Making a 16″ Carpenters Star

I’ve had another Dreami (drop everything and make it) experience this week. It’s my Dear Mum’s birthday this Sunday and she hasn’t come up with any gift ideas. A bit late in the day I decided to make her something… So I took a look through my Pinterest boards and then had a rummage in my stash before drawing up a quick guide using EQ7.

Carpenters Star by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

I decided to make a 16″ Carpenters Star block that could serve as a table topper. The colours of the three fabrics fit fairly well with the curtains in my parents dining room and wouldn’t look out of place in  their conservatory either so here’s hoping it is a successful gift.

As well as the EQ7 picture I did a bit of drawing and calculating on graph paper – figuring  out just how many half square triangles it takes to make this block (quite a lot as it happens!). Most of my fabric pieces were in strips but I did have a couple large enough to use the eight-half-square-triangles-at-a-time method. I love doing this, not so much because it saves time, but more that it is just a little bit magical 🙂 Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts has a great tutorial and cutting chart – Eight at a time half square triangles

Making HSTs by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

Making HSTs – eight at a time and two at a time.

If you’d like to make a 16″ Carpenter’s Star here is the method I used:

Fabric requirements: background (cream) and two others – I’ll call them ‘A’ (green) and ‘Z’ (pink). I had a little more than the equivalent of a fat eighth in each fabric.

CUTTING (this assumes making HSTs using the two-at-a-time method BUT if you use the eight-at-a-time method then cut 6″ squares)

  • Background – Twelve 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
  • Fabric A – Four 2½” squares; sixteen 3″ squares
  • Fabric Z – sixteen 3″ squares


  • Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ A squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
  • Pair up eight background 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
  • Pair up eight A 3″ squares with eight 3″ Z squares. Make sixteen HSTs. Trim to 2½” square.
Squares and HSTs by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

Squares and HSTs ready to make the Carpenter’s Star

I decided to create my Carpenter’s Star by piecing a quarter of the block at a time. I laid out the pieces next to my machine like this:

Piecing a Carpenter's Star by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

Piece the units together row by row being careful to match the points. Once all four quarters are completed the pattern emerges:

Carpenter's Star quarters by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

Time to sew them all together before stepping back to admire this very appealing block.

Carpenter's Star pieced by New Every Morning Patchwork & Quilting

I’ve pinned together a quilt sandwich using a piece of unbleached calico as the backing and Hobbs cotton wadding. I think I’ll quilt in the ditch and maybe do a bit of meandering in the background.

I tried to find out the history of the Carpenter’s Star but couldn’t find much information: It may have been inspired by the trades and skills needed by early settlers and could reference ‘the master carpenter’, Jesus. There are a range of layouts and methods for making this block – see Janet Wickell’s tutorial for a striking alternative.

I’m looking forward to celebrating International Quilting Day on Saturday. I wonder how you might be marking the day?

Linking with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation for Needle & Thread Thursday and with Myra for Finished or Not Friday.


PS. The finished Carpenter’s Star. Linking with Sandra for the March Dreami:

Carpenter's Star by New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting

16″ Carpenter’s Star table topper


About allisonreidnem

New Every Morning – About Me Hi! I’m Allison, an obsessive patchwork-quilter who has no desire to be cured! I’ve been developing my skills and knowledge by paying attention at my local quilting group and by putting my questions into the computer search engine. I’m so grateful to the generous people who have taken the time to share their knowledge with me in person, via YouTube videos or their blogs. I’m intending my blog to be a link into the worldwide patchwork and quilting community and a means to contribute helpful hints and inspiration as I continue to discover more about this addictive craft. So, why ‘New Every Morning Patchwork and Quilting’? Well! I am a morning person! I often wake in the wee small hours and think through design and quilt construction issues. My woolly–headed evening brain finds such issues far too difficult to resolve! If I’m disciplined enough to be asleep by 10pm, I can be up cutting, piecing, pressing and quilting before sunrise! By the time daily family routine kicks-in I’ve had a satisfying, soul-feeding creative fix. (I should mention that ‘family at home’ is: my patient, faithful husband of 27years; and our equally patient 16 year old son, who acts as our in-house IT support complete with sighs and rolling eyes! Older daughter and son have both recently flown the nest). Not only do I find early mornings my creative time I also find it a time for receiving spiritual nourishment. I often find myself humming a gentle chorus and reflecting on God’s constancy as another new day dawns. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; Great is thy faithfulness, O Lord, Great is thy faithfulness.’ Edith McNeil’s chorus is based on verses from the Bible – Lamentations 3: 21-23.
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6 Responses to Making a 16″ Carpenters Star

  1. karenj7216 says:

    I love star blocks. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Smart to build a quarter of the block at a time. One big benefit of it is all the pieces are arranged in the right order that way. It’s easy to get confused when there are so many. This will be a terrific present for your mum. Happy birthday to her!

  3. It turned out beautifully Allison! I bet your mum loved it. I love that 8 HSTs in one go (ha) method too; have used it a lot on the Sewcial Bee Sampler I’m doing with a couple of friends. Hobbs batting or wadding 😉 is just great isn’t it? Funny how in Canada (where I live) we have lots of English ways and quite a few American ones as well. And then there’s our French mixed in, lol. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Thanks Sandra! Mum has put the ‘table topper’ on the back rest of her sofa! It is funny how different our English speaking cultures are and how our use of a common language can differ too.Glad there’s more that pulls us together – like patchwork quilting 🙂

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