This amazing Star Struck (25″ x 28”) star will puzzle even the most experienced quilter as to how it is pieced, but it is really pretty straightforward. Make it in pretty pastels for a little girl or deep darks for the man in your life. There are six colours in the star and a contrasting background. Having made three (addictive?) I realized it is the perfect project for one of Quilt Direct’s Moda Grunge jelly rolls. These fabrics are almost plains but with subtle splashes and streaks of other colours. A jelly roll includes ten colours, so plenty of choice. You will need 32” x 2 ½” from six of the 2 ½” strips and a background fabric 44” x 22”. If you wish to use other fabrics you may substitute an 11” square of each colour and the same amount of background.
Here are my choices, light and bright with a navy background.
- One small jelly roll, Moda or other, or six 11” squares of fabric for the star.
- Background fabric 44” x 11”.
- Lightweight card for templates.
- Rotary cutting set including a ruler with 60 and 30 degree lines.
- Wadding and backing fabric to fit.
- Optional: Best Press starch.
Preparation: Download and print the three sheets with the coloured diagram of the star, the centre hexagon, template one for the star pieces and template 2 for star pieces. You may want to print the templates on light card. Cut out the hexagon and templates exactly on the lines using a rotary cutter and ruler. You do not need it yet, but if you do not have a quilting ruler with the 30° and 60° lines on it please beg, borrow or steal one, or even buy one.
Templates and hexagon
Press and starch (use Best Press for best results) your six jelly roll strips. This will make them much easier to use and less likely to stretch. Lay them out all together to save spraying starch everywhere.
Cutting: Please, please do not use the templates for the actual cutting. They are only paper and will get cut and change shape. They are only for measuring. Place the template on the fabric. Place the ruler against the template edge (preferably with the 60° line on the edge of the fabric, so now you need that ruler). Remove the template and cut.
You have both the template and the 60° line on the ruler to assure you the triangle is being cut properly. Hang onto that ruler so it does not budge and move the card template all the way off the fabric or at least ¼” away before cutting.
Put the template back on to measure for the next cut. You can just turn that small cut piece of fabric around before replacing the template. Then move the template and make the cut.
Do I need to make you promise not to cut with the template in place? Or can I trust you……
Cut this small triangle first since it is the only piece that is actually 2 ½” and just fits on the jelly roll strip. You can probably manage to cut off the points on the pinked edge of the fabric if they bother you, but not much else.
Move on to the next template, the diamond. The rest of the templates are 2 ¼”, so you will need to trim your jelly roll. You may want to remove just the jagged pinking on one side and then trim more off the other side. It is very important to get that strip exactly 2 ¼”, so spend some time doing it. Don’t worry, you have another strip if you mess it up.
From each colour you need to cut 1 triangle, 1 diamond, 2 small trapeziums and 3 large trapeziums .
Here are the seven pieces cut from one colour strip. Cut these same seven pieces from your remaining five coloured strips. Your one remaining template is background and will be cut in the next step.
Cut a bit off a scrap of each colour and tape to a card. Number each colour from 1 – 6. On scraps of paper write 1 – 6 and put those numbers on your pile of cut pieces as you cut and stack them. You need these desperately for the construction of the star.
From your background fabric (my navy) cut two 8” strips across the 44” width (the bottom two strips in the diagram). Cut off 28” on each and set aside. From the smaller pieces cut the centre hexagon and the six background parallelograms that will finish your star (using the remaining template). Be sure the parallelograms are cut like the ones in the diagram. It makes a difference if you turn the template over and cut a mirror image.
For the parallelograms cut three 2 ¼” strips and then use your template to cut the shapes. Cut the hexagon with scissors or carefully with a rotary cutter and ruler.
Time to sew: From now on you will need the sheet with the coloured star pattern on it. This is a puzzle you are putting together, and the diagram shows where the pieces go. Sorry my colours do not match yours, but you have your numbered card of scraps, and every pile of cut pieces is numbered. You will be matching numbers to numbers.
Sew the long side of a large trapezium of your colour 1 to the large background hexagon. It is too long and does not fit, but that’s fine. Sew only about half the length of the seam with your stitching ending exactly in the middle of the V formed where the two pieces meet.
This may take some practice, but it will be used in almost every seam. The point of the V must be exactly ¼” in from the edge of the fabric, and your stitching must end exactly at the point of the V. A bit of fiddling will always be necessary. Sometimes it is easiest to stitch from the side where only the two little sticking out triangles show and you can attempt to keep them exactly the same size.
Press the sewn part of the seam away from the hexagon. You should have a lovely straight line where the two fabrics meet with a little triangle sticking up. Perfect!
