Celebrate Christmas: Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial

Starry Night Quilt Block

For the last several weeks, Michele (Mishka) over at Quilting Gallery has been featuring a Celebrate Christmas blog party.

Celebrate Christmas Quilt-Along and Super Deals for Quilters

Each week three bloggers share tutorials for new quilt blocks. And today is my day! You can read my interview here. I’d like to welcome all the new visitors to my blog, I hope you enjoy my block, Starry Night.

This quilt block is a paper pieced. For those of you that participated in the Summer Sampler Series, you are old pros! If you are new to paper piecing, do not fear. First, I recommend reading through this tutorial and even making the sample block. It will really give you a basic understanding of paper piecing. And hopefully put your mind at ease. Second, I recommend reading through the entire tutorial for today’s block before starting. And finally, take your time making this one. We will be paper piecing 4 small blocks and then piecing those together. Ready? Let’s get started!

Starry Night Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished
Reduce your stitch length so that the paper template will perforate easily. I used 1.5 stitch length.

Paper Piecing Templates
Print 4 of the Paper Piecing Template below. Be sure to print them at 100% and check the scale icon with a ruler before starting.

Starry Night Paper Piecing Template

Prepare the templates. Cut the templates out around the seam allowance line.

Step 1. Cut your fabric. When cutting fabric for paper piecing, you will be cutting fabric that will be larger than needed. (You can save your scraps for later quilt squares.)

I recommend cutting 1 of each piece below, making a block, and ensuring it is enough fabric for your sewing style. Then you can make adjustments later for the rest of your blocks. These are the fabric sizes I used for my paper piecing.

Pattern Piece
1 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
2 Cut 4 5″ x 4″
3 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
4 Cut 4 5″ x 3″
5 Cut 4 10″ x 2″
6 Cut 4 7″ x 4″

Tip: I like to write the fabric color name I’m planning on the template pieces so I don’t get confused as I’m sewing. Yes, I’m easily confused.

Step 2: Take your fabric cut for Piece 1 and place it right side out on the back of your template, making sure to cover the entire template space 1. Pin into place.

Step 3: Take your fabric cut for Piece 2. Place it right side together to Piece 1 which you pinned into place in Step 2. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 2. This will probably feel backwards and wrong the first few times you do it. 🙂 Pin into place.

Step 4: Sew along the seam line on the template between pieces 1 and 2. Be sure to sew a bit into the seam allowance. I also like to backstitch at the beginning and end. Remove your pins.


Step 6: Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template.

Looking better already, right?

Step 7: Take your fabric cut for Piece 3. Place it right side together to Piece 1 which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 3. Pin into place.

Step 8: Sew along the seam line on the template remembering again to sew a bit into the seam allowance.

Step 9: Trim seam allowance.



And press.

Step 10: Repeat the same process for Piece 4.

Turn your block over and trim the excess fabric from around the template again.

Step 11: Take your fabric cut for Piece 5. Place it right side together to Piece 3 and 4 which you have sewn into place. Hold your template up to the light and make sure at least 1/4″ of the fabric overlaps into template space 5. Pin into place.

Step 12: Once again, sew along seam line…


and Press…

Step 13: Repeat for the final Piece 6. Line up…

Sew, press and trim the block to size:

Congratulations! You’ve made your first paper pieced block quadrant!

Step 14: Now repeat these steps for the remaining three templates.

**TIP: To achieve the look of my block, you will want to reverse the location of the blue fabrics on two of the four templates. **

Step 15: Once you have all four templates pieced, remove the paper from the back. This should perforate easily as long as you remembered to shorten your stitch length before sewing.

Step 16: Sew the 4 quadrants together to create your quilt block.

Starry Night Quilt Block

You’re done!

Mock up of what entire quilt top would look like:

Starry Night Quilt Top Mock Up



  1. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Nice block and good instructions. I enjoy paper piecing when there are not too many pieces in each section. I have lots of Kona solids and this would be a good block to make to show them off.

  2. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Can I please use this block in a quilt for a Christmas Auction?

    • Reply


      November 2, 2011


  3. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Love it! And thanks to all of that Summer Sampler sewing, I’m not afraid of this block at all. 🙂 Great job, Faith!

  4. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    OMG, that’s gorgeous! I’d love to see a full quilt of this, though I would have to sew it together regularly, not paper pieced. A whole quilt as large as I want it would be too hard to pull all the paper off. I know from experience…

  5. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Love this block, especially in those colours, I must check out hte whole blog hop :o)

  6. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Maybe foundation pieced? QAYG???

  7. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    not gonna lie, I’m a bit scared of paper piecing, but your explanation makes sense so I’m going to give it a try – plus that block is so pretty! Thanks!

  8. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    hey faith, for the newcomers to paper piecing, you might want to mention that in order to get their block to look like yours they will need to reverse color placement on two of them.
    I love the way you use color–it’s always a lesson for me!

  9. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Beautiful block ~ thanks so much for the tutorial.

  10. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    WOW! That’s a beautiful block!! Very 3-D, which is ultra-cool!

