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Tutorial: Make a patchwork star

6 Pointed Star English paper piecing patchwork tutorial. © Stephanie Boon, 2013

English Paper Piecing

The 6 Pointed Patchwork Star

Patchwork and Quilting Star Mug Rug, ©Stephanie Boon, 2013

It’s a patchwork star!

The 6 pointed patchwork star is made up from 6 diamonds, which is a great shape to add to your English paper piecing repertoire. Stars can be used in lots of creative ways:  join them with hexagons for a quilt or why not applique the patchwork star motif onto your chosen project? The patchwork star mug rug (above) is the ideal project for a beginner and you’ll find the free pattern here.

Tutorial

Tutorial: How to make an English paper pieced patchwork star, © Stephanie Boon, 2013

You will need

  • 6 paper templates (here’s how to draw your own)
  • cotton fabric of your choice, enough to cover the templates with a 1/4 seam allowance
  • tacking thread
  • matching sewing thread
  • pins
  • sewing needle
How to make an English paper pieced patchwork star, © Stephanie Boon, 2013

English paper pieced star

Step 1

Cut out your fabric about 1/4″ bigger than the paper template and trim off the tips of the sharp points, but make sure you don’t cut too close to the template.

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 1 – trim the points

Step 2

Baste the fabric over the template. Finger press the first side down and stitch it in place with fairly large stitches using tacking thread.

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2 – basting

When you come to the sharp point just fold it neatly along the edge of the paper and hold it in place with a stitch. Don’t trim off the dog-ear as it can end up fraying beyond repair (trust me, that’s a pain in the bum!). When you come to the obtuse angles at the side of the diamond you won’t have any dog-ears to worry about, but still hold the fold in place with a stitch.

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2 – don’t trim the dog-ears!

Here’s a view of the dog-ears from the front and the back (you can click on any of the images to make them larger)

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 2 – dog-ears from front and back

(I go into a bit more detail about basting here: basting hexagons – the only difference with diamonds is the sharp point)

Step 3

The next step is to sew your diamonds together in two sections, as shown below. Place 2 diamonds right sides together and oversew them (whip stitch) along one of the sides with a matching thread. Fasten off. Leave the templates in place.

Tip: when oversewing take up just a couple of threads from each diamond, lifting them above the paper template. The fewer threads you pick up, the less of the stitch you’ll see on the right side, and if you lift the threads above the template you’ll find it easier to reuse it as the edge won’t be so damaged. Take small stitches about 2mm apart.

Place your 3rd diamond right sides together with the pair you’ve just stitched and oversew as above.  Make your second section in the same way.

Tip: don’t be temped to stitch your diamonds together in a circular fashion 1 diamond at a time – if you do you’ll likely end up with an unsightly hole at the centre!

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3 – stitch the star in two sections

You shouldn’t have any trouble with the dog-ears, although it might seem a bit fiddly at first, just gently fold them out of the way as you sew.

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 3 – the dog-ears shouldn’t be troublesome!

Step 4

Next place the two halves of the star right sides together and oversew with one seam across the centre.  You might find it helpful to place a pin through the two central diamonds so that they don’t slip out of place as you work. It can also help as a ‘marker’ as the points can be  a bit obscured by the dog-ears in the centre.

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 4 – the two sections stitched together (front)

The dog-ears might feel a bit ‘wrong’ and bulky as you stitch across the centre, but don’t be concerned because once you open the star out and give it a final press from the front you’ll find they lie reasonably ‘flat’ as you can see below 🙂

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Step 4 – The two sections stitched together (back)

That’s it, one patchwork star complete!  You can now go on to join the stars to make a patchwork quilt, perhaps using hexagons as ‘fillers’ like in the picture below (or you can use the same shape diamonds), or maybe for an applique motif on a mug rug like the one in my free pattern on the Patterns page!

English Paper Piecing tutorial: stitching a patchwork star with diamonds. © Stephanie Boon, Dawn Chorus Studio, 2013

Joining stars with hexagons

Inspiration

You’ll find lots more star quilt inspiration here:

 Pinterest Boards

Articles

Supplies

Christmas stocking with patchwork star. © Stephanie Boon, 2014 www.DawnChorusStuido.com

Another idea! Starry Christmas stocking by Dawn Chorus Studio

I hope you’ve found this tutorial easy to follow and are raring to have a go at making yourself a patchwork star quilt, but if a full size quilt seems a bit daunting don’t forget to try out my free mug rug pattern first!

Happy starry stitching!

 

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12 replies
  1. kathrine
    kathrine says:

    Hi Stephanie….thanks for this wonderful idea…I am part of sewing group of five friends and we have decided to sew friendship quilts…the plan is to sew two blocks for each ,,,so a giving a total of 10 blocks per friend….I have been looking for simple but effective ideas for blocks and this star is perfect……..sew here I go !!! xx

    Reply
  2. Jan Kelly in the uk
    Jan Kelly in the uk says:

    I would love to make a quilt. But not sure if I would have the Hundreds.just watched your lesson on the diamond and you explain everything so easily.who knows I may pluck up the courage to try and make one.Jan in the uk.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Jan, thanks for coming by! You should totally have a go – it’s so much fun and really satisfying. If you’ve never done it before try something small, maybe a cushion or a cot quilt; they’re a bit less overwhelming and just as beautiful 🙂 Go for it, go on! Good luck 🙂

      Reply
  3. Sue Harte
    Sue Harte says:

    Nice pics But I am trying to make a cushion cover using welsh wools in this technique. The dog’s ears are a real painm whn it comes to the top opening. Any ideas on what to do as they are so bulky and I can’t cut themoff as they’d unravel.

    Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Sue! Do you mean the opening for the cushion cover itself? If so, have you thought about using binding? You can buy quite good width bindings (I’d go for something a couple of centimetres wide, if the dog ears are bulky). Lay it right side against the right side of your cushion cover, machine stitch it down, then zig zag stitch (machine) along the edge which will help to flatten the dog ears, trim off any excess, fold the binding to the back, press and slip stitch in place. Hope this helps! Let me know if there’s any other help you need and good luck 🙂 (love to see some pictures too!)

      Also Sue, I’ve included instructions on how to make a back opening for a cushion on this free pattern that you might find helpful 🙂 http://www.dawnchorusstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Grandmas-hothouse-cushion-pattern-20131.pdf

      Reply
    • Stephie
      Stephie says:

      Hi Toni, thanks for your question. If you’re using the star for applique stitch down the first point of the star (two edges, not just the tip!) then remove the basting and paper from that one, then stitch down the next one and remove the basting and paper – carry on round removing the papers as you go. When you get to the last one remove the paper before you stitch it down. It can help a lot if you use a pin to winkle the paper out! Another way is to press the star from the front and then remove all the basting and papers first, baste the star in position and then stitch it into place. I find that either of these methods ensures you keep the edges nice and crisp.

      If you’re stitching the stars together to make a quilt you can remove the papers as you go as long as they aren’t on the outside edges. You can also leave it till the end and take them all out at once. If I’m working on a larger piece I prefer to take them out as I go so that I can reuse the papers – and avoid the tedious job of taking out a whole load at once!

      I hope that’s clear?! I’m in the process of updating this tutorial and I’ll be sure to include this in it – with pictures!

      Thanks so much for coming by, let us know how you get on 🙂

      Reply

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