Continue adding large trapeziums around the hexagon in numerical order. Sorry I changed colours here and confused you. The blue piece on top is colour 2. They will all fit beautifully from now on with two little triangles poking out evenly at the edges. Press away from the hexagon. Sew the unsewn bit of piece 1 to piece 6.
Press your new hexagon carefully. Do not stretch any of the sides or angles.
Time to add another row to the hexagon. Check your coloured star sheet and go back to fabric 1, where you started the first row. Sewn to that yellow 1 is a yellow diamond 1 and a pink trapezium 5. Pin, then sew, these units together:
The first number in each of those is the diamond and the second a large trapezium. Check your sheet for numbers and placement. Mind those tiny sticky-outy triangles again. Press the seam towards the diamond.
Sew only about half of the first seam again, the diamond end. Continue around as you did for the first row, but you will be going in the opposite direction. Your diamond in the second row and the large trapezium in the first row will match by colour.
Now for some triangles. There are six outer triangles to add to the centre hexagon. Sew a triangle to a small trapezium.
The first number is the triangle:
1 – 3
2 – 4
3 – 5
4 – 6
5 – 1
6 – 2
Press seam under the triangle.
Sew a large trapezium, the same colour as the small one, to the triangle made in the step above. Be sure they are in the same orientation as the one shown here. Press seam under the trapezium.
For the last side you will sew a background to the only remaining small trapeziums. And sew that pieced strip to the large trapezium If large trapezium is 3 then the small one sewn to background is 5. Press seam toward large trapezium.
3 – 5
4 – 6
5 – 1
6 – 2
1 – 3
2 – 4
Sew two pieced triangles to opposite sides of the pieced hexagon. You will be matching the small triangle (blue inside the pink on the left side of the photo) to the diamond of the same colour on the outside edge of the hexagon.
Now for some background. Fold one of your 8” x 28” pieces of background in half making it 8” x 14”. Lay your quilting ruler over the fold so that the fold lies under the 30° line on the ruler. The edge of the ruler at the end of the 30° line must be exactly at the edge of the fabric (just move the ruler up and down until it is exact. Cut along the edge of the ruler, as usual. Unfold the triangle you have just removed. It is the same as the triangles you have just pieced. Cut the other 8” x 28” piece just the same. Remove the folded triangles.
From your 5 ½” strip of background cut two pieces 15 ½” x 5 ½”. Fold each in half so you have folded pieces 7 ¾” x 5 ½”. This time you will lay your ruler over the fabric with the bottom edge of the fabric under the other 30° line, but again with the 30° line ending right at the top left corner. Notice your ruler is about 1” above the bottom edge of the fabric on the right. Cut along the top edge of the ruler. This gives you a long skinny triangle when unfolded. Remove the triangles cut off the top of the strip.
Lay out your whole star with all the pieced triangle star points in the right places. You will have to refer to your colour card of numbered scraps now to identify the right puzzle pieces, or just match small triangles in the pieced triangles to the diamonds in the centre hexagon. Add the background pieces. You might feel most secure pinning the pieces as you go, right here where the whole star is, one set at a time. Then you are sure the right pieces are being matched up.
Begin with the long skinny background pieces on the sides which will get sewn to a single star point. You can see I have already sewn the one on the left in this photo.
Sew a pieced triangle to each of the long skinny background pieces, the ones that look like coat hangers. The background pieces are bigger than the pieced triangles, which is good, better to cut too large rather than too small. You are matching the point of the pieced triangle to the point on the “coat hanger”, so the pieced triangle point will be the one sticking out ¼”. It is just overlapping the other “coat hanger” long edge in the photo. Sew and press.
Add these background and triangle pieces to the centre. Notice the background is larger than the centre, so you cannot use those corners for matching. Instead use the small triangle and diamond as you did for colour matching. You have two straight seams you can use. Match and pin carefully. The one on the left has been sewn. Once they have been added you can trim off those nubs on the ends of the coat hangers.
Add triangles to the large background pieces. The pieced triangle is smaller than the background, again. Do not try to match the two background points. Match the ones on the straight edge.
Add the other side, sewing all the way to the edge of the background at the tip. It may not come out even, but it all needs trimming at the end, and that is why we added a bit extra. But that top edge does need to be nice and straight, as shown.
Match the small triangle and diamond (and colour) yet again, and sew the long seam. Again, the background is larger and will get trimmed. Do both ends and press. Trim all the outside edges so they are nice and even and square. I am going to add a border from the other strips in the jelly roll simply because I think it needs something light around the outside.
So here it is finished, or almost finished. The borders are on, but now it needs some quilting.
Good luck from all at Quilt Direct and let us know how your Star Struck Quilt turns out.