A Stellar Block

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Thank you to all that participated in my November fabric giveaway – the winner has been drawn and I’ve emailed them directly.

On a different note, here’s a block tutorial that will be featured on Sew We Quilt on the 30th – just wanted to share it with you all first! This block is a different take on the cathedral window design and uses only charm squares (pre-cut 5″ squares). There are so many crafting possibilities with this quick and easy block! Check out our shop for an assortment of charm squares and make some yourself – enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Materials for 1 block (measures 9.5″ x 9.5″ finished):

  • four pre-cut 5 inch squares
  • four pre-cut 5 inch squares in solid white

Step 1 – Start with one printed and one solid white 5 inch square.

Step 2 – Take the solid white 5 inch square and fold all four corners inward as shown below. Press flat with an iron. This will give you a smaller square, where one side has folds and the other side does not.

Step 3 – Place the smaller, folded square on top of the printed square as shown below. The non-folded side should be facing you. Then, secure the smaller square to the printed square by sewing two straight lines from corner to corner of the smaller square. Do not sew the sides down. (I used white thread so you may need to enlarge the image to see).

Step 4 – Since you sewed from corner to corner in the previous step, the sides of the smaller square should be open, almost like little pockets. Fold the sides toward the center of the square and stitch them down, as shown below.
Do this for all four sides:

Step 5 – Repeat the above until you have a total of four.
Step 6 – With right sides facing together, sew the first two blocks in the first row together, then press open with an iron. Repeat for the second row. Then, with right sides facing together, sew rows 1 and 2 together, then press open with an iron.
And there you have it! One stellar block!

Happy quilting!

44 Responses to A Stellar Block

  1. LJ November 26, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    This is a cute block. Did find that I was a bit confused in Step 4 when you said to fold the sides toward the center of the square and stitch them down. Do you cut off any of the fabric? How many times do you fold the piece down?

    • Anonymous December 10, 2013 at 2:08 am #

      the non folded side is up, the folds are placed down on the print square. then the white one is stitched down and the folds done and stitched also.

  2. Graciela November 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    gracias por el tutorial, que tengas un lindo fin de semana besos โ™ฅโ™ฅ

  3. Klue November 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    thanks for the tute. i have tons of charms and until now didn't like any of the charm patterns to use them.

  4. Donna November 26, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Just now saw the great 9-patch on Moda Bake Shop. Now I check out your super blog and find another block idea I MUST try. I'm a long-time follower, and your blog never disappoints.

  5. Michigan Loony Loomer November 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

    WOW that is a cool idea!! It is amazing the different ways of doing this block. I really like this way. Thanks for sharing it!! God bless.

  6. The Red Thread November 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    Very cute! Great idea.

  7. Karen November 27, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    FAB-U-LOUS! What a great idea. Your blocks look great.

  8. Janie November 27, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    Once again you have taken the complex and made it simple! Cathedral window quilts have always been time consuming but the way you did this, you have made it easier!

  9. mags November 27, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    I really like your way of doing a Cathedral Window. I have all ways wanted to try one, but didn't want to do the hand sewing.

    • Christina Phillippi November 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      You could fill in the window with another fabric by measuring 1/8 smaller than the folded square and sewing the x across both fabrics and then sewing the curves.

  10. RossysPatchwork November 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm #

    Hello Jera
    Iยดm new in your BLOG and I love it.
    Hugs from Berlin

  11. Lesley November 30, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    This is a really neat block! Thanks for the tutorial!

  12. Heleen Groot November 30, 2011 at 8:49 am #

    Thank you for the tutorial….another one to try. I think I'm set for the next couple of years. Let's hope Madame Samm doesn't do this again!

  13. Christine L December 1, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Thanks so much for a great tut over at Sew We Quilt. I am working on your block right now and love it's simplicity and looking so complex ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is the last block I will be adding to my sampler from the Nov Block Party blocks. I'll have a picture posted soon at http://www.quiltmonstsercloset.com. thanks again!!

  14. Marte March 20, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    This was absolutely lovely! Greetings from Norway ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. emedoodle March 22, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    WOW! My mind is seriously blown by this! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. tartankiwi March 22, 2012 at 10:41 am #

    Thank you so much! I had great fun playing with this block. Mine ended up looking fairly different to yours, but I wouldn't have got there without this tutorial so for that I say thank you! If you're interested I blogged about it here:

    • bareynolds August 8, 2015 at 12:51 am #

      Loved your version of this block! Thanks for sharing. Very colorful and another way to use up those charm packs!