  11. Reply

    Rebecca Lynne

    November 2, 2011

    Love this block. Had an idea for a star in my head but can’t get it out. This is great! Thank you!

  12. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Just lovely! It looks amazing when put together into a quilt.

  13. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Love this block! Looks very stunning! Thanks so much!

  14. Reply

    Jytte R

    November 2, 2011

    It is a beautiful block. I am in Spain for the moment but cann’t wait to get back home to Denmark to get started on all this ‘Celebrate Christmas’ blocks.
    Thank you.

  15. Reply

    Kathy Stolhand

    November 2, 2011

    I love the look of the quilt when it is finished. Thanks

  16. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Oh!!! This is so pretty!

  17. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    That’s gorgeous! 🙂

  18. Reply

    Dan R

    November 2, 2011

    great block, and especially great in those colors

  19. Reply

    Jessica Pierre'auguste

    November 2, 2011

    Wow, beautiful! I love that block; I have been wanting to learn to paper piece but have been intimidated…and always busy with several works in progress at any given time. This looks like a great block to use as a pillow cover and to give me a short introduction to paper piecing. Thanks!

  20. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    Beautiful block! I love that you used nontraditional Christmas colors to create the block. I always decorate for Christmas in colors other than red and green. I have been considering making a Christmas quilt, but I wanted something that was not too “Christmasy”. This block would be perfect for what I had in mind. Thanks!

  21. Reply

    Debbie St. Germain

    November 2, 2011

    I really love your block and the way you shaded it, makes a gorgeous design.


  22. Reply

    Meredith Daniel

    November 2, 2011

    This looks awesome! I love your color choices!

  23. Reply


    November 2, 2011

    That is a stunning block! I always love the look of solids, but when it comes time to make my own quilts, I shy away from using the solids for anything but sashing/border. No idea what my mental block is coming from on that!

  24. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing it. I love the jewel effect of these blocks en masse…

  25. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    Wow!! These blocks are so pretty together. I have never done any paper piecing-seems scary!! Your tutorial gives me hope that I could actually succeed at it-ha!!! Thanks!!

  26. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    I love your use of solids, you always pair just the right colours together. This block is gorgeous x

  27. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    This is just gorgeous, Faith! Thank you for the fab tutorial.

  28. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    What a gorgeous block and mock up! You are so good at writing tutorials. Thank you for all your hard work!

  29. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    You give the best instructions!

  30. Reply


    November 3, 2011

    Faith, when I saw the single block I thought, ho hum. (Sorry.) But, when I saw it mocked up as an entire quilt. WOW!! That is stunning. Once again you add something to my mental to do list……

  31. Reply


    November 4, 2011

    this is goooorgeous!!

  32. Reply


    November 4, 2011

    Wow! That’s beautiful! I love the colors.

  33. Reply

    Michelle @ the quilted tortoise

    November 4, 2011

    Love the block and great tutorial! I really love the shading of the two aqua’s

  34. Reply

    Rachel at Stitched in Color

    November 4, 2011

    Well done, Faith! That’s a pretty unique block. Great tut as always.

  35. Reply

    Sara @ Sew Sweetness

    November 5, 2011

    Beautiful! What a great block, and the colors you chose are perfect, I knew exactly what it was supposed to be before I even read the title!

  36. Reply

    happy zombie

    November 14, 2011

    I’ve done paper piecing a couple of times, but each time I forget how and always wished I had a resource for instruction. And now I do!! Oh boy, do I!

    When I first saw this amazing block of yours, I got so excited you were doing a pattern for it. Then I scroll and see it’s a paper piecing (wha whhha, sad face)… and then, as if the universe heard my woes… I scroll and see the best dang paper piecing tutorial ever. EVER! I thank you a million time, Faith!!

  37. Reply

    Ulla's Quilt World

    December 4, 2011

    Hi! Greetings from Finland! Your quilts are so fantastic! It’s so nice to find other quilters all around the world! http://www.quiltworld2.blogspot.com
    Yours, Ulla

  38. Reply


    December 12, 2011

    Thanks for the tutorial! I used this block (and variations of) for my 4×5 bee blocks this time around: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpfox223/6497502469/in/photostream

  39. Reply


    April 7, 2012

    I did this block in November, with Leila’s skill builder series, and love the versatility of it. I am also participating in a bee, and was wondering if you might allow me to use this block as my base, come August?
    I have not absolutely decided what I will want to do, but this may be one possibility. If you did not mind too much.
    Many thanks for your attention on this.

  40. Reply

    Barbara Yon

    April 18, 2012

    May I copy the picture of this pattern for out Quilt trail(will be painted on a board)? Thanks

  41. Reply


    April 26, 2012

    Oh.My.Word. I am so inspired! Is there any chance to get the names/colours of the fabrics you used? It is so beautiful!

