Friday, August 3, 2018

Sparkly Stars Quilt and Tutorial

So you might recall back here when I shared the Drift Away Tutorial that highlighted 15 Aqua Fat Quarters as part of  the Fat Quarter Shop's Year of the Fat Quarter Quilt Along!!   Well, today I am back with another 15 Fat Quarters and this time it's all about PURPLE!!!!!  This is Sparkly Stars and along with the below tutorial, you can also download this  FREE PDF Pattern with 6 size options.  

Each month this year, the Fat Quarter Shop has released  a new bundle of 15 Fat Quarters in one Special Color.    You all know that purple is my favorite, so when Fat Quarter Shop asked if I wanted to participate I was all over the Purple Month.  And it just happens to be my birthday month as well, so double bonus!!!     And if I was going to be using my favorite color, I figured I might as well design with my favorite, Stars!!!!  

And I am calling these stars, Sparkly Stars!!!   They get their name because of the slight overlap of the star points near the center.  I love how it makes them look like they are almost twinkling.   And the overlap also has a double bonus of making it so you don't have to worry about lining up the point when you stitch the block together.   Which makes this quilt super fun and fast to make :)

And of course, I am sharing these Sparkly Stars with a step by step tutorial!!!!   Now you can make your very own :)     So let's get to it . . . 


1 Purple Bundle of 15 Fat Quarters   (Aren't they just such pretty Purple Prints!!!!) 
3 1/2  Yards of a Light Grey Solid for Background  
2/3 Yard of a Black Solid for Binding
4 1/2 Yards of a a Favorite Purple Print for Backing


We will start by cutting the Fat Quarters.  From each of the 15 Fat Quarters you will need to cut
       (9) 5" x 5" squares and (8) 3" x 3" squares.   The next few pictures are just how I like to cut that.

Start by trimming your Fat Quarter to 16" x 20".   I like to stack a few Fat Quarters on top of each other to speed up my cutting, but just be sure you have a sharp blade to do this.

Now sub-cut your rectangle into 3 strips, (2) 5" x 20" strips and (1) 6" x 20" strips.  I like to keep my 5" strips right next to each other, as shown in the next picture, but I just separated them here to make the strip sets easier to see :)

Then from your (2) 5" x 20" strips subcut (8) 5" x 5" squares as shown below.   And from your 6" Strip subcut (1) 5" x 5" square where you will have a tiny scrap piece, and then subcut (8) 3" x 3" squares as shown below.  You will have a small scrap piece left from this strip.

Cut all 15 Fat Quarters like this and you will have a total of 
           (135) 5" x 5" squares
           (120) 3" x 3" squares
From the Light Grey solid cut:
            (135) 5" x 5" squares
            (120) 3" x 3" squares

From the Black Solid cut:
            (8) 2 1/2" x Width of Fabric strips

And now the cutting is done and you just need to do a little marking.  Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of all your purple and grey 3" x 3" squares.  This is a great time to listen to a good book or watch a good movie ;) 


And now we are ready to start stitching.  We will start with the Block A Units.   So gather (60) of the Light Grey 5" x 5" squares and 4 sets of the purple 3" x 3" squares, each set having 1 of each of the 15 prints.   Set aside the remaining purple 3" square sets for a moment.

Place the marked Purple 3" square along the bottom right hand corner of the Light Grey 5" square.   Stitch directly on the drawn line.  You will be stitching 4 units of each print, for a total of 60 sets.  And you will want to chain stitch to save time.

If you haven't chain stitched before, it simply means you don't cut the threads between units.   Start with stitching the first seam on the drawn line of the first unit.  When you get to the end of the square, simply begin feeding the next unit into your machine.  Continue in this fashion until you have stitched a seam on all 60 units.

Now clip your threads and move to your cutting mat.   Align your ruler 1/4" over the seam (the white line) and cut the excess triangle away.  Then press the seam allowance downwards towards the triangle.  Repeat this for all 60 units.

And now we are going to make the second point of the star the same way, only on the other corner so grab those other 3" purple squares you set aside.  Place the same fabric marked 3" square on the left hand corner of the unit.  You want to be sure that you place all of these on the left, so that your stars all overlap in the same direction :)  Again, Chain Stitch a seam directly on the drawn line of all 60 units.

