The Variable Star Quilt Block is a variation of the Ohio Star quilt block, using four (4) fabrics instead of just two (2) fabrics. It is a nine-patch layout quilt block, using square blocks and quarter square triangle blocks made with three (3) colors. This star quilt block is quick and easy to make, suitable for beginners.
Here’s a handy diagram to show you the fabrics used in this block. You’ll be using four (4) fabrics for this quilt block. TIP: Select fabrics with different values for a successful finished quilt block. Here I’ve selected one (1) light value fabric, one (1) dark value fabric and two (2) medium value fabrics. Have fun with prints, use a mix of prints and solids or even make this scrappy! It’s fun to use a design for the center squares, or combine this quilt block with other nine patch quilt blocks that have the same finished dimensions. Combine this with the popular and traditional Friendship Star to add a lot of movement across your quilt top.
Fabric 1: Center square
Fabric 2: Outside corner squares and used as part of the quarter square triangles
Fabrics 3 & 4: are used in quarter square triangles
Variable Star Quilt Block Calculator
This is a basic nine-patch layout. To calculate the fabric cuts, divide the finished block dimensions by 3, as you’ll have 3 rows of 3 – or nine – block units. This gives you finished units of 3″ to make a 9″ finished quilt block. Add your 1/4″ seam allowance around all edges to make the 3-1/2″ center and corner square units that will finish at 3″ when you sew the 9-patch Variable Star blocks into your quilt. To make the quarter square triangles you add 1-1/4″ to the finished unit size, or cut at 4-1/4″ for the 9″ finished block. Here are the cut sizes to make popular finished quilt block sizes.
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Learn the basics of nine patch and browse through more nine patch quilt blocks on Create Whimsy. Check out all of our free quilt patterns, and learn more about the basics of quilting with our quilt tutorials.