Twinkle! Twinkle! Twin Star Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

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Skill Level: Beginner

The interwoven points of the Twin Star quilt block are much easier to make than they look.3-patch quarter square triangles make it happen.

Paper piecing is the key to perfect points and seam allowances. All you need to be able to do is stitch on a line.

Easy Peasy!

Let's get started!

The Twin Star quilt block tutorial

Do you hate paper piecing? 

Not to worry. If you prefer traditional piecing, there's a cutting chart and instructions for that at the bottom of this page.

General Instructions

Open toe applique foot.

I like to use an open toe applique foot for paper piecing because there's nothing between my eyes and the stitching line.

I also prefer to prewash and then starch my quilt fabric. Starched fabric allows you to get a good fingerpress which helps you minimize trips back and forth to the iron.

Step 1: Download and print

If you prefer traditional piecing, click here to go directly to that cutting chart further down on this page and skip printing any patterns.

To download the free patterns, YOU must have Adobe installed on your computer. You can get it here if you don't already have it.

WHY ADOBE?

It's simple.

My patterns have dashed placement guides to make the positioning of the first patch virtually foolproof. With Adobe, they show exactly as intended—a dashed line. In other programs they render as solid lines. That can make it confusing, especially for the beginning quilter.

Choose your finished block size from the table below and print the corresponding pattern.

Finished
Block Size
# of
copies to print
Link to
PDF Pattern
6” 1 2" unit
7-1/2” 1 2-1/2" unit
9” 1 3" unit
12” 2 4" unit

To print blocks at the correct size, under 'Page Sizing and Handling' in Adobe's print menu, set 'Custom Scale' to 100%. Click here to see where it's at on the Print Menu page.

If you use something other than Adobe, you'll need to set 'Page Scaling' to 'None' to print at '100%'. Printing at 'Actual Size' tends to print blocks at weird sizes. (Don't know why, it just does.)

2021 Showcase Fabrics ~ Get ready to drool!

Click any of the images below to see the full collection, individual fabrics and find pricing/ordering information.

Check out ALL the current Fabric lines showcased on this site in one place.

Step 2: Cut patches for a Twin Star

Twin Star patchwork designTwin Star design

Sample Size: 9" finished / 9½" unfinished

Grid: 3x3

Design Type: Star, Even 9-patch

NOTE: If you prefer traditional piecing, click here to skip down to that information further down on this page.

You can use this same pattern and with different placement of the light and medium fabrics create a star that 'spins' in the opposite direction.


Twin Star quilt block - Quarter square triangle option 1

In this version, the #1 patch is a light background fabric. This fabric placement is what we'll use for our sample block in the following tutorial.

Twin Star quilt block - Quarter square triangle option 2

To make the Twin Star spin in the other direction, swap in a medium fabric for #1. Use a light for the #2 patch. (Click here to see how this changes the design.)

Don't forget to subcut Patches #QST.1-3.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Twin Star Quilt Block

~ Paper Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block SizeSub
Cut
6'' 7½'' 9'' 12''
QST.1 Bac 1 3¾'' x 3¾'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 4¾'' x 4¾'' 5¾'' x 5¾'' Symbol for a quarter square triangle
QST.2 Light 1 3¾'' x 3¾'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 4¾'' x 4¾'' 5¾'' x 5¾'' Symbol for a quarter square triangle
QST.3 Dark 2 3⅜'' x 3⅜'' 3⅞'' x 3⅞'' 4⅜'' x 4⅜'' 5⅜'' x 5⅜'' Symbol for a half square triangle
4 Bac 5 2½'' x 2½'' 3'' x 3'' 3½'' x 3½'' 4½'' x 4½'' ---
Unfinished Block Size 6½'' 8'' 9½'' 12½'' na
Grid Size 2'' 2½'' 3'' 4'' na

Step 3: Assemble the quarter square triangle units

Twin Star quilt block - Quarter square triangle option 1

Make 4

NOTE: Since this is an asymmetrical design, the paper piecing pattern may look backwards to you.

Don't worry.

The printed side of the pattern is actually the backside of the block and it should look backwards.