And then clip your threads and trim away 1/4" over the seam and press the seam allowance downwards towards the triangle on all 60 Units.

And just like that, you have (60) Block A Units all measuring 5" x 5".   You can set these aside and we will move onto Block B Units.


And the great thing about these, they are the made the exact same as the Block A Units, only with alternating fabric placement.   So grab 4 sets of the Purple 5" squares, with 1 of each of the 15 prints in a set.  (this will leave five sets of Purple 5" squares remaining) And also gather the (120) Light Grey 3" squares and we will use 60 in the first part and 60 in the second part.

And now it's just the same as Block A Units.  Place the marked Light Grey 3" square on the bottom right corner of the Purple 5" square as shown below and Chain Stitch directly on the drawn line of all 60 Units.   Then clip threads, cut a 1/4" over the seam, and press downwards towards the triangle.

Then again, place the Light Grey 3" square on the bottom left hand corner of the Purple 5" square, Stitch, Cut, and Press all 60 units.

And just like that, you have (60) Block B Units all measuring 5" x 5" :)   And now you can make your blocks!!!


We will start with making the 15 Block A's.   Layout 4 Block A Units from the same fabric, 4 Light Grey 5" squares, and 1 Purple 5" square that fabric matches the Block A Units as shown below.  At this point, I like to layout all 15 of my blocks and stack the pieces on top of the first block.  This makes it easier to chain stitch and save time, but I will only show one block being constructed in the pictures.

Place the 3 Center column units onto the Left column units with right sides together.  Chain Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edges.  Clip your threads and return the units back to the original layout.

Now place the Right column units onto the Center column units with right sides together.  Chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the edges.  Clip your threads and you are ready to move to the ironing board.

Press the Top and Bottom Rows outwards and press the Center Row Inward.  This will allow you to nest the seams in the next step.  And once again, return your pieces to the original layout.

Now place the Top Row onto the Center Row with right sides together.   Align and Pin/Nest the seams.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.   And again, lay your pieces back out in the original layout.

Now place the Bottom Row onto the Center Row with right sides together.   Align and Pin/Nest the seams.  Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  And remember, you don't have to worry about sewing through the point of the star as it is made to overlap ;)

Now return to your ironing board and press the seams open or if you prefer, you can press them to one side.

And just like that, you have Block A done!!!  If you stacked up all your blocks and chain stitched each step,  you will have 15 Block A's.  If you prefer to make them one block at a time, simply repeat Step 4 until all 15 of your Block A's are complete.   They should measure 14" unfinished.

STEP 5 - 

And just like making the Units, Block B is just the same as Making Block A, only alternating the Fabric Placement.   So gather your Block B Units, the remaining Purple 5" squares and the remaining 15 Light Grey 5" squares and layout your blocks as follows, stacking them if you want to chain stitch.

Then use the same directions as Block A to Stitch and Press your Units into Rows.

And then just like before, Pin, Stitch and Press your Rows into the Block.

It's simply "Rinse and Repeat" for all  15 of your Block B's that should measure 14" unfinished as well.  Pretty easy right ;)    And with that, all of your blocks are done and you are ready to make a quilt top!!! 


So let's get to it.   Layout your blocks in 6 rows with 5 blocks in each row alternating the Block A's and Block B's as shown below.  Play with the placement until it is pleasing to the eye.   Taking a picture of your layout is the easiest way to do this as your eye can see everything at once, and it is also great to have to refer back to so you make sure you don't mix up your block placement :)

Once you have a layout you like, it's time to sew the blocks into rows.   To do this, place the second block onto the first block (shown in row 1) in each row with right sides together.   Chain Stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge of each set in each row.   Put your sewn pieces back in your layout.    Place your third block in each row onto your second block (shown in row 2) with right sides together and align and stitch a 1/4" seam along the edge.  Repeat this process until you have stitched all of the blocks into rows. 

Now you can press the rows.  Press the Odd Rows to the Right and the Even Rows to the Left.  This allows me to nest them when I sew the rows together, of if you are worried about the bulk of the seams meeting, you can Press the seams Open.    And your quilt top should look like this.  Again, I always find it helpful to keep laying your pieces back out each time you stitch on them.  This will help you keep the layout you like ;)  And now, all that is left is to sew the rows together into a quilt top.

