The Martha Washington Star quilt block is a four patch block also known by the rather lovely names of Queen Victoria, Dewey’s Victory, Annie’s Choice and Octagonal Star. I’ve made it here as a 16″ square.
Cutting requirements for the Martha Washington Star Quilt Block
4.1/2″ squares: four red
4.7/8″ squares: four blue, eight red
5.1/4″ squares: two red, two blue
Making the Martha Washington Star quilt block
Make half square triangle units with four red and four blue 4.7/8″ squares. Place a red and a blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal. Sew a 1/4″ square either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will produce two half square triangle units which are now 4.1/2″ squares. Put these somewhere safe so they don’t get mixed up with the squares for the next stage.
Now for the quarter square triangle units: make half square triangle units with the 5.1/4″ squares in the same way as above. Place one half square triangle right sides together with a plain 4.7/8″ red square.
Mark a line along the diagonal that doesn’t follow the seam line of the half square triangle unit – so it’s from bottom right to top left in the units shown one the left hand side of the photo. Sew a seam 1/4″ either side of the marked line and cut along the line. This will give you two quarter square triangle units as shown on the right of the photo. Note that these are not the same as each other. In some patterns you can both of these units, but for the Martha Washington star quilt block you will only need the one shown on the top, with the blue along the bottom of the square.
The central area of the quilt block is made using the quarter square triangle units only. These are laid out as a four patch unit, rotating the blocks so that the blue forms a pinwheel. On the right of the photo I’ve shown the quarter square triangle units that are not used.
The outer frame is now simple to add. There’s a 4.1/2″ red square in each corner with a pair of half square triangles between the corners. These are placed so that the red triangles combine to form a larger red triangle pointing in towards the middle. Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the Martha Washington star quilt block.
For a quilt idea, I began by showing nine blocks sewn together in three rows of three. This was pretty, but the design of the block does get rather blurred.
I preferred it with added sashing to keep the blocks separate from each other.
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