" 3½" x 3½" 4½" x 4½" --
Unfinished Block Size 6½" 9½" 12½" --
Grid Size 1" 1½" 2" --


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Step 2: Piecing the different units in your Royal Star


Flying Geese pair unit

Flying Geese Pairs

Make 4

Paperpiecing is an efficient way to make pairs of Flying Geese—you only have to trim the pair at the end instead of trimming each Goose as you go along. 

And even better, those points don't get cut off!


General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing

  • Reduce your stitch length to 15-20 stitches per inch. This perforates the paper. It also provides stability to the seam when you remove the pattern. 
  • Install an open toe applique foot if you have one (it's easier to see where you're stitching with one installed). 
  • Use a larger needle (90/14) if you have problems removing the pattern.
  • For each line of stitching, start and stop a generous 1/4" before and after the solid stitching line. Future lines of stitching secure the ends.

Use a dab of Elmer's Washable Glue Stick to stick the backside of a #1 patch to the unprinted side of your paperpiecing pattern. Use the dashed placement lines for quick, fool-proof positioning.

Postion #1 using the guidelines


With RST, line up the raw edges of #1 and the first #2 patch.


Position #2

Start your stitching starting a bit more than a 1/4" from the solid line between #1 and #2. End a generous 1/4" past the solid line.

Future stitches secure this stitch line.


Sewing the first seam


With RST, align the raw edges of the second #2 and #1 patch. Stitch as before.


Add the second #2


Repeat for all four units.


The first goose is complete


Trim to establish the next SA by lining up the ruler with the solid line between the #2s and #3. Fold the paper back on itself along this line and crease with your finger.

You will need to pull the pattern away from the stitches. The paper may rip a bit...that's normal. If it's too much, use a bit of Scotch Tape to repair the pattern. Don't iron the tape.


Preparing the pattern to trim


Now align the 1/4" mark on your ruler with the fold. The ruler extends a 1/4" past to create your SA. Trim away excess fabric.


Trim to a 1/4


Beautiful, isn't it?!!


After trimming the first Goose


Position the #3 even with the cut edge for perfect placement.


Position the #2 Goose patch

Stitch.

Time to trim again.

This time you'll fold and then trim a 1/4" past the two lines between the #3 and #4s.


Fold the paper back on itself at the seam line


Establishing the quarter inch seam...


Trimming SA to create placement lines


Add the final two #4 patches. This is what the units look like before trimming to perfection.


Untrimmed Flying Geese pairs


Trim to size by placing the 1/4" ruler marking along the outside solid line and trimming off the excess with your rotary cutter. Repeat for all four sides of all four units.

Remove the paper.

Here they are all ready for our Royal Star block.


Trimmed Flying Geese pairs


HSTs

Make 8

HSTs from #5 and #6 patches

We use the 8-at-a-time method for making our HSTs.

If you plan to make many blocks, you may want to use another HST method like triangle paper.

Switch to your favorite quarter inch foot for the remainder of the stitching. Increase your stitch length to the one your normally use for piecing—no paper to perforate now!

Choose either the #5 or #6 square and draw two diagonal lines on the back from corner to corner—pick the fabric that's easier to see your lines on. (I love the Bohin Mechanical chalk pencil for this.)

With RST, stitch a quarter away from both sides of both lines.


Sewing HSTs


Give the unit a quick press to make it nice and flat.

Next we cut the pair of squares (#5/#6) into four equal smaller squares.

In the chart below find the Center Measurement that corresponds to your chosen 'Finished Block Size'.

HST Dimensions

Finished
Block Size
Center
Measurement
Trim HST to…
6" 2-1/8" 1-1/2"
9" 2-5/8" 2"
12" 3-1/8" 2-1/2"

At the cutting mat (I love a rotating mat for this cutting because I can swivel the mat instead of disturbing the patches), align the Center Measurement mark on your ruler with the edge of your block. Cut through the center.

Cut the #5/#6 squares into four smaller, equal squaresFor our 9" finished sample block, the Center measurement is 2-5/8".

Turn the block a quarter turn (that's where the rotating mat comes in handy. Nothing moves except the board), align the Center measurement with the edge again and cut. You now have 4 equal squares.

Cut each square in half on each diagonal to create eight HST.

Here they are!


The eight HSTs appearAll that's left is the pressing and trimming!

SAs are pressed toward the darker fabric.

Returning to the chart, find the 'Trim to' measurement that goes with your block and trim your units to perfection.


Trimmed HSTsThe HSTs are trimmed to 2"x2" for our 9" sample.


Corner unit

Corners

Make 4

With RST, stitch a #8 to a HST and a #7 to another HST. 

SA are pressed in the direction of the arrows.



Joining HSTs to #7 and #8 squares


With RST sew the two pairs together, then press SA in the direction of the arrows.


Complete the corners


Repeat for the three remaining pairs.



Step: Assemble the Royal Star quilt block


Arrange your patches into the Royal Star design—the background squares are in the outside corners, the medium squares are toward the center.


Arrange the patches to create the designDid you catch it? The Flying Geese in the bottom row is upside down...always good to double check before stitching!

With RST, stitch the units into rows. SAs are pressed in the direction of the arrows so that they'll nest. That makes matching seams easier.


Sew the rows together.


Press.

And finally stitch the rows together, pinning as you need.

Give your Royal Star a final press (try my favorite pressing technique for hands-down the flattest block you'll ever see.)


A completed Royal Star quilt blockPresto! Our Royal Star quilt block is complete!


An alternative to the Royal Star quilt block


While I love paper piecing Flying Geese pairs for their accuracy, I recognize that many don't care to paper piece.

If that's you, may I suggest the Weathervane block. It's virtually the same block—without a goose in sight. 

Find the instructions for it here.


Weathervane quilt blockA gooseless Weathervane block


For even more blocks to make...


Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs is my all-time favorite!

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