Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along - A One-Block Quilt!

Hi, all!

Welcome to the fourth week of the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along!  If this is your first week to stop by, here's what we've been doing.  The first week I shared several different ways to make sixteen-patch blocks.  The second week the first quilt option was revealed

combination of sixteen-patch blocks and pinwheels with just a splash of color.  The following week, I shared a more modern take on the sixteen-patch quilt (also a great design if you get tired of making blocks after just a few!)


And now here we are at the fourth week of the Quilt Along.  It's time for a one-block take on the sixteen patch block!

Back in May 2014, Judy Martin shared a block she designed in 2011 called Star Cluster.  She designed it as a 12" or 16" block, but I looked at it and saw its potential to be a one-block quilt.  I plugged it into EQ7 and came up with the dimensions, printed it out and tucked it away in a notebook.  When I started thinking about the Sweet Sixteen Quilt Along, I knew I wanted to use it as the jumping-off point for a quilt.  

And here is my Interlocking Stars quilt!  It looks tricky to put together, and it is, a little, but if you break it down, it's not too hard to do.  

This version of the quilt finishes out at 64" square, with blocks finishing at 7.5".  My quilt is made using some scraps I had left over from a Nana's Pantry FQ bundle from Connecting Threads.  I had sixteen different fabrics left over, so I put one of each print in each of the four sixteen-patch blocks.  The star points are made of four different colorations of the same print, also from the Nana's Pantry line.  Background is Kona White.

Want to try this one out?  Here are the directions!

A few notes:  (1)  This quilt is fat quarter friendly.  I made mine from the leftovers of a fat quarter bundle.  (2)  I prefer to cut my pieces a little oversized and then trim them down to size after piecing.  This helps me get nice points when I piece.  I've listed the sizes for cutting that EQ7 supplied, but put the sizes I actually cut in parentheses.

Fabric Requirements:

16 prints, 9" square or 4.5" x 18" (minimum size)

From each of 16 prints, cut four 4.25" (4.5") squares.  These are for the sixteen patch units that form the centers of the stars.

4 prints, 18" square or 8.75" x 36"(minimum size) 

From each of four prints, cut four 8.5" (8.75") squares.  These are for the points of the stars.  Cut one square in each color in half diagonally.

Background fabric, 3 yards

From the background fabric, cut twelve 8.5" (8.75") squares.  These will be used for the points of the stars.  Mark a line diagonally across the center of each square.

From the background fabric, cut four 8" squares, and four 8" x 30.5" strips.  These will complete the background of the center of the quilt. (The easiest way to cut these is four 8" width-of-fabric (WOF) strips, each divided into one 8" square and one 8" x 30.5" strip.)

From the background fabric, cut six WOF strips 2.5" wide for the outer border.

Binding, 1/2 yard
Backing, 4 yards


Begin by dividing your 4.25" squares into four piles, each with one of each of the sixteen prints.  Assemble four-patch units using the 4.25" squares.  Trim your 4-patch units to 8" square.  Assemble the 4-patch units into four sixteen patch units.  

Next, you need to assemble the half square triangle (HST) units that will become the points of the stars.  Take the twelve background pieces, marked diagonally, and pair each with an 8.5" square for the star points.  Stitch 1/4" from either side of the line you drew on the background piece.  Cut between the two lines of stitching along the line you drew.  Press the HSTs, and trim to 8" square.  You should have six of each color.

Referring to the diagram, and after determining the placement of your point colors, match the triangle shaped star point pieces you cut earlier in pairs and sew them together along the diagonal edge.  Each color will be paired with two different colors, where the stars touch.

Breakout of the quilt design

Now to assemble the top.  Referring to the diagram above, assemble the top in quadrants.  Each quadrant has a long background piece, a row of HSTs, and a wider row comprised of the sixteen patch block flanked by two pairs of HST blocks.  (You can see the breakout in the upper right hand side of the diagram.)  Once the quadrants are complete, they can be joined together to assemble the large block that comprises the center of the top.  NOTE: This is much easier if you can lay the top out in its entirety on a design wall or design floor, if that's what you have!

Finally, add the borders.  You're finished!

Technically speaking, you could make this quilt without borders, but I wanted to be sure that the points of the stars didn't get lost in the binding.  That's why I added a 2" border all around.  And you could make the center 16-patch blocks with more or less than 16 fabrics.  This is just how mine worked out, and is shared this way in the tutorial for simplicity's sake.

I quilted my version of this quilt on my Juki TL98-Q, using a walking foot to achieve 1/4"straight line quilting on the top.  The stars have diagonal quilting radiating out from the center of each star, and all of the background pieces are quilted vertically.  It took a VERY long time, but the texture is amazing, and it's very soft and drape-y.  

Just for the record, I love one-block quilts!  They work up so quickly and easily, you don't get bored making the same block over and over, and they're great for showing off larger pieces of your fabric.  They also make a huge visual impact!  Keep them in mind when you need a quick quilt!

Now it's your turn - are you ready to show off your progress?  Feel free to link up below - we'd love to see what you're up to!  

And just a reminder - if you're interested in entering to win the black and white quilt pictured above, there's still time to enter!  You can read all about the adoption fundraiser raffle/giveaway here.

And - - - there's still time to enter to win a copy of Christina Cameli's new book, Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting!  Check out the blog post here.  Entries close Monday 2/2 at noon CST.




  1. Lovely quilts! I'm would love to pass it along to our charity chairman.Any problems with that?

    1. No problem at all! If it's on my blog, it's public. However, please give credit to Judy Martin for the inspiration and basic block design. PS You are a no-reply blogger, so I hope you get this response to your question!!

  2. I love one block quilts, I think they have a lot more pizzazz than making a bunch of smaller blocks, plus the more instant gratification. Thanks for taking the time to do this, I'll be making this one for sure.

  3. This is a beautiful quilt. I love star blocks. A great way to use scraps. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love each of them but this is really fantastic. Need to get in the sewing room!

  5. Your 16-patch quilts all look great, but this one really blew me away! So beautiful! I will be making one for sure.

  6. I think this is my favorite so far.

  7. I love this quilt and thank you for the pattern and break down - I will certainly make this for my second quilt. I have all the 16-patch/alternating blocks finished for the first one and plan to have that into a flimsy this month.

  8. This is a great quilt, Sarah! Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I definitely want to make one.

  9. This is a great quilt. With and extra strip on the top and bottom, it would make a great Quilt of Valor, too.

  10. Love it, love it, love it and want to make it!

  11. Thank you for sharing the tutorial ! This quilt is fabulous !!

  12. Wonderful quilt and a noble cause. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Thanks for sharing the new tutorial. I like the idea of a one block quilt.

  14. Love this quilt! I have some dots in my stash that might be good for this one.

  15. I am putting this on my list of projects! Thanks for sharing! I have a weakness for star is my one weakness! ��


Comments make me smile!! If you want a PDF of a pattern, PLEASE leave your email address in your comment, or email me directly at salliesue57 (at) gmail (dot) com!