    • Patty August 22, 2022 at 2:17 pm #

      The pictures are wonderful but all the text on the website is too light. Please use bigger font and black or navy blue. It needs more contrast. ADA compliance for web pages is a thing, too.

  17. Rachel August 29, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    this is amazing! It's great twist on a cathedral windows block.

  18. Jennifer Kinney April 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    Wow! This makes it look so easy. Thanks for the great pictures! This is something I'll have to try. When I have the time.

  19. Kristi April 3, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    love this….so cute and seems very do-able!!

  20. Lis Martion April 3, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    Looks kool and easy to follow, thank you.

  21. Allison in Plano April 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Great tut! I love your blog. Found you through a link on Bonnie Hunter's facebook page. I've printed it out and put with my stack of charms I purchased from Craftsy.com. Just have to find a bright white to make the windows! Thank you again and have a great day. Allison in North Texas

  22. Jean April 4, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I made one yesterday and I love this. Do you have any tips on finishing a lap size quilt ? I am definitely making a pillow or two.

  23. ~Patch May 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I am wondering if there are any finished pictures out there of this on a larger scale? I really like this and wish to see some bigger pictures of quilts that are finished so I can get some ideas for color placement and how others have finished the edges.

  24. susan J smith September 10, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I'm curious why you don't make the under square a 1/4 inch larger all the way around so that the points on your white fabric match up better and do not get sewn under into the seam–
    just curious– Love your idea !!
    Also what about swapping the prints and the solids– interesting concept !!

  25. Irene September 24, 2013 at 12:04 am #

    Nice and easier way to sew Cathedral Windows. What about placing a square of contrast, perhaps solid color fabric on the center square, before sewing the curves? This way you cover the central seams and have a bright center.

  26. jodydeschenes October 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    well, dang…that is sure cute & so creative, i love it!

  27. Robyn Sweeney January 22, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    I love the way that this looks so complex, but is simple…enough
    Adelaide South Australia

  28. Anonymous February 10, 2014 at 8:48 pm #

    Just what I was looking for! I took a class at a sewing store to learn how to make a machine stitched block maybe 30 yrs ago. Now that my kids are grown, I now have the opportunity to do a quilt like this. The use of charm squares and machine stitching simplifies everything. Thanks for a great tutorial. Spinnin' Jenny in GA

  29. joyce February 20, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    Thanks! What a super idea…I'm excited to try!
    Greetings from Zimbabwe.

  30. debbie February 26, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I used this method making a quilt before. Its fairly easy.

  31. Anonymous August 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

    I am still learning about quilting….and I have watched so many tutorials. You made this so easy to understand. Thank you so much for showing a shortcut to make this block.

  32. Anonymous January 14, 2015 at 11:48 pm #

    Nice idea, but shouldn't the colored square be a little larger than the white square so there is at least a 1/4" seam allowance so the points aren't lost when the blocks are sewed together?

  33. Anonymous January 28, 2015 at 2:09 am #

    Thank you. I have French country yellow and blue charms that I want to do this with. It'll be perfect.

  34. Linda March 27, 2016 at 3:36 am #

    I agree about losing the points. I made one and realized that would happen. So I made another one but cut the center square down to 4 3/4. Still needs some work. But love the idea.

  35. Beth June 5, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

    Love the block! For me, I would have to make the white square slightly smaller. I tend to lose the crisp points otherwise when joining the blocks.

  36. Patricia July 27, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

    Thank you for the tutorial!

  37. Sandra Brewer October 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

    Thank you for the tutorial. The only problem I see is that the stars lose their points when the blocks are sewn together.

  38. maria smith January 16, 2019 at 7:43 am #

    I was looking for similar kind of article. Best sewing machine for Beginners 2019

  39. Wanda Barefoot January 22, 2019 at 1:34 pm #

    Genius! I have been looking for a simpler way because I have some trouble sewing with my hands and the cathedral window is my DREAM quilt. Thank you so much for this!

  40. Brenda Blakeman October 25, 2020 at 11:51 am #

    What is the best way to Long Arm this quilt that after many years just finished?

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