Solstice Stars Series : Ribbon Star

Welcome to the Solstice Stars Series! Today is the first week of a series of five star quilt block tutorials. Our first block is the Ribbon Star. This star is from Barbara Brackman’s book The Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns,page 160 and the original source of the design is unknown.

Ribbon Star Quilt Block Tutorial

Please note, all seams are 1/4″; Final block size 12.5″ unfinished

Step 1. Cut your fabric:

Pattern Piece Fabric Color
Background Corners Cut 4 3.5” x 3.5” White
Background Half Square Triangles Cut 6 4” x 4” White
Top Left Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Blue
Top Right Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Purple
Bottom Left Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Red
Bottom Right Points Cut 2 4” x 4” Green

Take all of your 4″ x 4″ squares and cut them diagonally into half square triangles. Set aside one of each of your blue, purple, red and green half square triangles. You will only need 3 of each color for your star.

Step 2. Sew each of your remaining 12 colored half square triangles to your 12 background/white half square triangles, creating 12 squares.

Step 3. Trim your squares to 3.5″.

Tip: I like to use a small quilting ruler with a diagonal line, and line that up with the seam. I then trim the top and right of the block. Turn the block 180 degrees and line up the seam again. Trim the remaining sides of the square to 3.5″.

Lay out your resulting squares into the design of the quilt block, using your 3.5″ background/white fabric for the corners.

Step 4. Sew your squares together. You’re done!

Don’t forget to post pictures of your finished blocks, as well as any questions, in the Flickr group!


  1. 1

    Lesley says

    Faith, this star is so beautiful and your instructions are superb. I will be following your stars…just hope my fabrics are as pretty as yours! Thank you!

  2. 2


    I Love stars and this one is an awesome star and great instructions indeed! We just got snow here so I have some granddaughters to make snow angels with, so I hope to get started this week!

  3. 11


    Love the block and definitely going to make it!
    I went looking for the book and the cheapest one was $179 and went all the way up to $3,000! Must be out of print, but $3,000 for a book?
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  4. 12


    Ok, I was on the fence as I adore your style but haven’t ever made anything with stars. After this post, you now have me. Consider me joining and taking the plunge. I will posy on my blog about this shortly and hope to make this block TODAY. That is my goal at least… Wish me luck!

  5. 13


    Ha, I just re-named that Christmas Star block that I did the tutorial on “Ribbon Star” – I should have realized there’s an ACTUAL Ribbon Star out there! Sorry for any confusion I may have caused. : ) Great block.

  6. 18


    I love it! It would have been much easier if I had followed the instructions, but I wanted a solid not pieced center square, because I was using a geometric circle fabric. *sigh* I just can’t do it the easy way. I’ll post it to flickr as soon as I get it uploaded 🙂

  7. 20

    Jill says

    Love the block – wonder how much & how many different fabrics will be needed for the whole project – just a fat quarter of 3? I’m guessing more – an you give me a whole project amount – thanks!!!

  8. 21

    NHSOMND says

    Thank you for this great “winter retreat” project. Will help me get through the cold snowy months here in the Northeast as well as build my skills.

  9. 22


    I’m in! I’ve been waiting to find the perfect project to cut into my fat quarters of The Woodlands from Anthology and this is it! Thanks, great directions! Looking forward to the rest of the stars!

  10. 24


    Good grief, I just looked on Amazon UK for the Encyclopedia Of Pieced Quilt Patterns Book for extra star blocks.
    A second hand one is about $270 and a new one is around $777.
    I will have a look around for some online star tut’s.

    • 25


      Absolutely crazy pricing! I’m starting to think they all sold out after our Summer Sampler Series. I hope they print more! I would check your library maybe?

  11. 26

    Jennifer Monroy says

    Hello, I am a novice quilter that currently resides in Amman, Jordan. I recently began reading your blog (as well as a few others) and am loving it! Three years ago a fantastic lady started a quilt group, and that’s how I got started. She has since moved back to the States, and now we (our little quilt group) are all alone with no one to guide us. Thus far, we have never actually cut out half-square triangles…we use Thangles. Is that an acceptable approach, or is this anathema in the profession quilt world? Just curious.



    • 27


      Hi Jennifer – You can definitely use Thangles if that is what you are comfortable with. But you should definitely give the HSTs a try, I promise they are not scary! 🙂

  12. 28

    kristin says

    Faith, I just want to say thank you, thank you, thank you, a million times, thank you. I have been reading about quilting, gathering quilting fabrics and notions and wishing that I was a quilter for a very long time. Today, I am a quilter. I finished my block and I love the results!

  13. 31

    Nancy W. says

    Just now made two of these stars. Really enjoy your tutorials. Thanks for putting these out there.

  14. 32

    CindySue says

    found this tutorial on pinterest!! love this star and looks easy!! i think it would be cute made in red & blue bandana fabric or in pastel ginghams as a baby quilt! thanks for sharing!!

  15. 34

    Carlyn Prince says

    I am a new quilter, just completed my first quilt today (a rag quilt)and I love this block. Thank you.

  16. 35

    Sparkledust says

    Brilliant tutorial, I’ve used these instructions twice now for swaps on Craftster, thank you soo much 🙂

  17. 36

    Hope says

    Hello… Just found you through the GenX Quilters sight…. I love this pattern and it fits the 7 pieces of fabric that i have/ need to work with. Just a question on the center area. I was wondering what size it is when finished? Two of my fabrics are a large print and I would hate to cut it and loose the print. Thanks!!! BTW great tut!

  18. 37

    shelley lewis says

    I love your site. Your tutorials are fabulous and easy to understand. My swap group is making the ribbon star block this month so I’m anxious to see how they all turn out.

  19. 38

    Barb DeGrow says

    I absolutely love this quilt block. In order to use up my stash, I have been making half triangles. I love the simplicity of this block. I am not into difficult! I can hardly wait to put the triangles together. Thanks!

  20. 44

    Jacqui in Australia says

    An excellent tutorial, I was up early 5am….. a friend had sent me a star pattern from your blog. I had a look and found the first one in the series. I’ve just finished it as I couldn’t wait to give it a try :o) It’s wonderful, went together so easily and looks very impressive I must say!
    Maybe I should think about breakfast ….can’t wait to give the others a try.

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