  42. Reply

    Diana N

    July 11, 2012

    Love the colors of this block. Thanks for sharing

  43. Reply

    Elaine Urban

    July 12, 2012

    Stunning! Simply absolutely stunning!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  44. Reply

    Zandra Saenz

    July 16, 2012

    Muchas gracias…acabo de encontrar su pagina y he copiado el block para hacer un edredon….gracias por compartir…es una belleza de bloque y muy facil la explicacion.
    Que tenga lindo dia!!!!

  45. Reply


    July 18, 2012

    This is by far the best demonstration on paper piecing that I have ever seen. You have made something somewhat complicated for beginners much more comprehensible! Thank you!

    • Reply


      July 19, 2012

      Thank you so much Nicole!

  46. Reply


    September 4, 2012

    This is a fantastic block and I am off to purchase some fabric and make it.
    I did a small wall hanging for our guild show and loved the paper piecing part, and sure do look forward to trying your block. Quilt til you drop. Debbie

  47. Reply

    Modern Manson

    October 12, 2012

    Awesome tutorial – Thanks! Beautiful block too.

  48. Reply


    October 12, 2012

    Thank you for your great instructions on a beautiful quilt. Having a huge cabinet full of fabrics to chose from, I now have the job of choosing some appropriate colors and patterns. Your colors are great, wish I had similar in stock here! I promised myself to not buy anything but absolutely necessary fabric until I bring my stash down! Thanks again

  49. Reply

    Alyssa Lichner

    December 1, 2012

    Hey faith! Awesome block. I have a general paper piecing question. Do you have any suggestion on figuring out the size pieces you will need when paper piecing before you start like you have done for us here? I HATE trying to guess the size I’d rather have everything ready before I start.

  50. Reply

    Richard Healey

    December 18, 2012

    I want to say that I love your tutorial. I am trying to learn to paper piece and I appreciated the great pictures and walk though.

  51. Reply

    Mortgage Loan

    December 26, 2012

    I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A number of my blog visitors have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any solutions to help fix this problem?

  52. Reply


    January 5, 2013

    Love this. Going to give this a try as soon as possible. Thanks x

  53. Reply

    Carol N

    February 2, 2013

    Your tutorial and quilt are nothing short of stunning! Your choice of fabrics add a whole new dimension to the quilt–the shading of the colors make the quilt sing! I sometimes hesitate to add a comment on a blog with an older posting–Nov 2, 2011–even though I want to add my appreciation for your time and trouble! That said, I am going to take a chance and ask a question: How did you quilt this top? I keep looking at it and waiting for the ‘quilting’ to speak to me! Would love to know what your quilt top said to you! I bow to your artistic talent–thanks for sharing your gift.

  54. Reply


    March 14, 2013

    Beautiful quilt pattern!

  55. Reply

    Liz DandeliondD

    April 6, 2013

    Thank you so much for this wonderful pattern and tutorial. I made two of these blocks today and it was a lot of fun as a result of your excellent instructions.

    They are striking and beautiful blocks too.

  56. Reply


    November 15, 2013

    Hi Faith, love this block! One question: What do you mean by “sew a bit into the seam allowance”? Does this mean at the beginning and end of the stitching line? I want to try paper piecing and just want to be sure I’m doing the right thing. Thank you. Cheers!

    • Reply


      November 15, 2013

      Ni Nancy! Yes, you are exactly right. 🙂 Happy sewing!

  57. Reply


    April 28, 2014

    I have been using this block for an Kaffe Fassett online block exchange. I modified the block and made #1 #2 #3 #4 just one piece. It is a 3 piece block and it is gorgeous! I’d love to show them to you. Thanks you for the pattern!

  58. Reply


    September 2, 2014

    Very informative. After I get the quilts done I have started on, I want to try it

  59. Reply


    September 4, 2014

    Years ago i did piecing, i used patterns on cotton squares. Did a few little pieces. Will try it again. Lately it is only great grandchildrens baby quilts.

  60. Reply


    February 16, 2015

    I’m new to this idea but should I be worrying about the direction of the warp and weft? Will it matter? I don’t want it to to bag because I have multi directional fabric….

    Thanking you kindly for your lovely simple clear instructions. I’m itching to get started!

    • Reply


      February 16, 2015

      Hi Amanda! I do a lot of paper piecing with crazy angles and I haven’t had any trouble with the direction. 🙂 I hope that helps put your mind at ease!

  61. Reply


    March 11, 2016

    A friend and I went through this tutorial yesterday to learn paper piecing. It went pretty well! Minimal bumps. Thanks very much for the tutorial. 🙂

    • Reply


      March 11, 2016

      Awesome! Makes me happy to hear!

  62. Reply


    April 23, 2016

    Just realised, reading through your tutorial (thank you!) and seeing you hold the pieces to the light, that a small light box near your sewing area would be great for placing the fabrics while sewing.

    • Reply


      April 25, 2016

      Shaaryn – yes! Lightboxes are perfect for this sort of thing. I bought one a bit after this tutorial was made and it’s super handy to have around.

  63. Reply


    October 23, 2016

    Thank you for sharing this method of quilting. I quilt but not paper piecing. After reading your tutorial I think I will have to give it a go. Thanks for being inspirational


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.