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French Star

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French Star is a pattern you don't see every day. Chances are you've never seen it before. This has the potential to become a family heirloom. Imagine your choices of fabrics in this pattern. It would look terrific in batiks, 1930s or Civil War reproductions, or how about in soft pastels? This is a design that has potential.

The quilt shown was machine-pieced and hand-quilted in the 1930s. Its maker is unknown. In the book One Hundred and One Patchwork Patterns by Ruby McKim, information provided with the pattern states that the French Star is a Canadian variation of the Eight-Pointed Star.

Design by Carol Scherer

Project Specifications

Skill Level: Intermediate
Quilt Size: Approximately 70 1/2" x 84 3/4"
Block Size: 10" x 10"
Number of Blocks Needed: 28 whole blocks and 4 half-blocks

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  • 2 1/4 yards total assorted scraps
  • 2 3/4 yards white solid for background
  • 3 yards blue solid for sashing
  • Backing 74" x 89"
  • Batting 74" x 89"
  • 8 1/2 yards self-made or purchased binding
  • Neutral-color all-purpose thread
  • 1 spool quilting thread
  • Basic sewing and quilting supplies


Note: A 1/4" seam allowance is used throughout.


Step 1. Prepare templates for pattern pieces given. Cut as directed on each piece to create one block (whole quilt) or half-block (whole quilt). You will need 28 whole and four half-blocks to complete the quilt as shown. Note: To eliminate the need to cut individual pieces for A and B, fabric strips may be used. For A cut eight strips white 3 7/16" by fabric width. Cut each strip into 3 7/16" segments for A; repeat for 116 A pieces. For B, cut three strips 5 5/16" by fabric width. Cut each strip into 5 5/16" segments. Cut each segment on both diagonals to make four B triangles from each square; repeat for 128 B pieces.

Step 2. Cut 58 squares blue solid 8" x 8". Cut each square in half once to make G corner triangles as shown in Figure 1.

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Piecing the Blocks

Step 1. To piece one block, sew D to C; repeat for eight C-D units. Sew two C-D units to each E; repeat for four units.

Step 2. Join the C-D-E units to make star shape. Set in A squares and B triangles to complete the block referring to Figure 2; press. Repeat for 28 blocks.

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Step 3. For half-blocks, join two C-D-E units; set in one A and four B pieces as shown in Figure 3; press. Repeat for four half-blocks.

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Quilt Top Assembly

Step 1. Sew a blue solid G triangle to each side of each whole block as shown in Figure 4; press seams toward G. Note: In the quilt shown, the blue triangles are missing from each corner of the quilt.

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Step 2. Sew a blue solid G triangle to two sides of each half-block as shown in Figure 5.

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Step 3. Arrange whole blocks in three rows of six blocks each, referring to Figure 6; join the blocks in rows; press.

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Step 4. Arrange five whole blocks in a row with a half-block at each end as shown in Figure 6. Join the blocks in rows; press. Repeat for two rows.

Step 5. Arrange the whole-block rows with the half-block rows referring to the Placement Diagram and Figure 6; join the rows; press.

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Step 1. Prepare pieced top for quilting referring to the General Instructions.

Step 2. Mark quilting design given onto G triangles as shown in Figure 7. Quilt in the ditch of the seams of the blocks, 1/4" inside each block shape, on marked lines and as desired by hand or machine.

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Step 3. When quilting is complete, finish edges referring to the General Instructions.

Copyright © 2002 The Best of Scrap Quilting Made Easy, House of White Birches. All rights reserved.

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