The simplex star quilt block is a simple star pattern in a nine patch format. It consists of easy half square triangles and squares. In this sample, I used three fabrics. The key to a successful star quilt block is to make sure there is high value difference in the two half square triangle fabrics. This block is sometimes also referred to as wings-in-a-whirl quilt block. This block is a variation of the friendship star quilt block, and was introduced somewhere between 1900 and 1930.
Star quilts are popular quilt blocks, as they can shine with the right selection of fabrics, and generally have components with diagonal lines that create movement across a quilt top. The Friendship Star quilt block is made from two fabrics, and both are nine patch formats. Make them the same size and put both of these designs together in a quilt top! Try using different fabric combinations in prints, solids and even try making them scrappy, by using value or color in your prints to create the design.
Generally, the Simplex Star quilt block uses three fabrics, one for the center and half square triangles, one for the corners and a third fabric for the other part of the half square triangles. Here is a fabric layout diagram:
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Here is a fabric calculator for cutting fabric for the Simplex Star quilt block:
Here is a variation of the Simplex Star quilt block where I switched out the center block with a different color, using four (4) colors instead of three in the traditional Simplex Star pattern.
Learn more about the basics of the nine patch quilt block and browse through more nine patch quilt blocks on Create Whimsy. Check out all of our free quilt patterns and our quilt tutorials with tips and tricks for finishing your quilt.