Saturday, April 18, 2020

Picket Star Quilt Block

Hello Quilty Buddies,

Here are the detailed instructions for making the Picket Star Block, named because the star points look like slats of a picket fence.

For the 17" finished block.

Picket Star Block

Fabric Requirements

Background - Two squares 3.5", Two squares 9.5", Four squares 2.5"

Fabric A - Two squares 3.5", two rectangles 3.5" by 9.5"
Fabric B - Two squares 3.5", two rectangles 3.5" by 9.5"

I am using medium pink and dark pink.  My recommendation is to use two fabrics that have some difference in value - not too close and too much contrast.  This will give the look of light and shade.


Step 1.
Stitch the two Fabric A squares (3.5") on either sides of the background square (3.5"), using a scant quarter inch seam.  Iron the seams open (personal preference) and trim to 3.5" by 9.5".

Stitch the Fabric A rectangles on either side of the above constructed rectangle, using a scant quarter inch seam. Press seams open and square to 9.5". Set aside.

Step 2.
Stitch the two Fabric B squares (3.5") on either sides of the background square (3.5"), using a scant quarter inch seam.  Iron the seams open (personal preference) and trim to 3.5" by 9.5".

Stitch the Fabric B rectangles on either side of the above constructed rectangle, using a scant quarter inch seam. Press seams open and square to 9.5". Set aside.

Step 3.
On the wrong side of the 9.5" background squares, draw lines (pencil or frixion pen), 1/4" from the diagonal.

Place one marked background squares RST with each of the squares completed in Steps 1 and 2. Pin in place.

Sew on the drawn lines. Cut along the diagonal.

You should have four half square triangle blocks. Iron seams open and square each to 9".

Step 4.
Snowball the fabric corners of the HST blocks.

Using the diagonal line on the mat to mark the squares

Place the background square (2.5"), RST, on the fabric corner of each HST block.  Pin in place.

Sew corner to corner. For accuracy, sew slightly (a thread's width) away from the center, towards the corner of the block.

Cut 1/4" away from the sewing line. Press seam open. Square again.

Step 5 - Final Step
Place the four HSTs (with snowballed corners) such that all snowballs meet in the center. Also make sure that Fabric A is adjacent to Fabric B.

Stitch using a generous quarter inch seam.  Yes, I said generous. I suggest moving your needle three clicks to the left to make a generous quarter inch seam. If you can eyeball it, power to you.

Default Setting on my Machine. (Default seam length is 2.4)

Needle moved three clicks left. (Seam length reduced to 2.2)

It is very important to sew a generous quarter seam because you want to preserve the points in the completed block.

Placed RST


Generous 1/4" Seams

In the pictures below you can see that the point is that much farther away from the edge.

Point is more than1/4" away from edge

Pin the two halves together for one last seam.  Make sure it is a generous 1/4".

Iron seams open and straighten the edges.

The resulting block is just shy of 17.5".

All picket star points are a safe distance away from the edge.  This ensures that the points won't get clipped when you put the blocks together, even when you sew a regular 1/4" seam.

Point is more than 1/4" from the edge

Although there are several steps to making this block, it makes a large block, finishing at 17".

You only need 12 blocks for a lap/throw size quilt (51" by 68")
And 30 blocks will make a queen size quilt (85" by 102")
If you just want to try, I suggest making 4 blocks. It will make a small baby quilt (34" by 34"). Add 3.5" borders to make it larger at about 40" square.

This is the block I am making for my Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2020.  You can see the earlier blocks at the links below.

January - Green Blocks
February  - Orange Blocks
March - Teal/Aqua/Turquoise (all the colors between blue and green)
April - Light/Bright Blue

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments.  I will answer here so that all can see.

This tutorial is free but I do request that you give me credit and provide a link to this page when you make this block. On instagram, please use #PicketStarQuiltBlock and tag me using @SewPreetiQuilts


  1. I love that block thanks for taking time to show your construction method!

  2. I look forward to trying this block - thanks

  3. This is a very good tutorial. Thanks Preeti

  4. Oh, I might have to give this a go. I love this block! Thanks for sharing, Preeti!

  5. So simple! I love it. But darn it, I'm trying to finish some tops, not create more! (She says while taking a mental inventory of what color she has that will work best and debating on a background color...all while knowing she has to head to work in an hour...)

