Under the Stars Quilt

under the stars straight on web

Here is another fantastic quilt project for you from Jenny Doan! It is called Under the Stars. This one is so great and easy! It looks like a very complicated pattern, but like all of Jenny’s great patterns, it is simple and precut friendly!

Find all the details here: http://land.missouriquiltco.com/under-the-stars

under the stars info graphic

Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi I’m Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got such a fun project for you today. Years ago I felt like my stash was out of control. And your stash for those of you who don’t know, that’s all the extra fabric that we have, that we haven’t used up on other projects. And I wanted to make a project that used a lot of fabric. So I decided that I would make this quilt right here. And if you guys, some of your guys who have been sewing for a long time you’ll recognize some of these pieces in here. I think I had a jumper out of that and a dress out of that, you know. I mean we just used these fabrics for everything. Well I invited my daughter Natalie to come over and I thought, we are going to tackle this stash. We are just going to eliminate this stash. Well we made two of these giant queen size quilts. And it didn’t even feel like it made a dent in my stash and so. I think stash reproduces in the night when we’re not looking. But it’s an awesome, awesome scrap quilt. Well I decided I wanted to see if we could make it using pre-cuts. We had to change some of the sizes but I tell you what, I just love it. So take a look at this quilt behind me right here. So here’s this one. We did the same thing with pre-cuts, changed it up a bit. Changed our measurements. Added a different border to it. And it’s just such a fun project.


So what you need to make this quilt is you’re going to use three pack of five inch squares like this. And one packet of 40 2 ½ inch strips. You’re also going to need 2 ¾ yards for your background fabric. And your quilt is going to be good to go. Well you’re going to need a yard and a half for border. You know a little bit for border but that inner border comes out of the 2 ¾ yards of fabric. So let me show you how to do this, it’s so fun.


So to make this quilt we’re going to take these charms right here. We’re going to open them up just like this. We’re going to stack them all up on here. And that’s our first block, it’s done, right here. So these are our blocks right here, these charm blocks just like that. So the block that this whole quilt hinges on is the sashing block, the block that goes in between. What we’re going to do then is we’re going to take these strips right here and we are going to cut them, our 2 ½ inch strips. And we’re going to cut them into 2 ½ by five inch rectangles. So I just like to stack mine up. I have a couple stacked here. I like to stack mine up and I like to go ahead and cut them. I’m going to make sure my ends are even on this first. And we’re just going to trim these off. And this is going to take most of your strip too. So there we go. And one more cut. And when you stack them it just seems to go so much faster. So there we are. So now we’re going to have a stack of these. And what you want to do is as you cut your pieces, keep them in stacks and ready to go so that it causes you less confusion later.


So while we’re cutting we also want to go ahead and cut up our background fabric. So we’re going to need to cut these 1 ½ inch squares and some 2 ½ inch squares. Now for our 1 ½ inch squares we’re going to take our background and I actually like to keep mine folded like this because you can get, it can go, it just goes a lot faster. So I keep it folded and make sure that my fold and my selvedges match up. Line it up on my mat. Make sure that my edge is straight. And I’m just going to go ahead and cut these strips. So for your 2 ½ inch block, you’re going to need 110 of those so you’re going to need seven of these strips. Now for your 1 ½ inch block don’t be scared, this is big you are going to need 880 of them because we’re going to snowball all four corners on our rectangle. But that’s going to happen really fast because as you cut these strips you’re going to need, let’s see you’re going to need 34 of these strips. But when you’re ready to cut your squares, we are just going to lay them like this. So we have a whole row, we’re just going to lay them like this. So every cut you make, each strip you’re going to get four  and so it’s going to add up very quickly. So you know I would just go ahead and stack as many as your ruler can handle like this. You want to make sure that all your selvedges are on one end like this so that you’re cutting the same direction, this way and this way and that way. Just like that you’re going to line them up like this. You’re going to take your ruler, make sure that’s perfect and you’re just going to put it on here. And you’re going to cut inch and a half, inch and a half, inch and a half. And you’re going to have a whole pile of squares before long. Let me go ahead and cut some of these like this. And you’ll see how fast this happens. So I’ve cut off those little selvedge pieces and we’re going to cut this. See how fast that is. Now you have a whole stack of those and you’re just going to keep cutting and cutting until they’re all done. So we’re going to stack those in a little pile. So we have them and we’re ready to go.


