Spinning Star Paper Piecing Tutorial

Piece and Plenty guild’s official block is the spinning star (also called the laced star). Guild members are asked to create their own name badge using the spinning star quilt block. To create this block we use the paper piecing method.

To get started, download the spinning star template here.

You’ll need the following supplies:

  • Spinning star template (printed)
  • New (or at least new-ish), sharp needle (I used a 90/14)
  • Scissors (to cut paper)
  • Rotary cutter (to cut fabric; fabric scissors will work too), and surface to cut on
  • Acrylic ruler (straight cutting edge)
  • Something to fold paper on (I used a thin piece of cardboard)
  • Iron and surface to iron on
  • Pins
  • Up to 5 different fabrics (background and then 4 prongs on the star)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

Following is a step-by-step tutorial in photos:

1. Pick out your fabric. I used 5 colors (background, color A, B, C, and D)

2. Press (don’t steam) the fabric before cutting.

3. Cut fabric:

  • Background: 8 pieces at least 4″ x 3″
  • Color A: 1 piece at least 5″ x 2.5″; 1 piece at least 3″ x 2″
  • Color B: 1 piece at least 5″ x 2.5″; 1 piece at least 3″ x 2″
  • Color C: 1 piece at least 5″ x 2.5″; 1 piece at least 3″ x 2″
  • Color D: 1 piece at least 5″ x 2.5″; 1 piece at least 3″ x 2″

*Helpful hint: cutting doesn’t need to be exact. You can save time by cutting through multiple layers at once.*

4. Print the template and label each section with the corresponding color. Check out the letters (A, B, C, BG) I marked on each section. cut out each triangle.

5. Choose one triangle to start with. Section #1 is background color (labeled BG). Pin fabric 1 (background) to the paper with the wrong side of the fabric up (touching the paper).

6. Fold a crease between sections 1 and 2. I used a thin little piece of cardboard to help make a crisp line.

7. Cut the fabric 1/4″ away from the folded edge.

8. Find the fabric corresponding with section 2 (B in this case)

Pin piece for section 2 on top of the piece for section 1. Remember to pin pretty sides together. In this photo you can see the “pretty side” of section 1 (background) and the “back side” of section 2 (fabric A)

9. Line up fabric for section 2 with the edge of fabric from section 1.

*Helpful hint: always keep pretty sides (right sides) touching with your fabric when pinning.*

Pin in place.

10. With the template side facing up (so you can see the lines) sew along the line between sections 1 & 2.

Remember to use small stitches and a new sharp needle. I set my Janome at 1.5 stitch length and use a new 90/14 needle.

Go a few stitches over in each direction.

11. Press the seam between sections 1 and 2 open.

*Helpful hint:Don’t steam! Just iron along the seam with the tip of the iron. Don’t worry about pressing edges open, just iron them both to one side. It’s perfectly fine to iron right over the fabric with the paper underneath.*

After pressing both “right sides” are facing up.

12. Using a hard edge (again, I used a little piece of thin cardboard) make a sharp fold in between sections 2 & 3.

13. Cut 1/4″away from folded edge. Cutting through second section’s fabric

14. Take the fabric for section 3 (background) and align the short edge with the newly cut edge. Pin in place.

Remember: pin pretty sides together!

15. Sew along the line between parts 2 and 3.

16. Press the seam between parts 2 and 3.

Remember: it’s perfectly fine to iron on top of the paper.

17. Fold paper along sections 2 & 3.

18. Cut 1/4″away from folded edge.

19. Grab fabric for section 4 (background) and line it up with the freshly cut seam. Remember, pretty sides together! Pin in place.

20. Sew along edge between parts 3 & 4.

21. Press seam.

22. Trim along outside of template (keeping the 1/4″ edge all of the way around)

22. Now your first triangle is done! Repeat the above steps for the other 3 triangles.

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