  6. Thanks SEW much for this tutorial, Preeti!! I was surprised to discover the blocks are much larger than my mind had imagined them to be. This is going to be great for making BIG quilts!

  7. Beautifully written tutorial. I never thought about using a generous seam. Great concept! Thanks for teaching me something new :) xo Melanie

  8. That's a great block, Preeti! Thank you for sharing the tutorial!

  9. Oh Preeti, this is such a gift! I love this block so much and appreciate all the wonderful details to your tutorial. Thank you!! I am planning to make at least enough for a lap-size and even ordered more of the fabric I used for the first one. So fun!

  10. Hi Preeti! Aren't you just the sweetest?! Yes. Thank you so much for the excellent tutorial on how to make this pretty (or Preeti) block. It surely does look like the picket in a fence. Take care and stay safe. ~smile~ Roseanne

  11. What a sweet share, Preeti. I have been admiring this block all year (seems like many years at this point), and was wondering how you made it. Picket Star is just the right name. I hope I will be able to try it out sometime. I don't have big enough fabric pieces right now, so when my current projects are as far as I can get them, there may be an online shopping trip required.

  12. Thanks, Quilt Buddy! Excellent instructions and photos! I love the large size!

  13. I love this block and am so excited for the instructions. I have a male who is interested in a quilt and having a few options for him like this is perfect! Thank for the great instructions. I may be back to you to link up to #TTot22 as this is a great one!

  14. Thank you for a clear and easy to to understand tutorial Preeti.

  15. A wonderful tutorial, as usual! I just need to get making some blocks!
    Good to see a post from you Preeti! Hugs.

  16. I love this block, and the name is very clever and appropriate. I wouldn’t be surprised to star seeing these pop up as new RSC projects. xo

  17. A pretty block! Well written tutorial!

  18. this is one of these lovely blocks, that I look at think, mmmmm how is that constructed. Looks like lots of awkward corners, but it comes together so well.

  19. Thanks so much for this, Preeti! I have been admiring your blocks so much that it's nice to know I have the option to make my own :) Great tutorial! And I love seeing a generous 1/4" for once! Much easier for me to comply :)

  20. How much fabric would it take to make a whole queen quilt.Light dark and background fabric.This is great for my first quilt. Thanks for a reply.

    1. You need five yards of background and two yards each of the light and dark fabrics.
      For a beginner, I recommend that you start with a baby quilt. If you are determined to make a queen size quilt, then I suggest that you first make a couple of test blocks using scraps.

  21. Every time I see this block I love it more. Thanks for sharing the tutorial with Oh Scrap!

  22. Beautiful block and very detailed tutorial. THANK YOU! I see you've already added it to your "Tutorial" tab. Thanks again!!!

  23. Great tutorial for your wonderful block. Thank you, Preeti!

  24. You are very organized to put this tutorial together. Very clear. Kudos.

  25. I really like this block Preeti. Thanks for sharing your tutorial, and for linking to MCM!

  26. Ooh, thanks for sharing this! Your block goes together like a magic trick! Especially appreciate the tips for how to ensure no points are lost in the process. You know how I feel about my points! :-)

  27. Such a pretty block - thanks for the tut!

  28. that's so graphic! You're a great pattern maker and teacher Preeti... I read your trevor noah quote on Mari's so funny

  29. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. It is very well written. I have to admit, I was taken back by seeing the generous quarter inch. I'm still trying to perfect the scant quarter inch. I am going to enjoy trying this block.

  30. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I don't need another project, but I've missed playing along with RSC this year, this would be a relatively fast block to play along with.

  31. Just stumbled across this post - what a lovely block!!!!! Thank you for sharing such a great tutorial! This is now on my to-do list!!!! And I love that it is BIG!

  32. I am thrilled after reading ALL of your tutorial . For some reason my brain doesn't work well reading instructions or patterns. But I managed to read all the way through yours & understand it and was inspired to actually make it. Huge thank-you for the way you teach & share.