Broken Star Quilt – Free Pattern

Broken star quilt

Broken star quilt

I’ve used the Broken Star quilt block together with trumpet cornerstones to make this pretty quilt.  It measures 42″ square and I’ve used 1.1/4 yards of white fabric, 1 yard each of yellow and brown together with 1/2 yard of orange.

I’ve used flying geese units within the block – don’t be worried if you haven’t made these before.  They really are very simple to make.

Cutting requirements for the broken star quilt

6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangles:  four white, eight yellow, eight brown

6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangles:  four white

3.7/8″ squares:  thirty two white, eight orange

6.1/2″ squares:  five white

3.1/2″ squares:  four white

For the borders you will need four 3.1/2″ strips each of orange, yellow and brown together with sixteen 5″ squares each in brown and yellow.

Making flying geese units

Making flying geese units

Make the flying geese units

There are many ways of making flying geese units, but I have chosen the most straightforward way this time.  Place a 6.7/8″ by 3.7/8″ rectangle with right sides up.  Lay a 3.7/8″ square right sides together on one side of the rectangle.  Mark a line along the diagonal of the square and sew along the line.

Cut the fabric 1/4″ away from the seam (in the photo this step is middle left).  Discard the two triangles that you have cut off (brown and orange) and press the remaining part of the square open.

Completed flying geese units

Completed flying geese units

Place another square right sides together on the other side of the rectangle.  Repeat the above step, drawing a line along the diagonal, trimming off excess fabric and pressing the triangle open.  There is a different method of making flying geese here.

Trim the flying geese units

Trim the flying geese units

You need to make eight flying geese units in yellow and white, four in brown and orange, four in white and orange.  Trim them to 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″, making sure to trim from all four edges.

Broken star quilt block top section

Broken star quilt block top section

Make the broken star quilt block

The top and bottom sections of this block are the same as each other.  These sections consist of two rows.  Make the first row with a 6.1/2″ white square at each end, then a yellow/white flying geese unit.  In the centre place a 6.1/2″ by 3.1/2″ rectangle with an orange/white flying geese unit beneath it.  For the second row place a yellow/white flying geese unit at each end, then a 3.1/2″ white square with a brown/orange flying geese in the middle.  Check the photo to make sure that you have the flying geese units correctly placed.

Sew the white rectangle and orange/white flying geese together first and then sew the patchwork pieces together across the rows.  Sew the two rows to each other.  Make two of these sections – one for the top of the block and the other to be placed upside down for the bottom section.

Middle row

Middle row

To make the middle row place a 6.1/2″ white square at each end and in the middle.  On either side of the central square place a brown/orange and a white/orange flying geese unit.

Sew the pieces together across the row.

Broken star quilt block layout

Broken star quilt block layout

Here you can see the full layout of the broken star quilt block when the three sections of the block have been sewn together.  Now you just need to sew the three sections to each other.

Top border

Top border

Add the quilt border

Sew together 3.1/2″ strips of brown, yellow and orange.  Make four of these and cut them to give strips 24.1/2″ long by 9.1/2″ wide.

Sew one to the top of the broken star block and one to the bottom.

Make the trumpet units

For the cornerstones I am indebted to Jennie Rayment.  She’s a star and if you ever have the chance to take one of her workshops then do grab the opportunity.  She always provides lots of information and lots of laughs.

Fold the square twice

Fold the square twice

I am using four trumpets for each corner unit.  Fold a yellow 5″ square along one diagonal with right sides together.  Then fold the resulting triangle in half to make a smaller triangle.  This has all the raw edges along one side, a fold on the second side and two folded layers on the third side.  This last is the open edge.

Sew the triangle between two squares

Sew the triangle between two squares

Place a yellow triangle along one edge of a brown 5″ square.  The side of the triangle with all raw edges lies along the edge of the square.

Place a second brown square right sides together on top of the first square.  Sew the edge that encloses the triangle to join the two squares with the yellow triangle appearing now between the two squares.

Press the triangle flat to make a pouch. and press.  Make eight of these units.

Lay two units to make a four patch

Lay two units to make a four patch

Complete the corner units

Lay two of the units with the open edges of the yellow triangles furthest from the middle.  Place two more yellow triangles to lie along the top of the bottom unit, meeting in the middle.  Make sure that the open edges of the triangles are at the ends away from the middle.

Completed corner unit

Completed corner unit

Flip the top unit down right sides together with the bottom unit and sew the two units together.

Flatten the triangles and press.

Sew the corner units in place

Sew the corner units in place

Sew one corner unit to each end of the two remaining border strips.  Add one strip to each side of the quilt.

Secure the trumpets

Secure the trumpets

There are several ways of securing the trumpets in place.  I have chosen to add a few stitches to either side of each trumpet just at the corners where my finger is pointing in the photo.

That completes the broken star quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the quilting for beginners section.

Here’s the video:

Flower display

Flower display

Last week I visited the Malvern Autumn Show.  The flowers on display were absolutely beautiful.  I was fired with enthusiasm and bought loads of spring bulbs although I could never hope to arrange my flowers as beautifully as the displays at the show.

Superb vegetables

Superb vegetables

They also had a section of giant vegetables which was fun to see.  These leeks must have been several feet long.

Giant marrows

Giant marrows

Although this isn’t a brilliant photo I thought that it would give you an idea of the size of these vegetables when seen beside people.

I had a problem on my way home which made it into a long day.  Birmingham was holding its first 100 mile bike race, Velo Birmingham.  It was a tremendous success (well done Birmingham!) but there were lots and lots of road closures.  My area seemed to be shut off completely and it took me ages to find a way home.

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About Rose


  1. Not the easiest of quilt patterns, I imagine, but well worth the effort as the end result is gorgeous – also very effective in the fabric colours that you have chosen. It’s a pain being stuck in traffic, especially after a long day. I used to love going to agricultural shows as a child, there’s so much to see. My mother always won the shortbread section.