Now when you get ready to sew your blocks together this is one of those quilts that helps to sew in units. So we’re going to go ahead and take our two by five inch rectangles. And you’re going to separate out 220 of these. They are all going to be snowballed all around the corners. So we’re going to take our four inch, I’m sorry our 1 ½ inch squares and our stack of these and we’re going to take them over to the sewing machine and we’re going to sew some on the corners. Now I’m just going to sew a few of these because once you guys see how to do this it will be fine. So basically just to make sure you saw this, I’m going to put a square, a 1 ½ inch square on this side and this side. We’re going to sew these and, down, trim them off, iron them and then come back and add a 1 ½ inch square on this side. So the whole rectangle will be snowballed. It’s easier to do it side by side. So I would encourage you, you can draw the line. You can also iron these if you need a sew line. But I would encourage you to just try eyeballing it. Just try sewing from one corner to the other. Even if you’re not very good at first you’re going to be really good by the 880th one. So just try it, it makes it a lot quicker because you don’t have to take the time to prep all those blocks. And, and if they don’t come out perfect I think we’ll still be fine. So mine aren’t always perfect but we, finished is better than perfect, right? So I’ve got these trimmed off. You can use a scissor or your rotary cutter whichever you feel most comfortable with. We’re going to set those seams and iron them back like this. Now we’re going to add two more to the other side to complete our, our snowballed look, just like this. And because I am an assembly line sewer, I really do, I sit and sew all of one side of my blocks. And then I’ll sew all of the other. And I’ll just, I just sew, sew, sew until I’m done. Alright so here’s our last corner. And they will overlap at the top and they should. You want them to have that, that overlapping so that your quarter of an inch comes out nice and clean when you take your seam in there and you won’t lose your point. Oh, that got a little close. I think it will still work though. Be careful with that. Alright. You want to press them so they’re nice and flat. And this is what we’re going to for right here. And you can see I have snowballed all four corners of this. And I have a stack of them over here. So I’m ready to go.


So the first thing we are going to do is we are going to take some of our five inch squares and we’re going to sew these, we’re going to sash these to them. So here is our, this is what I mean by sashing them to them. So we’ll sew one of these rectangles to a block like this. And the easiest way to do that is just to take  this and sew it. And do it to your whole row. Now your rows have nine squares in them. And you have, you’re going to have 11 of those rows. I’m sorry ten of those rows. And so if you do this to all those and you just sew this flap on here, it will make it really easy when you start assembling your rows. So I’m just going to show you how I did this. So like this and you’re going to set those aside in one pile. Now it’s time to assemble your sashing rows and they are just as easy.


We are taking our 2 ½ inch by 5 inch rectangle that’s been snowballed and attach it to a 2 ½ inch square. And you’re going to go ahead and do that to all of yours. So we’re just going to come along here and sew this along here. Now ordinarily I would sew this with the other side showing and here’s why. I would sew it looking at this side because this, this is an important little tip right here. Whenever you have stitch lines that cross, if your seam line runs right down the center of those, you’ll never lose your point. Mine ran right down the center and so I didn’t lose my point. But by sewing it with you know with my square side up I was taking a chance a little bit and you know if you sew them so you see where that cross line comes across you’ll never lose your points. So that’s a really good, a good tip right there. So you’re going to make a stack of these like this and then you’re ready for the layout. So here’s, let me show you how we’re going to do that.


Now you’re going to need nine of these squares across and I’m just going to put a few so I can show you how we’re going to do this. So we’re going to lay out our squares and our blocks and our squares and blocks. And we’re going to have those pieces all sewn together just like, just like we, just like we planned it. And these are going to be your rows like this. Then you add your sashing rows in between . And here comes our sashing rows like this. And see how the 2 ½ inch block you can start seeing the star appear. And there’s our star right there. And over here and there’s our star. So once we get our layout done you can see the stars are coming together. And here’s two of them fully formed. They’re just adorable.


So let’s take a look at how this works on the quilt. Here is our five inch squares with our sashing blocks. You’re going to have nine across in a row. And you’re going to have ten rows down. Here’s our little sashing rows and you’re going to also have nine across with those. But you’re going to have 12 sashing rows because it starts with a sashing row and ends with a sashing row. Now one of the things, one of my pet peeves is that people often finish their quilt but they don’t finish their star points out. And I like those star points to finish. So let me show you how I did that. Right here you can see I’ve got, I’ve got these right here and these make the star right here, the star point. And this is the edge of the quilt for a lot of people and they just put a border on. Well I like to finish off those stars . So I take one of my blocks, one of my rectangles like this. I cut it in half and it gives me legs. So here’s my legs for that star. And legs for another star down here that we’re going to put. Then you’re going to take two of your plain rectangles right here. You’re going to put that there and that there. And you can see how it just forms a border but makes that star appear.


So let’s look at this closely right here. Here’s how it is. Here’s your half block with your legs and your solid piece, and your half block and your solid piece and your half block. Just like that. And you’re going to do that all the way around so it finishes your star points. You’re then going to do a 2 ½ inch stock border. And that’s out of your background fabric. And that’s calculated into that yardage. So 2 ¾ yards of background is all you need. And then you’re going to go ahead and add, we’ve added a five inch border on here. It’s about a yard and a half of fabric and it just finishes up your quilt. And it just goes together so nicely. So this quilt is just such a fun project. Great way to use up your stash. Also a great way, a great thing to do with pre-cuts because pre-cuts are scrappy but controlled scrappy. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial of Under the Stars from the MSQC.


posted: Charm Packs, Intermediate Quilting Tutorials, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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  • Whitney

    This is perfect for my next patriotic project! However, I like the bigger scrap/star version that was shown at the beginning from Jenny’s stash. Do you happen to have measurements for that? My math skills these days are an embarassment.

  • Lorene Bailey

    Jenny, you must have a warning at the beginning of your tutorials that objects appear larger than they actually are. I am in the process of making this quilt top, I will be pleased with it when finished, but, I just didn’t realize how SMALL the inch and half squares were! Are you sure I only had to snowball 880 of them? It sure seems more like 88,880. I have learned so much from your tutorials and don’t have time to much of anything else. You have ruined me, I can’t watch anyone else’s tutorials, they are just not as confident as you. Thank you so much for all your hard work. Lorene