We will do this in two halves to make it easier :)  Place the second row onto the first row with right sides together.  Place the fifth row onto the fourth row with right sides together as shown below.   Align and pin all of the seams in the two row sets.   Chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges of the two row sets.

Clip your threads and lay your rows back out again.  Now place the third row onto the second row with right sides together.  Place the sixth row onto the fifth row with right sides together as shown below.   Align and pin the seams in the two row sets.   Chain stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edges.

And now, only one seam left!!!  Place the bottom half onto the top half with right sides together.   Align and pin all of your seams and then stitch a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.     Now Press the row seams to one side or open as you prefer.  

And you have a beautiful Christmas Collection Quilt Top!!!!  It will measure 68" x 81 1/2" and really, didn't it go together fast and was oh so much fun to piece!!!   (And pretend this picture isn't already quilted and bound, for some reason, I forgot to take a picture of the quilt top once it was all pressed, silly me :)  


And with that, it's time to turn that finished quilt top into a finished Quilt ;)  Time to  Baste It, Quilt It, and Bind It!!!  Which is a whole lot in one little sentence.  If you are new to quilting, you can see my Finishing Your Quilt Series of video tutorials that will walk you through Basting, Quilting, and Binding step by step ;)

When it came time to quilt mine I decided on a favorite design that works so well with this particular quilt design.  I call it L and E and you can easily quilt two "strands" per each unit row and keep your stitching nice ans straight using the seams as guides.   Perfect and oh so much fun!!!  And I just love the added flow it gives the quilt when it's all done.

Use the  (8) 2 1/2"x Width of Fabric binding strips you cut at the beginning to create a binding and add it to the quilt.  And your Done!!!


And now, just snuggle up with your awesome Sparkly Stars Quilt!!!  It finishes at 67 1/2"" x 81" so it is a great size for snuggling!!!    The piecing is fun and fast and not having to match star points makes it even quicker and I just love the overlapping Sparkle!!!

 I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make your own Sparkly Stars Quilt I would love to see it!!  You can email me a picture at or add it to my flickr group here or post it to social media with  #happyquiltingwithmc ;)  I can't wait to see your Sparkly Stars Quilts!!!

Thank you so much to  Fat Quarter Shop  for this beautiful Purple Bundle and for having me as part of this awesome Year of the Fat Quarter Celebration!!  These Purple prints are all so pretty and the amazing grouping of so many shades of purple is really what makes this quilt Sparkle!!!

Thanks for stopping in today to share this new quilt finish and tutorial with me.  And thanks for popping in each and every day.  I am just so grateful to have this space to share my love of quilting and it just wouldn't be the same without you all!!!

I hope you all have a very Happy Quilting Weekend!!!

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  1. Love the quilt. You forgot in the cutting instructions to mention to cut 3"x3" grey squares.

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  3. Thank you for you clear instructions, as you always do.

  4. How beautiful! Perfect name for the quilt - it does seem to sparkle! I appreciate the tutorial as I'll have to make at least one myself. Thank you for your hard work in preparing the tutorial and for sharing it with all of us....Deb E / Oregon

  5. Awesome tutorial Melissa. Thanks for your sharing this as I’ll definitely be using this for a future quilt.

  6. Beautiful quilt, also my favorite color. It's always nice to have a tutorial to go to when trying to decide what to make, thank you for yours.

  7. Thank you for another detailed tutorial for a pretty quilt!

  8. Melissa, this is one sweet quilt! And such a detailed, easy to follow tutorial! Many thanks for taking the time! I have a pile of scraps on my cutting table and think I’ll try just one block, first, before I clean up my mess so I can make a new one.

  9. Thank you for sharing!! I plan to make one of these with some of my hundreds of fat quarters that I love to buy!

  10. I love quilt alongs because they inspire me! I would love to be a part of this!

  11. As always you have given us a fantastic tutorial. I am in love with purple also and so this fits in with my projects to do perfectly. Thank you for sharing your talents with those of us who love to quilt, but don't have your imagination. Love it!


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)