    • Hi June. No, not too difficult to make if you make it in small steps. Your mother was very talented – with both her sewing and her shortbread. I don’t remember visiting agricultural shows as a child, but I love them now!

  2. Hallo dear Rose,

    I’m from Yzerfontein, a beautiful West Coast village 50ks up north from Cape Town. I am a keen quilter, happy gardener and have made many symbolic flower arrangements for special occasions in my life. Your latest weekly mail was therefore so special!

    I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate your weekly quilting suggestions. My next project will certainly be a sampler quilt – using your tutorials.

    Thanks you so much – looking forward every week for more from you

    Annatjie Hanekom
    Yzerfontein, South Africa

    • Hi Annatjie. Thanks for your comments. You live in a wonderful place – I spent Christmas in Cape Town a few years ago. Glad you enjoyed the flower arrangement photo and good luck with your sampler quilt.

  3. Hi Rose, I’ve never seen trumpet cornerstones before. There are certainly a nice change from the regular square cornerstones.

    I have so far finished 5 of the Sunbonnet Sue blocks. I thought that Sue appliqué would look so much better if I sewed a blanket stitch around the entire appliqué. Machine sewing around the hat and the dress didn’t pose a problem but the hand did and I ended up having to blanket stitch it by hand. Thanks to your tutorial I learned how to sew the stitch and voila a pretty nice looking hand. Trust me, Rose – I did a lot of unpicking after I tried sewing the hand by machine; it didn’t even look like a hand – it looked more like a foot. So now, the next step after I finish the blocks will be to do the sashing, border and binding. I’ll be lucky if get it finished by Christmas.

    Happy gardening!

    • Hi Claire. That’s what I thought – give our quilts a bit of pizazz. I’ve used them before, but I don’t think I’ve ever used them on quilts for the website before.

  4. Thank you Rose especially for the boarder `trumpet` Square I love this corner block and know I will use it. It was nice to see the flower arrangement. I recently saw my 1st flower show, I was with my 5 yr old grand daughter at a country fair , I insisted she visit a `Grammie` exhibit whIle she was only interested in the rides She was reluctant at first then ended up stopping at each arrangement and commenting . “ Oh Grammie we can do that when we get home“, lol !
    Good luck with your Garden , We have had a wild week with temperatures starting at 30`C on Monday (too hot to garden) and down to 16` today.

    • Hi Elizajane. That’s what I always hope – that others will find things in my quilts that they can use in their own quilts.

  5. Debra (Canada) says:

    Rose – I think the cornerstone block is terrific and I will try to incorporrate it in a project soon…but first I have 3 tops to quilt!

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great idea. Love this quilt and seems so easy. Finishing up one that I had started just need to sandwich it together. Love the vegetables. I cannot grow much and certainly not that big.
    Good luck with your planting of the bulbs. They will come up next year beautifully.
    We also did some stones in the yard so we could have a place to walk and not get our shoes waterlogged.
    Have a great weekend And Happy Quilting.

    • thanks, Sandra. I have high hopes of my spring bulbs. It’s always such a good sign when the daffodils come out – you know that summer is on its way!

  7. Hi Rose, well this weeks quilt quite appeals to me ,I love the trumpet corners and it’s going in my” save file ” Glad you enjoyed Malvern and yes the giant veg are amazing.
    I have just finished making a cushion to fit in the small of my back on my new chair ,I used the left over Half square triangles that I had used in a mat for the coffee table I re cut the triangles making them smaller and as it’s the first time I have used the triangles I feel really pleased with my efforts -of course I had my mentor with me (you )and started off by looking at a past mail too to refresh my memory !! so thank you Rose ,
    love and hugs Sheila xx

    • Thanks, Sheila. There’ll be no holding you back now that you’re using half square triangles. Glad you found my patterns helpful for that. Hope you’ll be more comfortable now with your new chair and new cushion.

  8. Thanks Rose. I love those trumpets and must try to work them into something in my ever lengthening queue of projects!

    My neighbour exhibits antique tools at the Malvern Show and sometimes comes up with complimentary tickets! Not this year, sadly!

    I am looking forward to the quilt show next month at the same venue.

    • Hi Lynda. i love the quilt shows at Malvern but this was the first time that I had been to one of the other shows there. What a pity you didn’t get tickets from your neighbour.

  9. Carole Yoxall says:

    Love this pattern Rose especially the corners,makes a very beautiful quilt xxx

    • Thanks, Carole. It’s nice to try something different – I always feel that the cornerstones stand out so it’s worth making them a little different.

  10. Sandra McClellan says:

    Love all the great idea’s you have given most of us

  11. Sandra McClellan says:

    Love this block . It has given a great idea for a scrappy and love the cornerstones

  12. Pat Meinecke says:

    Loved the pictures of the vegetables. I have a friend over there (now in Barton) who used to be part of a group in Devon who grew leeks every year in friendly competition.

    Jennie’s trumpet corners are brilliant!

    • Thanks, Pat. I did wonder a little at some of the vegetables – the beetroot was huge but so twisted and gnarled that I couldn’t imagine it ever being cut up and used. Everything Jennie does is brilliant!

  13. Very unusual Rose really different

  14. Hello Rose I just love this pattern its beautiful.

  15. Joan Arnestad says:

    Hi from Joan in Hoedspruit near the Kruger Park in South Africa. I LOVE receiving the weekly inspiration. I don’t always save all of them but the ones I do, I know I will refer to in future. Yours in quilting.

    • Hi Joan. Good to hear from you. I’ve never made it to the Kruger Park – just visited Cape Town and Joburg on my visits. I’m glad you find the quilt patterns helpful.