Learn how to sew a Friendship Star Quilt Block during week 6 of our Spring Block of the Week! This Friendship Star is one of many different star block patterns and I think it’s the easiest!
The history of the Friendship Star is so sweet!!
In the days of the pioneers, Friendship Star quilts were made for women about to embark on a pioneer journey. Friends she was leaving behind would sew these simple stars and embroider their name in the center of the star. The quilt would then be presented to their friend to take along with her on the journey west.
The women who received the Friendship Star quilts found comfort in not only the quilt itself but also in the memories of the friends who made it for her. These gifted quilts made the difficult journey of leaving friends and family behind a little more bearable.
Talk about the power of a gifted quilt!!! I love it!
Week 6 – Friendship Star Quilt Block
The Friendship Star quilt block uses half square triangles and squares.
Just like the other blocks in this series, this quilt block is a nine patch block.
The finished block will measure 12 ½” x 12 ½” square.
Sew using a ¼” seam allowance throughout.
Cut the fabric for the block…
Cut one 4 ½” square of light-colored fabric and four 4 ½” squares of medium-colored fabric.
Also cut two 5 ¼” squares of the same light-colored fabric. Finally, cut another two 5 ¼” squares of the same medium-colored fabric. The 5 ¼” squares will be used to make the half square triangles!
You can use different contrasting for this quilt block, maybe a dark star and a light surround. Be creative!!
You’ll sew four half square triangles for this quilt block. Use the strategy of making half square triangles that I described in Week #2.
Plan the block layout…
Follow this diagram to plan the layout of the four half square triangles and the five 4 ½” squares.
Sew together the squares of each row…
Begin sewing the squares together row by row. I like to pin the first two blocks in each row before I start sewing them.
Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the two squares together. Don’t sew over the pins, remove them as you come up to them.
When you have the first two blocks of all three rows sewn together, line them up in their correct row placement again.
Place the last block right sides together to each of the middle squares and pin. Stitch the last block onto each row.
I like to use the chain piecing technique to sew quilt squares together. You don’t have to chain piece these squares, you can sew each of them individually if you prefer!! If you want to read about chain piecing, check out this post!
Pressing the seams…
Press the seams of row one away from the center square. Press the seams of row two toward the center square. And press the seams of row three away from the center square. This way the seams will “nest” together nicely when you sew the rows to each other!
When you carefully press your seams so the rows “nest” nicely together, you’ll get corners and points that match up well! This takes practice. But taking your time, pressing carefully, and pinning your rows carefully together, will all be worth the effort to get nice-looking corners and points!!!
Sewing the rows together…
With rows one and two right sides together, “nest” the seams together and place a pin in these lined up seams. I also like to place a pin at the end of the rows, and a couple in the middle.
Sew the rows to each other, removing the pins as you come up to them. Be careful not to let the seam from the bottom row fold over the wrong way as you come up to it! This happens sometimes.
Press the seams of each row all in the same direction, either toward the top or toward the bottom. This way your block will lay nice and flat.
Nicely pressed seams look so pretty!!! And they help to create smooth quilting patterns later!
Finishing the block…
Using the measurements for the individuals squares that make up this block, the final quilt block should end up measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”. Once you’ve pressed it, lay it out on your cutting mat and square the block to make sure it’s 12 ½” square.
I have a 12 ½” square Omnigrip plastic “ruler” that works great for squaring up large quilt blocks!
The six blocks in this series are already looking like a mini quilt. I can’t wait to keep sharing more blocks with you over the next weeks.
There will be 13 total weeks (13 blocks) in this Spring Block of the Week Project! Six down, seven to go!! Once all the blocks are released, there will be a quilt pattern for how to put them all together!!
Have fun making this Friendship Star Quilt Block, and have a great week!!