‘Watch the Stars’ – layering up and finishing the quilt

First of all, I need to apologise again for the error I made in the cutting instructions for the central square in each of the September blocks. They should be cut at four and three quarter inches. This was a typing error, unfortunately. The post itself has been altered, but if you have made a set of eight blocks with the wrong square in the centre, I am very sorry. for putting you to the trouble of re-doing them. It has been said that ‘The person who never made a mistake never made anything’, but I hate making a mistake that affects other people. I hope it hasn’t spoiled your enjoyment of this year-long project.

The finished size of the quilt top is 48 x 72″


You will need:

4½ yards (4.20m) of fabric 42″ (107cm) wide for the backing [I actually used 1.5m of extra wide backing fabric, which is 274cm wide and used the fabric running widthways across the back of the quilt. The fabric is a golden yellow low-volume print]

wadding at least 54 x 78″

½ yard (40cm) fabric for the binding [I used navy-blue fabric printed with silver stars]

thread for quilting and for sewing

Layering up the quilt

1 Press the backing fabric. Cut off the selvedges. Join, if necessary, to make a piece at least 58 x 82″.

2 Press the backing fabric. Mark the centre of each side by folding the fabric gently and inserting a pin at the mid-way point. Lay the backing on the floor right side down. Secure the corners with masking tape.  

3 Mark the centre of each side of the wadding in the same way and lay the wadding on top of the backing aligning the pins in the wadding with the pins in the backing.

4 Mark the mid-point of each side of the quilt top in the same way. Lay the quilt top right side up on top of the batting, ensuring that the pins in the top are aligned with the pins in the wadding and backing.

5 Join the three layers together, either by using a specialist adhesive spray, or by tacking the layers together in a grid of lines 4” (10cm) apart, or by using quilters’ safety pins.


Now quilt the quilt however you choose. I recommend using quilting gloves with non-slip tips, which will help you keep the fabric steady under the presser foot.

Binding and finishing

1 Cut six strips 2¼” wide across the width of the fabric. Cut off the selvedges and join the pieces end to end with a quarter-inch seam. Press the seam allowances open.

2 Fold the strip of binding in half lengthways and press.

3 Place the folded binding on top of the right side of the quilt, against the right-hand edge, part-way down one side so the raw edges of the binding line up with the raw edges of the quilt.

4 Leaving a 5” ‘tail’ of binding at the beginning, machine stitch the binding in place ¼” in from the raw edges.

5 Insert a pin ¼” in from the first corner.

6 Stitch as far as the pin, then take out the pin and make the final stitch at the spot where the pin was inserted. Then lift the presser foot lever, swing the work round on the needle and stitch straight out to the corner at a 45 degree angle to the previous line of stitching.

7 Now fold the long free end of the binding upwards as shown.

8 Next, fold the long end back down again on itself, enclosing the 45-degree angle fold. The top fold should align with the raw edges of the previous side.

9 Beginning at the fold, stitch down the next side of the quilt. In the photo, you can see the second binding strip lying neatly on top of the first binding strip. Repeat steps 6-9 three more times.

10 On the final side, stop stitching down the binding at a point about 6” from where you started. Take the quilt out of the machine and fold back the two loose ends of binding so that the folds meet. Mark the folds with pins. Trim the ends to about 1” (25mm) beyond the fold.

11 Finger–press the folds. Open the ends and pin them together, inserting the pins at right angles.

12 Re-fold the binding and check that the fit is right. If it is, trim the seam allowances to ¼” .

13 Re-fold the binding again and stitch the final piece of binding into place.

14 Turn the binding to the back of the quilt and slip-stitch the binding to the quilt.

The ‘Watch the Stars’ mystery quilt is finished!

My own version of the ‘Watch the Stars’ quilt has already gone to its new home. I hope you enjoy using or gifting your own ‘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

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