Learning a new quilt block is always fun, especially if it’s a traditional block used in quilt patterns for centuries.
The quilt block we will focus on today is the simple yet versatile friendship star block.
We’ll share the history of this quilt block and how to make it.
Then we’ll look at timeless quilt patterns that feature the friendship star quilt block.
- What Is the History of the Friendship Star Quilt Block?
- What Are the Measurements for a Friendship Star?
- How Do You Make a Friendship Star Quilt Block?
- 15 Friendship Star Quilt Blocks to Inspire You
- 1. Friendship Stars
- 2. Two-Tone Friendship Star
- 3. Double Point Star
- 4. Mighty Stars
- 5. Friendship Star Wreath Mini Quilt
- 6. Scrappy Friendship Star
- 7. Twinkle
- 8. Simple Friendship Star Pattern
- 9. Double Vision
- 10. Wandering Star
- 11. Stellar
- 12. Pinwheel Center Friendship Star Block
- 13. Seeing Double
- 14. Super Scrappy Friendship Star
- 15. Milky Way
What Is the History of the Friendship Star Quilt Block?
This beautiful block is on vintage quilts dating back to the 1800s, so it’s safe to say it’s a timeless quilt block.
One of the most notable quilts featured in this block was “friendship quilts.”
Quilters would make a friendship quilt for their pioneering friends heading West to start a new life.
Many of these quilters would embroider their names in the center of the friendship star block to remind the recipient of the loved ones they left behind.
What a precious and priceless gift to receive right before heading on a new adventure!
What Are the Measurements for a Friendship Star?
The measurements of a friendship star block will be determined by the size squares you use to create the block. A friendship star quilt block is a nine-patch block that uses half-square triangles (HST) and squares to create a fun pinwheel-type design.
Here are a few examples of the measurements for a friendship star block using different square sizes. All measurements are for unfinished blocks (the block size before you sew it into a quilt top.)
- 2 ½” squares = 6 ½” friendship star
- 3” squares = 8” friendship star
- 4 ½” squares = 12 ½” friendship star
- 5” squares = 14” friendship star
How Do You Make a Friendship Star Quilt Block?
No matter what size you choose to make your friendship star block, following these steps can make a beautiful block.
Use this step-by-step tutorial to make any size friendship star quilt block.
Step 1: Make the HSTs
I will show you how to make four HSTs at a time. You want your HSTs to be the same size as the other square you use for your block. To ensure the HSTs and the squares are the same sizes, you need to take the size of the squares and divide it by .64.
For example, if you use 4” squares, you need to take four and divide it by .64 to get 6.25. You will then need to use two 6.25 (6 ¼”) squares to make four HSTs at a time.
Let’s do another example. If you are using 3” squares, then take three and divide by .64. That comes out to 4.6875. Always round up to the nearest ¼” when the number isn’t an exact ¼” divisible number. I round this one up to 4.75” (4 ¾”.)
Once you calculate what size squares you need to start with to make the HSTs, place them right sides together and sew around all four edges using a ¼” seam allowance.
Cut the square into four pieces. You will cut diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, then cut from the top right corner to the bottom left.
Next, open the HST blocks and press the seam open.
Step 2: Create the Block Layout
Take the four HSTs you made and lay them out with the five squares you have for the rest of the block.
Step 3: Sew the Pieces Together
Now all you need to do is sew the pieces together. First, sew the horizontal rows together.
Sew the rows together to complete the block.
15 Friendship Star Quilt Blocks to Inspire You
Now that you know how to make this simple block, let’s check out some gorgeous friendship block quilt pattern ideas. These patterns are excellent beginner-friendly quilt projects that are perfect for any skill level.
Here is a classic quilt pattern that features the friendship star block and a nine-patch block. This fat quarter-friendly pattern will show you how to make a 69” x 69” quilt top. This is a fantastic first-time quilt project.
This free quilt pattern shows you how to make this fun version of the Star of Friendship quilt block. The entire quilt top is made using blocks like the one pictured above. The finished quilt uses 16 blocks and measures approximately 43” square. If you want a larger quilt, you can make more blocks and add them.
This excellent free tutorial from Pamela Quilts features a double-point friendship star block. She gives instructions to make a 6” block and some tips on making the block larger. You could use this tutorial to make an entire quilt top with this block, or you can mix the block with other blocks to create your quilt design.
4. Mighty Stars
Wow! This fat-quarter-friendly pattern looks fabulous and modern using solid fabrics. The pattern includes six quilt size layouts and fabric requirements for each size. You will also receive step-by-step instructions for construction and different colorway examples to help you choose fabrics.
Wouldn’t this make a beautiful wall hanging or table centerpiece? This mini quilt is an excellent scrap-busting project. The finished quilt measures approximately 25” square.
Here is another fun tutorial that walks us through making this scrappy version of the friendship star quilt block. You can use yardage, precuts, or scraps to make this block.
A super fun pattern features a star inside a star quilt block. The pattern includes block layouts for a baby, throw, and twin-size quilt. I love the example with a dark background. It allows the stars to pop on the quilt top!
Here is a great, inexpensive quilt pattern with a simple friendship star block with sashing and corners. This pattern will help you make a 36” x 50” quilt top. It also includes fabric requirements for two other quilt sizes.
This beautiful sampler quilt pattern has a large friendship star block in the quilt’s center. I recommend this pattern to a confident beginner and up since the design has several different types of quilt blocks. The finished quilt will measure 92” x 96”.
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10. Wandering Star
This quilt pattern is a simple design that is perfect for beginner quilters. Notice how the white fabric makes an almost braided look on the quilt. The finished quilt measures 58” x 82”.
This modern quilt pattern features a cluster of friendship star blocks across the quilt top. This pattern includes size layouts for a table runner up to a king-size quilt. This is a fat-quarter and charm-pack-friendly quilt pattern.
This block features a pinwheel in the center of the friendship star block. The maker also used two strips for the corner pieces, giving it another design detail. This is the perfect example of adding elements from other blocks to a basic block to make it more fun and complex.
13. Seeing Double
How fun is this quilt block? In the center, we see a mini friendship star block. Then the large star block’s points are made using mini HSTs.
Do you have a bunch of scraps or leftovers from other projects? A quilt like the one pictured above might be perfect for all those extra fabric pieces. Simply make a bunch of friendship star quilt blocks and sew them together to create a one-of-a-kind quilt.
15. Milky Way
Here is another beautiful friendship star block variation. The corner pieces are made from a simple four-patch block, but it gives the block a fresh new look. This is a detailed tutorial on how to make this charming block.
We hope you enjoyed checking out these unique variations of the classic friendship star quilt block. It’s such a great staple block to have in your catalog of quilt blocks, and you can use it in so many different quilting projects.