These directions will make a Saluting Star quilt block that is 12.5″ by 12.5″ with 1/4″ seam allowances, so the finished size will be 12″ by 12.”
Note: These directions make the blocks a little big and have you trim them down. This method works for any level of quilter, but is especially foolproof for beginning quilters.
Prepare your Fabric
I’ve labeled the diagram so we can refer to the colors by name: Colors A, B, and C.
When choosing colors, I think the star will looks more star-like if colors A and B are both from the same family (they are both blue, or both red, etc.).
Pre-wash your fabric, if needed.
Then, using a rotary cutter and rulers on a cutting mat, cut squares and triangles as follows:
- Cut 4 4.5″ squares from the background fabric.
- Cut 1 5.5″ square from the background fabric. Cut that into 4 triangles.
- Cut 1 4.5” square for the center (A)
- Cut 1 5.5″ square from color C. Cut that into 4 triangles.
- Cut 2 5” squares from color B. Cut each into 2 triangles.
Lay all the fabric out like the following picture:
Split Square Triangle Blocks
There are nifty ways of sewing multiple split square triangle blocks at a time, but if we used them, we wouldn’t get the look we are going for. So, we’ll just sew the blocks together.
- Use your 4 triangles (cut from 2 5″ squares) from color B and your 4 triangles (cut from 5.5″ squares) from the background and color C.
- Lay out 4 blocks with color B across the bottom and left, C at the top center, and the background color at the right.
- Sew the two smaller triangles together.
- Press (You can press seams open or towards one side. I always press my seams open). Now you have a larger triangle.
- Sew this to the remaining solid triangle (in B).
- Trim your triangle to exactly 4.5″ square, with the intersection at the center and the seams at the corners.
Assemble the Saluting Star Quilt Block
Lay out your quilt block pieces.
Sew the top row together, with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Measure this row to make sure it’s 12 1/2″ wide. If it’s not, double check your seam allowance, rip out your seams, and try again. If it’s thinner than 12 1/2,” try moving the needle on your sewing machine a tad to the right to make your seam allowance smaller. You’ll want to measure the other pieces as the block comes together, but this is the best place to correct the problem (before you sew the rest of these seams).
Sew the second row together, press, and measure.
Sew the third row together, press, and measure.
Lay out your three rows. Double check to make sure you didn’t get a block turned around. If you did rip out the affected seams, press, sew again, and press again.
Sew the top two rows together. Press. (notice I fixed that messed up block in the top row!)
Sew the last row to the second row. Press.
Measure to make sure the block is exactly 12.5″x12.5″. It should have 1/4″ seam allowances on every side, and there should be 12″ from point to point in both directions.
You should now have a finished block! Well, it still has raw edges, because there is a seam allowance. That is okay; it will be sewn to something else later, and will look perfect.