FREE QUILT BLOCK TUTORIAL: Maple Star
The Maple Star is another classic quilting block that is simple to create and versatile to use. I used my Send Me To the Woods fabric from Riley Blake designs to show you how to create this block.
The Maple Star uses 3 fabrics:
FABRIC 1: (White Solid / Background)
- 4 Flying Geese (the rectangles on each side that create the star effect)
- 4 rectangles on the outside of the block
FABRIC 2: (Send Me To the Woods Toss Black)
- A center square (I used the toss fabric as but it would be great for fussy cutting a central image.)
- 4 Flying Geese
- 4 squares on interior of the block
FABRIC 3: (Send Me To the Woods Buffalo Plaid Red)
- Accent Fabric rectangles
I've provided cutting instructions for 6″ & 12″ blocks below.
Begin by choosing and cutting your fabric.
Making Flying Geese with the No-Waste (major time saving) Method
You will create your four flying geese for the top, bottom and sides of the Sawtooth Star with the large and small squares cut based on the sizes shown in the chart. Once sewn together, trimmed and pressed they will be the size shown in column one of the chart. (I put light green behind the measurements for the Flying Geese so you don't confuse them with the center and corner squares.)
DRAW a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the 4 Flying Geese small squares with a washable marker, chalk line or quilting pencil.
PLACE the large Flying Geese square face up on your workspace.
Right sides down, PLACE AND PIN two of the small squares in opposite corners so the lines you drew now form one line that goes from corner to corner of the large square. The small squares will overlap a little in the center.
SEW a 1/4″ seam from each side of the line.
CUT along the line you drew (in between the two seams you just stitched) with a rotary cutter.
PRESS seams open OR towards the darker fabric. You now have two partial units.
Right sides together, PLACE the third small Flying Geese square from the Corner of the large triangle and between the two small triangles.
SEW a 1/4″ seam from each side of the line as you did in Part 1.
CUT along the line you drew with a rotary cutter. PRESS seams open and trim to the size in the Cutting Chart. (The larger size in parentheses in the “Finished Flying Geese” column.)
REPEAT to create 4 Flying Geese.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to flying geese: cut and sew exact sizes so you only need to trim to corners OR make them oversized and trim the finished piece to size.
The second method takes a little longer (more time trimming) but I have found it to give better results. If you sew “exact” measurements and things shift or stretch at all it throws your whole block out of whack – and who wants that after all the work you put into it?
My directions require a little more time trimming but will yield beautiful flying geese if you follow the directions below precisely.
Refer to the “trim to” size in parentheses in the Cutting Chart.
TRIM the long side of the block with the point FIRST.
Carefully line up your ruler so you are cutting exactly 1/4″ from the tip of the point.
Turn the block around and TRIM the opposite long side.
Finish TRIMMING the block by trimming the two short sides.
Divide the desired width by 2 and place the ruler at the center point and trim both sides – don't just go from one edge and cut to the length or your triangle will be off.
In the 12″ block example, the chart says to trim to 2.5″ x 4.5″. So when trimming to 4.5″ wide, place the ruler with the 2.25″ mark (1/2 of 4.5″) on the point and trim one side. Them trim the other side.
Assemble the Maple Star Quilt Block
LAYOUT your block on your workspace, a wool mat or quilt block board.
Pay attention to any directionality you might have in your fabric so things don't look “upside down” when you sew all the pieces together.
SEW the center rows together and PRESS seams.
CLIP & SEW the top center row to the second center row together. PRESS seams.
CLIP & SEW the side Flying Geese blocks to the sides of the center row. PRESS seams.
CLIP & SEW the 4th center row to the bottom center row together. PRESS seams.
Finish the 3 rows by CLIPPING & SEWING the side rectangles to the new top and bottom center row sections as shown. PRESS seams.
SEW all three rows together to finish the Maple Star Block.
Pretty quick and easy – have a creative day!
– Tara Reed
P.S. If you make this block I’d love to see it!
P.P.S. Want to see more Quilt Block Tutorials? CLICK HERE >
P.P.S.S. Want to see more free projects using my Send Me to the Woods Fabric? CLICK HERE >
Materials Used in this Project:
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Ask for Send Me to the Woods Fabrics from Riley Blake at your favorite quilt shop or online retailer!
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