General Sewing Machine Setup for Paperpiecing

  • Reduce your stitch length to 16-20 stitches per inch (1.3-1.6mm). This perforates the paper. It also stabilizes the seam when you remove the pattern. [Learn more about stitch length here.]
  • Reduce your machine's speed or just plain slow down when you stitch. Sew only as fast as you can stay on the stitching lines.
  • Install an open toe applique foot (sometimes called an 'embroidery' or 'satin stitch' foot) if you have one (it's easier to see where you're stitching with one installed). 
  • As you stitch each seam, start and stop a generous 1/4" before and after the solid stitching lines. ALWAYS. Future lines of stitching secure the ends.

After adding each patch, press the unit as it was sewn to set the seam. Then press it open. The SA 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.

Remember as you follow this paper piecing tutorial, the printed and the fabric sides of this block are mirror-images of each other.

At last!

Let's sew!

Cut out four QST patterns—cut just beyond the outside dashed line.

With a tiny bit of Elmer's Washable glue stick (goes on purple/dries clear) position QST.1, wrong side of the fabric to the unprinted side of the pattern.

Position Patch #1.Use the dashed placement guides to make positioning this patch foolproof.

With RST, position QST.2 exactly on top of it.

With RST, make #2 to #1Match the edges of the QSTs.

Stitch, starting before the solid line begins and after it ends, on the line between the first two patches.

Stitch the seam.Start and stop stitching at the arrows.

Press. If you've starched your fabric, you may be able to simply fingerpress this seam. (I did.)

Trim away this little thread tail, it'll be covered by the next patch.

The sewn QST.1 and QST.2

With RST, align the long edge of QST.3 with the sewn patches.

Align the edges of QST.3 with QST.1/QST.2Don't bother trimming this thread tail just yet. We'll get it in the final trim.

Stitch on the line, starting and stopping past the outside dashed lines.

Press.

Trim the block to size by positioning the quarter inch line on your ruler with the solid black outline of the block. Trim. Repeat for the other three sides. This also trims away all the thread tails at the outside edge of our Twin Star quilt block.

Repeat for a total of 4.

Remove the paper.

Return your sewing machine to your everyday settings.

The remainder of the block is stitched with traditional techniques.

Install your favorite quarter inch presser foot. Adjust the needle position if needed. Increase to your normal piecing stitch length.

Step 4: Assemble the Twin Star quilt block

Arrange the units into the Twin Star design. The light, background patch is on the outside edge of our Twin Star block. The QSTs are rotated a quarter turn as you move clockwise around the block.

Arrange the patches into rows

Stitch the rows together. Seams are pressed toward the solid squares.

And finally, stitch the rows together. Use pins to match the seams if needed.

The finished Twin Star quilt block

Click here to see what your Twin Star quilt block looks like if you swapped the light and medium patches.

A Traditionally Pieced Twin Star Block

As promised, this is the cutting chart for a Twin Star quilt block with traditionally pieced QSTs.

The measurements in the table are exact. Personally, I prefer to use oversized patches and then after stitching, trim them to a perfect square. I add a 1/4" to each of the QST.1 thru QST.3 patches and then cut them.

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Twin Star Quilt Block

~ Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block SizeSub
Cut
6'' 7½'' 9'' 12''
QST.1 Bac 1 3¼'' x 3¼'' 3¾'' x 3¾'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 5¼'' x 5¼'' Symbol for a quarter square triangle
QST.2 Light 1 3¼'' x 3¼'' 3¾'' x 3¾'' 4¼'' x 4¼'' 5¼'' x 5¼'' Symbol for a quarter square triangle
QST.3 Dark 2 2⅞'' x 2⅞'' 3⅜'' x 3⅜'' 3⅞'' x 3⅞'' 4⅞'' x 4⅞'' Symbol for a half square triangle
4 Bac 5 2½'' x 2½'' 3'' x 3'' 3½'' x 3½'' 4½'' x 4½'' ---
Unfinished Block Size 6½" 8'' 9½" 12½'' na
Grid Size 2'' 2½'' 3'' 4 '' na

After cutting, click here to go to Step 2: Assemble the units on the Double Pinwheel quilt block tutorial (this page will stay open underneath.)

Use this chart to check the accuracy of your units and trim your units to perfection.

QST Dimensions

Finished
Block Size
Center
Measurement
Trim QST to…
6" 1¼" 2½" x 2½"
7½'' 1½" 3" x 3"
9" 1¾" x 1¾" 3½" x 3½"
12 '' 2¼" x 2¼" 4½" x 4½"

After completing your QSTs, return to this page with the 'Back' button on your browser bar and continue on with Step 4: Assemble your Twin Star quilt block on this page.

Enjoy!

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  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
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For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

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