Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern Tutorial

Make the galaxy star quilt block variation using Tri Recs triangle tools. They make it easy for beginners! No need to paper piece and the look is spot on!

galaxy star quilt block variation patterngalaxy star quilt block variation

The traditional galaxy star block is paper pieced. Here's what it looks like with fabric and the underlying quilt block pattern. It's an uneven star - four legs are short and four are long.

galaxy star quilt block traditional paper piecinggalaxy star block traditional

This tutorial shows you how to do a variation using a single plain square for the center of the star and use Tri Recs triangle tools to make the star points. The overall result is the same.

However, if you want a look that's even closer to the original use a 4 patch to replace the center square of the galaxy star variation quilt block.

Galaxy Star Variation Block Size Cutting Chart

Measurements are given for using the Tri Recs Triangle Rulers with strips of fabric to cut the required pieces for the block.

9  Inch Finished Size

12  Inch Finished Size

Fabric A (yellow star)

cut 1 (3 1/2 x 12 inch) strip; subcut   

  • 1 (3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch) square
  • 4 (3 1/2 inch tall) side triangles

Fabric B (blue background)

cut 1 (3 1/2 inch x WOF) strip; subcut

  • 8 (3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch) squares

Fabric C (yellow star)

cut 1 (2 x 9 inch) strip; subcut

  • 4 (2 inch x 2 inch) squares

Fabric A (yellow star)

cut 1 (4 1/2 x 15 inch) strip; subcut

  • 1 (4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch) square
  • 4 (4 1/2 inch tall) side triangles

Fabric B (blue background)

cut 1 (4 1/2 inch x WOF) strip; subcut

  • 8 (4 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch) squares

Fabric C (yellow star)

cut 1 (2 1/2 x 11 inch) strip; subcut

  • 4 (2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch) squares

For a refresher on Tri Recs Triangle Rulers review this step by step Triangle In a Square Tutorial Using Tri Recs Rulers.

Galaxy Star Quilt Block Pattern Instructions

WOF= Width Of Fabric
Unless otherwise noted seams are 1/4 inch.

Refer to the Block Size Cutting Chart for the block or unit size you want to make.

Step 1a Place Fabric A strip right side down in a single layer and cut 4 side triangles using the Recs Triangle Ruler. We are only going to use right-hand side triangles because in a later step we'll only cut away the right-hand side of the square to make a star point.

Step 1a Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: From Fabric A strip cut 4 side triangles using the Recs Triangle Ruler.

Step 1b Also, from the same Fabric A strip cut 1 square.

Step 1b Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Also, from same Fabric A strip cut 1 square.

Step 2a From Fabric B strip cut 8 squares (4 for star points and 4 for background).

Step 2a Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: From Fabric B strip cut 8 squares (4 for star points and 4 for background).

Step 2b For four of the Fabric B squares center the Tri Triangle Ruler within the square. Take note of the three areas highlighted by the green circles in the photo below.

Step 2b Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: For four of the Fabric B squares center the Tri Triangle Ruler within the square.

Step 2c Cut along the right-hand side of the Tri ruler, cutting away a small triangle to be replaced by a Fabric A side triangle.

Step 2c Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Cut along the right-hand side of the Tri ruler.

Step 2d Align a side triangle to the remaining portion of the square, careful to align the slanted edge along the top right corner. At the bottom the side triangle should extend past the edge of the square about 1/4 inch.

Step 2d Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Align a side triangle to the remaining portion of the square, careful to align the slanted edge along the top right corner.

Step 2e Stitch the side triangle to the remaining portion of the square.

Step 2e Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Stitch the side triangle to the remaining portion of the square.

Step 2f Press the side triangle right side up, pressing the seam towards it.

Step 2f Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Press the side triangle right side up, pressing the seam towards it.

Repeat Steps 2b - 2f for the remaining three star point squares, for a total of four.

Stitch and Flip

Use the stitch and flip method to make the shorter star point for the galaxy star quilt block variation.

Step 3a From Fabric C strip cut 4 small squares.

Step 3b Rotate a star point/square unit made in Step 2 counterclockwise 180 degrees. Align the small square in the upper right corner of the remaining portion of the square. (The left side of the small square should slightly overlap the right tip of the triangle.)

Place the 1/4 inch measurement line of any straight edged quilting ruler on the diagonal middle of the square.

Cut along the edge of the ruler removing the corner and leaving a seam allowance.

Step 3b Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Use the stitch and flip method to make the shorter star point.

Step 3c Stitch the remaining portion of the small square to the larger square. (Your stitches should go through the right tip of the triangle.)

Step 3c Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Stitch the remaining portion of the small square to the larger square.

Step 3d Press the small triangle right side up, pressing the seam towards it.

Step 3d Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Press the small triangle right side up, pressing the seam towards it.

Repeat Steps 3b - 3d on three more squares to make additional star points, for a total of four.

Step 4 Layout Quilt Block. Layout the galaxy star quilt block variation in a 3 x 3 grid pattern as follows:

  • Row 1: plain background square, star points unit (triangles pointed up), plain background square
  • Row 2: star point units (triangles pointed out), plain star square, star points unit (triangles pointed out)
  • Row 3: plain background square, star points unit (triangles pointed down), plain background square
Step 4 Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Layout the quilt block in a 3 x 3 grid pattern.

Step 5a Stitch together the units of each row. Right sides together, align unit from Column 2 on top of unit in Column 1.  Along right edge, stitch a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Flip unit from Column 2 right side up. Right sides together, align unit from Column 3 on top of unit in Column 2. Stitch. Flip unit from Column 3 right side up. Row is complete.

Step 5a Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Stitch together the units of each row.

Keep your star points. Stitch just above the point where the seams of the triangles intersect.

Keep your star points. Stitch just above the point where the seams of the triangles intersect.

Step 5b Press the seams...

  • Row 1: press the seams toward the background squares.
  • Row 2: press the seams toward the center square.
  • Row 3: press the seams toward the background squares.

Step 6 Stitch rows together. Right sides together stitch Row 1 to Row 2, nesting the seams. Flip Row 1 right side up. Stitch Row 3 to Row 2. Flip Row 3 right side up.

Press the seams between the rows open.

Step 6 Galaxy Star Quilt Block Variation Pattern: Stitch rows together.

Your galaxy star quilt block variation is done! I love this uneven star block. It's radiantly beautiful.

Galaxy Star Variation Block Quilt Pattern Idea

The galaxy star quilt block variation is eye catching in a quilt. Here's one idea. A 12 inch star block size alternates with 12 inch plain squares (5 blocks per row by 7 rows).

galaxy star variation quilt pattern idea

It uses 17 variation galaxy star quilt blocks and 18 plain squares. The borders are 6 inches wide. This quilt pattern would be approximately 72 x 96 inches, a twin or queen size quilt. Try something funky with your binding. Make part of the binding in the background color and part in the color of the stars.

You can do a lot with the Tri Recs triangle tools...

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