FREE TUTORIAL: Martha Washington Star Quilt Block

Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Want to learn to sew a star quilt block? 

The Martha Washington Star Quilt Block isn’t the simplest of blocks but I’ve broken it down so you will be done before you know it.

This tutorial creates a 12″ finished block. All seams are sewn at scant ¼″

  • A center square – made up of double layered HSTs
  • 4 Flying Geese (the rectangles on each side that create the star effect) and
  • 4 corner squares

This block is created with a center square made from what I call a “double HST” (not sure if there is a technical term for it or not). Basically we create four HSTs with blue and cream and then use those with brown squares to create the four HSTs that form the center of the block.

(figure 1)

  • Fabric 1: (blue in photos)
  • (1) 4 1/2″ square
  • (4) 4″ squares
  • Fabric 2: (brown in photos)
  • (2) 4″ squares
  • Fabric 3: (cream in photos)
  • (1) 4 1/2″ square
  • (1) 7 1/2″ square
  • (4) 3 1/2″ squares
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial

FABRIC PIECES USED:
Fabric 1 (blue) : (2) 4½″ square
Fabric 3 (cream) : (2) 4½″ square

  • PLACE one blue square on top of one cream square – right sides together.
  • DRAW A LINE diagonally on one square. (figure 2)
  • STITCH a scant ¼″ to each side of the line. (figure 3)
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 2
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 3
  • CUT on the diagonal line you originally drew to create two HSTs. (figure 4)
  • PRESS towards the darker fabric.
  • SQUARE the HSTs to 4″ squares.
  • REPEAT with the other set of Blue & Cream squares to create four HSTs. (figure 5)
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 4
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 5

FABRIC PIECES USED:
(2) blue & cream HSTs you just made
Fabric 2 (brown) : (2) 4″ square

Now you will repeat the above process but use the blue / cream HSTs as one square and the 4″ brown squares as the second.

  • DRAW A LINE diagonally on the wrong side of both brown squares.
  • PLACE the blue and cream HSTs you just made right sides up. Place the brown squares on top of the HSTs with the diagonal line you drew on them going to the opposite corners of the diagonal seams on the HSTs. (figure 6)
  • STITCH a scant ¼″ to each side of the line.
  • CUT on the diagonal line you originally drew to create two HSTs.
  • PRESS towards the darker fabric.
  • SQUARE the HSTs to 3½″ squares. (figure 7)
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 6
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 7

  • LAYOUT the four squares as shown in the sample block and sew together. (figure 8)
  • TRIM final square to 6½″ (figure 9)
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 8
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 9

FABRIC PIECES USED:
Fabric 1 (blue) : (2) 4½″ square
Fabric 3 (cream) : (1) 7½″ square

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 Martha Washington Block with the large and small squares shown above. Once sewn together, trimmed and pressed you will have all 4 that you need.

PART 1

  • DRAW a diagonal line on the wrong side of each of the 4 Flying Geese small squares (4½″ squares from fabric 1) with a washable marker, chalk line or quilting pencil.
  • PLACE the 7½″ square (Fabric 3) 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. (figure 10)
  • SEW a 1/4″ seam from each side of the line. (figure 11)
  • CUT along the line you drew (in between the two seams you just stitched) with a rotary cutter. (figure 12)
  • PRESS seams open. You now have two partial units. (figure 13)
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 10
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 11
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 12
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 13

PART 2

  • Right sides together, PLACE the third small Flying Geese square from the Corner of the large triangle and between the two small triangles. (figure 14)
  • SEW a ¼″ seam from each side of the line as you did in Part 1. (figure 15)
  • CUT along the line you drew with a rotary cutter. (figure 16)
  • PRESS seams open and TRIM each piece to 6½″ x 3½″ making sure you leave ¼″ beyond the cream center point. (figure 17)
  • REPEAT to create four Flying Geese.
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 14
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 15
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 16
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 17

ASSEMBLE THE BLOCK

  • LAYOUT your block on your workspace, a wool mat or quilt block board. (figure 18)
  • SEW each row together and PRESS seams.
  • Sew row 1 to row 2 and then row 2 to row 3.
  • PRESS seams.
Martha Washington Star Quilt Block Tutorial
figure 18

— LOVE THIS IDEA? —

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If you make this or other projects and post on Instagram, be sure to tag me (@artisttarareed). Follow my YouTube channel for new sewing projects and tips every week.

🧵 Tara Reed

P.S. Is there a sewing tutorial you’d love to see? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it to my idea list!

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Comments

2 responses to “FREE TUTORIAL: Martha Washington Star Quilt Block”

  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I purchased a quilt kit at a thrift shop with no pattern except the names of the blocks with the cut pieces. One of the blocks was this one. I have several books of blocks, and none had the Martha Washington Star. So again, thank you for taking your time to put this tutorial up.

    1. I’m glad you found it! Happy sewing 🥰

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