Tackle the Beginner-Friendly Ohio Star Block


Classic quilts blocks are a great way to nail some basic quilting skills. Take the Ohio Star block for example: it has half-square triangles (sewn into an hourglass shape) and a nine-patch construction, all rolled up into one beginner-friendly block. Bonus: the Ohio Star looks great by itself or as part of a larger sampler quilt.

In this tutorial, we'll tackle a 12" finished block (that's 12½" unfinished), which is the perfect size for bee blocks and sampler quilts.

How to sew an Ohio star quilt block

1. Cut your fabric

From background fabric, cut:

  • Four 4 ½" squares
  • Two 5 ¼" squares

From main fabric, cut:

  • One 4 ½" square
  • Two 5 ¼" squares

2. Make half-square triangles

Pin two of the contrasting 5 ¼" squares together, right sides together. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to another in pencil. Stitch ¼" to the right and left of this line.

Cut down the center line to make two half-square triangles.

Open both of the half-square triangles and press the seams toward the darker fabric.

3. Make the hourglass blocks

Pin the two half-square triangles right sides together, so that the center seams line up and each fabric is on top of its opposite. The seams will be nested inside each other.

Like you did earlier, draw a diagonal line from one corner to another in pencil. Stitch ¼" to the right and left of this line. Cut along the line.

Now you have an hourglass unit! Press the second seam open, which will keep the units flatter.

Trim the blocks to 4 ½" square. Repeat Steps 1-3 with your other large squares to make another pair of hourglass blocks.

Step 4: Arrange the units

Lay out the blocks as pictured, with the 4 ½" blocks in the center and corners.

Step 5: Sew the block together

Stitch together the blocks in each row, and press the seams away from the hourglass blocks. Join the rows and press the seams open.

That's it — you're ready to block-n-roll!

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