‘Watch the Stars’ quilt – January star quilt-block

'Watch the Stars' January block completed
Watch-the-Stars Mystery Quilt 2022 with Amanda Jane Textiles, white lettering on a dark blue background, four yellow on blue star blocks at the bottom

Introduction to the mystery quilt

Welcome to Part 1 of the ‘Watch the Stars’ mystery quilt.  Every month this year, I will be giving you the fabric requirements for the star (or stars) for that month. Below are ‘how-to’ instructions for making the first star quilt-block. There will be stars of all shapes and sizes. At the end of the year I will reveal the way they all fit together.  The finished quilt top will be 48 x 72″ (122 x 183cm). However, at the end of the year, I will be giving suggestions for changing this into a larger size if you wish.

Choosing your quilt colours

You can – of course – make your quilt in any colourway you choose.  I’m making mine with yellow stars (with some white highlights) on a dark blue background.  My plan is to make it a ‘scrappy’ quilt, using lots of off-cuts and remainders left over from other projects. These are the fabrics I’ve set aside at the start of the year, some solid white and low-volume white prints, some mid-tone yellow fabrics and some paler yellow fabrics:

'Watch the Stars' mystery quilt part 1: white, mid yellow and pale yellow fabrics

In addition, this is the collection of dark blue fabrics:

'Watch the Stars' mystery quilt, navy blue fabrics

I not only raided my larger tray of fabrics in these colours, I also checked my scrap baskets. I tend to save anything bigger than 1½ x 1½” (38 x 38cm)! To encourage you to use your scraps, The instructions will give individual measurements (rather than the total for the block), so you can use up lots of small pieces. Here is my yellow scrap basket:

The basket of small yellow scraps

Instructions for the January stars

For each star, you will need to cut:

Four squares 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) of navy fabric

Four squares 2⅞ x 2⅞” (73 x 73mm) of navy fabric

One square 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) of mid or pale yellow fabric

Four squares 2⅞ x 2⅞” (73 x 73mm) of mid or pale fabric

Making the star

1 Make a half-square triangle unit Take one of the 2⅞ x 2⅞” (73 x 73mm)  yellow squares and draw a line with a ruler and an erasable fabric marker or pencil from one corner to the other on the wrong side.  

'Watch the Stars' mystery quilt, marking a diagonal

2 Lay this piece right sides together on top of a navy  square the same size. Put pins in the un-marked areas to hold them in place. Stitch across the diagonal, ¼” (6mm) away from the marked line, on both sides of the line. (NB take the piece out of the  machine and re-insert it for the second line of stitching, so both lines are stitched in the same direction.)

'Watch the Stars' mystery quilt - stitching the diagonal

3 Take the piece out of the machine and then cut along the marked line with scissors.

'Watch the Stars' mystery quilt - cutting on the diagonal

4 Press the seam, then open up the triangles and press again. Press the seam allowances over to the navy side.    You now have two  squares. 

5 Repeat steps 1 to 5 to make two more yellow/navy squares.

'Watch the Stars' yellow/navy squares

6 Make row 1: Join a 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) navy square to a yellow/navy square, so that the yellow triangle slopes down to the right, as shown in the photo.   Then add another 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) navy square.   Press each seam, then press the seam allowances to the right.

'Watch the Stars' January block row 1

7 Make row 2: Join a navy/yellow  square with the yellow triangle sloping up to the right to a 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) yellow square.   Then add another navy/yellow square with the yellow triangle sloping up to the right.   Press each seam, then press the seam allowances to the left.  

'Watch the Stars' January block row 2

8  Make row 3: Join a 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) navy square to a yellow/navy square, so that the yellow triangle slopes down to the right, as shown in the photo.   Then add another 2½ x 2½” (63 x 63mm) navy square.   Press each seam, then press the seam allowances to the right.

9 Join row 1 to row 2 and press.  Pin the rows carefully as shown, Make sure that the vertical seams align and ensure that the two sets of seam allowances are going in opposite directions.

'Watch the Stars' January block, pinning the rows

10 Then add row 3 in the same way. Press well. The first star block is complete.

'Watch the Stars' January block completed

Blocks needed for ‘Watch the Stars’ quilt

You need to make eight January blocks for the quilt. Press them well and keep them safe. 

You can see in the photo below how I have used the same background for this set of stars (I had lots of off-cuts of this navy/tiny white stars print), but varied the centres and the arms of the yellow stars. You could go much ‘scrappier’ and use a different fabric for any one of those parts…

'Watch the Stars' all the eight January block stars

I would love to see what colours you choose. If you have an Instagram account, please do tag your photos

#watchthestars

I will be looking out for your work.

February’s block will be quite different. Look out for the blog post on Monday 7th February for the next instalment of ‘Watch the Stars’.


Amanda Jane Textiles offers unique fabrics for sale here, quilt patterns here, classes here and quilts for sale here


Published by Amanda Jane Textiles

I am an artist, designer and maker living in Ramsgate, UK

4 thoughts on “‘Watch the Stars’ quilt – January star quilt-block

Let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: