{Classic Quilt Blocks} Friendship Star - An Introduction

Classic Quilt Blocks have been sewn for centuries, are easy to recognise and are every quilters favorite. Let's celebrate these gorgeous blocks and add them to our quilting projects!

Welcome to my March Classic Quilt Blocks series, and this month I want to celebrate the gorgeous and versatile Friendship Star block. I was first introduced to a version of this block in my SBS sampler back in 2007, and I instantly fell in love. It's such a pretty block and such a pleasure to sew.

The Friendship Star block is basically a nine patch with some HST units thrown in to create a simple star that dances within the block. There are many ways to adapt this block and I'll show you some over the coming weeks to help you with future projects.

You can use the Friendship Star block alone as a quilt block, as cornerstones and in borders, and it looks so pretty as part of the other Classic Quilt Blocks we have looked at so far - the centre of the Churn Dash block comes to mind or the Sawtooth Star.

It's delicate and soft and it has a charming pinwheel quality which I just love, so let's have a look at this gorgeous star block in a little more detail:

Block History:

Blocks such as the Friendship Star block were very dear to the hearts of pioneer quilters. They were usually sewn in secret as their contribution to a quilt gifted to a loved one or friend who was getting married, who was ill or moving across the country. 

The quilter would autograph her individual block and it became part of a heartfelt quilt, showing the connections the recipient had made and the love shared with those in her friend's circle. The Friendship Star block was simple enough for everyone to sew and signatures could be stitched within the star or in the block background.

Quilters still practice this tradition today. When one of our own needs a little love, quilters generously sew a block or two to create a quilt to comfort a friend in need. It's a practice that warms my heart and shows the wonderful caring nature of our quilting circle.

Block Design:

The Friendship Star block is drafted using a 3 x 3 grid:

The block is constructed using a mix of squares and HST units. To determine the size of your units, simply divide the block size by three and add your seam allowances - this means your HST units must measure this size unfinished.

In next week's Friendship Star tutorial, I'll provide a Cutting Chart for six sizes to help you sew these gorgeous blocks in future projects, without having to do all the math.

Colour Values:

When choosing colours for the Friendship Star block make sure you have enough contrast between the dark and light fabrics to make those star points pop. 

One colourful print fabric and a light background fabric makes these stars shine. Aren't they sweet? I love how simple and delicate they look, like little ballerinas dancing on a stage.

Or you can get really creative and go scrappy! The possibilities are endless and only limited by your fabric stash and your creativity! This is a great way to use up some of those HST's you have stashed away - maybe they've been trimmed from other projects!

Next week is my step by step tutorial for the Friendship Star block, so make sure you download and print my free colouring sheet to plan some blocks to sew along with me.


Grab your colouring pencils, crayons or markers and get creative!

Antique Inspiration:

I actually struggled to find some examples of antique quilts this month, which makes me more determined to encourage you to sew your own so we have future antique Friendship Star quilts - remember we are sewing tomorrows antique quilts and we're the ones who will inspire future quilters for generations.

The quilts I did find are pretty and are probably reproductions, but they do illustrate the stunning effect this simple block creates. They also give you some ideas for layouts and how to use colour in the block. 

How do you plan to use the Friendship Star block?

So, here's what to expect in the coming weeks in my Friendship Star Classic Quilt Blocks series:

  • Week Two - A step by step tutorial for the Friendship Star block and a Cutting Chart with six sizes for all your future projects.
  • Week Three - Variations of the block and how they work in a quilt.
  • Week Four - A new mini quilt pattern to celebrate this gorgeous block.

And that's my introduction to the Friendship Star block. It's such a simple, yet pretty quilt block and it's also very versatile - hopefully I can illustrate just how versatile in the coming weeks!

Happy quilting :)
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  1. I love this block! Thank you for your wonderful series on all the quilt blocks. Being able to download the different cutting sizes is so helpful.

    1. Thats so great Diane. Im so glad they're useful and you're enjoying the series :)

  2. Love your choice of blocks to share. Look forward to your newsletter every week. Thanks :)

    1. Oh that's wonderful Sandra. Hope you enjoy this month's block.

  3. This is one of my favorite basic blocks, the other favorite is churn dash.
    Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net

    1. It's such a pretty block Kathleen. Both of them together would make a sweet block!


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