The Fourth of July is just around the corner, but it’s not too late to make fireworks happen for your picnic table. I revisited our 7 Easy star Blocks infographic, threw a simple border on it and voila! An easy, small table topper to mark the occasion.
Stars-n-Strips Quilted Table Topper
Difficulty: advanced beginner
Time: a productive afternoon
Note: the star block used for this quilt can be made with any of the 8″ blocks from the 7 Easy Star Quilt Blocks infographic on our blog. I chose the Rising Star block and made some modifications for easier piecing. If you want to piece the block using the ‘traditional’ method then follow the cutting instructions in the infographic – if using my easier piecing method then follow the cutting instructions below. Do not use the infographic for cutting instructions if you follow my instructions for cutting and assembling the “Star Block” portion of the table topper.
I dug through our scrap stash here at Landauer and found some nice fabrics that were more on the “traditional” side. I think they work well for this kind of project but it would be fun to see it in other fabrics as well. I’m tempted to stitch up a second in more modern fabrics. If you end up making this project be sure to let us know in the comments below! I’d love to see your pics of your projects – tag us on Instagram (@landauer_publishing) or Facebook so I can find your project when you post it!
Dark Blue Fabric [A & C] – 1 fat quarter (includes binding strips)
Red Fabric [B] – 1 fat quarter (a fat eighth may do if you’re a careful cutter)
Light Blue Fabric [D & F] – 1 fat eighth (a fat quarter will give you extra scraps if you piece your backing)
White Fabric [E] – 1 fat eighth (or a fat quarter if you want scraps…)
From Dark Blue Fabric Cut –
5 – 2.5″ squares
4 – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles
3 – 2.5″ x 22″ strips (binding)
From Red Fabric Cut –
2 – 2.5″ x 11″ strips
8 – 2.5″ squares
From Light Blue Fabric Cut –
4 – 1.5″ squares
4 – 2.5″ squares
4 – 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangles
From White Fabric Cut –
2 – 2.5″ x 11″ strips
8 – 1.5″ squares
For backing and batting you’ll need 15″ squares of material. I had enough extra red fabric to make a solid backing, but a scrappy, pieced backing would work just as well.
Assembling the Star –
Once I got all my pieces cut it was time to start on the block. The infographic I used had measurements for traditional piecing, but I modified the pattern slightly to use flying geese blocks instead for easier assembly – so be warned, if you’re following this tutorial exactly, don’t use the measurements in the infographic. If you’re making a different 8″ star the measurements should be as you see them in the infographic and you can skip ahead to the “Assembling the Border and Finishing” section. Let’s begin by assembling the inner star for the block.
The Inner Star –
First, take your white 1.5″ squares and mark a line diagonally from corner to corner on the WRONG SIDE (WS) of the fabric. Then place your white squares on top of a Light Blue 1.5″ x 2.5″ rectangle RIGHT SIDES (RS) together.
Sew along the line you marked. You can chain piece all four of these pieces at once. Not sure what Chain Piecing is? Check out this video.
Next, trim your unit so that only a 1/4″ seam remains (pictured below) and press.
Place a second White Fabric square RS together, sew along your line again, trim your seam allowance and press open.
You should now have 4 flying geese units. Place your sewn units, 1 – 2.5″ square of Dark Blue Fabric, and 4 – 1.5″ squares of Light Blue Fabric as you see below. Sew the top, bottom and middle rows together, pressing your seams as you go (pressing to the dark is just fine for this pattern). Sew your three rows together to complete the inner star.
The Outer Star –
Take your 8 Red Fabric 2.5″ squares and mark a line diagonally from corner to corner on the WRONG SIDE (WS) of the fabric. Then place your Red Fabric squares on top of your Dark Blue 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles RIGHT SIDES (RS) together.
Trim your seam allowance down to a 1/4″ of an inch.
Press your seam to the dark and then place your next red square and repeat trimming your seam allowance until you have 4 flying geese blocks made of Dark Blue and Red Fabric.
Next lay out your 4 flying geese units, your 4 – 2.5″ Dark Blue Fabric squares and your center star as pictured below. Sew each row and then sew your three rows together as shown.
Assembling the Border and Finishing
To assemble the final border start by sewing together your strips of Red Fabric and White Fabric. Once you have all four strips sewn together cut 4 strips 2.5″ wide. Check out the guideline below for how to cut these strips from your Red and White Fabric strip unit.
Next, arrange your Dark Blue Fabric 2.5″ squares, your Red and White Fabric Strips and your completed star block as shown below. Sew the top, middle and bottom rows, and then sew your rows together to complete your quilt top.
Layer your quilt top, batting and backing.
Baste and quilt as desired. I did a simple stitch in the ditch that ended up looking very nice. Complete your table topper by trimming and squaring up your quilt sandwich, bind and enjoy!
Don’t forget to share your project with us – tag us on Instagram (@landauer_publishing) or Facebook so I can find your project when you post it!
Want more star projects? Check out the book Simply Stars Easy Quilts & Projects
featuring more quilts from me and others, inspired by the designs of Thimbleberries® creator Lynette Jensen.