The friendship star quilt block is a quick and easy block that uses half square triangles and solid squares in a nine-patch layout! This is a classic quilt block that can you can combine with other blocks. It also makes a stunning quilt on its own. Use a variety of colors, or flip the colors, so that when the squares are side-by-side in your final design, the corners have definition and bring more visual interest to the quilt.
This is a perfect quilt block for beginners to learn how to make half square triangles, and learn the basics of sewing blocks together, which is patchwork. The nine-patch layout is very popular with basic piecing. It is simply sewing blocks into rows and then sewing the rows together to form the quilt block.
Tradition of the Friendship Star quilt block is friends would each make a block in their fabrics and sign the block. In the 1800’s, when people were heading west, friends would exchange blocks before moving on to the next settlement. The blocks could then be sewn together to make a quilt that reflects all of their friends as they took their journey across the country – keeping warm thoughts of the times together.
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The basic version of the friendship star quilt block has squares in the corners. Or you can use half square triangles in the corners as a variation. Other variations include using a third color which is referred to as Simplex Star.
The basic friendship star block uses two fabrics. To make a successful block, make sure to have value differentiation in your fabrics – whether you choose to use solids or prints. This is a perfect stash-busting and scrap-busting quilt block!
Here is a fabric calculator to help with cutting fabrics to make the Friendship Star quilt block:
How to Make a Variation of the Friendship Star Quilt Block
This variation only uses three (3) different fabrics, one (1) square, two sets of four (4) half square triangles; it is also a variation of the simple nine patch quilt block.
Layout your pieces with the square placed in the center and with one set of half square triangles forming the friendship star. In the corners, instead of squares, use another set of half square triangles that highlights a third fabric choice.
Sew the rows as outlined above, and then sew the rows together to form this variation on the Friendship Star quilt block.
Learn more about the basics of the nine patch block and browse through more nine patch quilt blocks on Create Whimsy.