Piano Keys Star Quilt Free Pattern

Piano Keys Star quilt

Piano Keys Star quilt

When I designed the Piano Keys Star quilt my original intention was to place a piano keys border around each block.  However as I went along I decided to use the piano keys sections as sashing rather than complete borders around each block.

I had hoped to create a look where the light blue background to the star blocks blended with the light blue piano keys, while the dark blue plain blocks blended with the dark blue piano keys.  I think that I have achieved this.

I’ve used ten simple star blocks with ten plain squares, all 9″ square finished size.  The piano keys sections are 3″ by 9″ finished size and I made thirty of them.

The quilt measures 49″ by 61″, another rectangular quilt.  I have used 1 yard of red, 1.1/2 yards of light blue and 1.3/4 yards of dark blue fabric.  You can buy these fabrics at a discount in this week’s special offer.

Quilt components

Quilt components

Cutting requirements for the piano keys star quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  ten dark blue, forty light blue, twelve red

3.7/8″ squares:  twenty dark blue, twenty light blue

9.1/2″ squares:  ten dark blue

1.1/2″ strips:  fifteen light blue, twelve dark blue – all cut across the width of fabric

For the border you will need to cut six 2.1/2″ of red across the width of fabric.

Half square triangle units

Half square triangle units

Make the half square triangles

Use the 3.7/8″ squares to make half square triangle units.  Place a light blue and a dark blue square with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line.  This produces two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.  Press the seam allowances towards the dark blue and clip the two corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Star quilt block layout

Star quilt block layout

Make the star quilt blocks

I’ve used a very simple nine patch star quilt block pattern.  Place a dark blue square in the middle and a light blue square in each corner.  Place a half square triangle unit in each of the remaining spaces.  Check the photo to be sure that you have them placed correctly.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  The block measures 9.1/2″ square at this stage and you need to make ten of them.

Make three panels

Make three panels

Make the piano keys sections

Sew together five light blue and four dark blue 1.1/2″ strips.  This will give you a panel 9.1/2″ wide and around 42″ long.  Make three of these panels.  Cut the panels at 3.1/2″ intervals to make rectangles 3.1/2″ by 9.1/2″.  You will need thirty of these.

Basic rows of the quilt

Basic rows of the quilt

Assemble the piano keys star quilt

Each row of the quilt contains two star blocks, two dark blue plain squares and three piano keys sections.  Each sashing row contains four sashing strips and three red cornerstone squares.

Make three rows as the top row shown, with star, plain, star, plain blocks.  Make four of the sashing rows shown in the middle of the photo.  You need to make just two of the final row shown with plain, star, plain, star blocks.

Sew the blocks together across each row.  Sew the rows together alternating the star rows with the plain block rows and placing a sashing row after every row.

Use red for the border

Use red for the border

Add the piano keys star quilt border

I have used simple 2.1/2″ strips of red fabric to tie in with the red cornerstones.  You’ll need two lengths of 45.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt with two lengths of 61.1/2″ for the sides.

That completes the piano keys 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:

Washington DC

Washington DC

I have finally written up the Washington part of my American trip.  To see the photos you can click here or click on the photo.

Hawaiian quilt

Hawaiian quilt

I have also been busy finishing quilts and I have found it really satisfying.  I began with a couple of wall hangings that have been waiting in the UFO pile for quite a while.  For this Hawaiian quilt I used a blanket stitch machine embroidery to edge the palm trees.

Sunflower wall hanging

Sunflower wall hanging

I am really pleased with the Sunflower wall hanging.  I drew three petals in each triangle and then sewed each petal shape with a second petal echo quilted just inside the first one.  It’s a very simple design but looks great, I think.

Before the next quilt pattern in two weeks’ time I will write a full article showing you how I have finished various projects.  I’m not suggesting that my quilting is the right way, but I hope that it will give you ideas for your own quilting.

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About Rose


  1. HI rose.
    I love this quilt. Can I ask Do you use Minnie much? Has she now got a dedicated space?
    By now you’ve been so hope you enjoyed Wimbledon x

    • Hi Karen. I tend to use Minnie for large quilts but my domestic sewing machine for small projects. Now that I have given myself more time for finishing quilts I have Minnie working hard. I’m planning an article later this week showing some of the quilts that I’ve been working on. Yes, thank you – Wimbledon was a wonderful experience!

  2. Kathy Betty says:

    I enjoy looking at all your pattern ideas and quilts you create. I have a quilting teacher her in the US who has a studio and we have sew days and retreats with her as a teacher. She is going to Birmingham, England next month in August to the Festival of Quilts there. She was invited to do a trunk show there where she will be teaching about her linen projects that she has quilted over the years. Very beautiful projects! She will be selling her stencils she has created through Pinhole Quilting also of which I bought a set and they come in handy for the quilting process. Her name is Cindy Needham and if you get a chance to go to that event I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Have a great rest of your week, Rose!

    • Hi Kathy. Thanks for your comment and for your order. I am also going to the Festival of Quilts next month and I’m thrilled to hear that Cindy Needham will be there. I will definitely look out for her. It’s an amazing show and I hope she’ll enjoy her time in Birmingham.

  3. I so enjoy your quilting expertise and your travel experiences. Thank you.

  4. Irena Mangone says:

    Thank you Rose for another lovely quilt Enjoy your time at Wimbledon

  5. Welcome back! This quilt is a sure winner, thanks.

  6. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose,
    Another great pattern looks easy the way you explain it. I like the piano key sashing good idea.
    Keep work on your UFO’s I am very slowly. It has been so hot that all I wanted to do was sit in the AC and read. I have not sewn in 2 weeks.
    THe heat will pass soon.
    Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy your time at wimbleton. Good for you. Happy Quilting.

    • Hi Sandra. We’re having a heatwave as well and I agree that it’s difficult to do anything energetic in the heat. We’re not set up for heat here in the UK, so aircon is quite rare. I just have to open all my windows and doors to try and create a draft.

  7. Barbara Stokes says:

    Love the piano keys. Thanks for another great pattern. And congratulations on your Wimbledon win! Enjoy.

  8. Rose, this is a really versatile pattern.
    The framing of the blocks gives it that bit extra.
    Glad your getting some of your UFOs quilted.
    I like the quilting you’ve done on them as it’s not too dense.
    Thanks for showing the pictures of Washington.
    They are lovely.
    Rose thanks for the pattern.
    Enjoy Wimbledon!

    • Thanks, Mary. It’s a really easy quilt to make – glad you like it. I always look with envy on those quilts that are very densely quilted but don’t think that I have the patience to do so much quilting on one project.

  9. Hi Rose,
    You certainly picked the right colors (red,white and blue) for the stars and (piano keys) stripes quilt. All perfect for the 4th of July that we here in the USA celebrated 2 days ago. I like your idea about using the piano keys to sash the quilt rather than to use it as a border. It’s a nice change.

    Question: Did you use Minnie to free motion the Sunflower wall hanging? It’s beautiful!

    • Hi Claire. It always surprises me how many countries have red, white and blue in their flags – the UK included. Hope you enjoyed the Independence Day celebrations.
      No, I didn’t use Minnie for the sunflower wall hanging – she really needs larger quilts to be effective, so this one was done on my normal domestic sewing machine.

  10. Avril Farmer says:

    Another wonderful pattern and your directions are so easy to follow, thank you. So pleased you had an amazing trip love the pictures.

    • Thanks, Avril. It’s a very easy quilt to make. I love being able to share my holiday photos – so glad that you find them interesting.

  11. Cynthia Ash says:

    The Piano Keys Star Quilt is stunning – what a neat idea to use the keys as sashing – and I love the quilting on the Sunflower wall hanging.