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. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    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. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    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. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Thank you Faith! Beautiful, simple star! I hope I have soon time to make this! It’s already in my notebook.
    x Teje

  4. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Gorgeous, I love it!

  5. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Very nice and MUCH easier than I thought it would be. Thanks!

  6. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Beautiful! Anxious to get sewing!

  7. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    It’s gorgeous! I’m so excited to get started on this one!

  8. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    I’m adding another project to my WIP list. Thank you for all of your work.

  9. Reply

    Anna Avery

    January 18, 2012

    Cannot wait to get home and do this!

  10. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Your star is so pretty!

    I really appreciate all you put into your tuts. Thanks for your inspiration.

  11. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    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!

  12. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    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!

  13. Reply

    Lee @ Freshly Pieced

    January 18, 2012

    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.

  14. Reply

    diane stanley

    January 18, 2012

    love a star block, and this one is beautiful

  15. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Love the block and the tutorial is awesome and easy to follow.Thanks so much.

  16. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Thanks for the inspiration.. love your simple star.

  17. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    very very pretty! pinning!

  18. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    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 🙂

  19. Reply


    January 18, 2012

    Faith your tutorials are always THE BEST – so well written and photographed, you make new blocks seem easy! THANKS!

  20. Reply


    January 19, 2012

    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!!!

  21. Reply


    January 19, 2012

    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.

  22. Reply

    Marian Griffin

    January 19, 2012

    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!

  23. Reply


    January 19, 2012

    This is going to be such a great series of stars. Thanks so much for doing the tutorials. The ribbon star is a great start.

  24. Reply


    January 22, 2012

    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.

    • Reply


      January 22, 2012

      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?

  25. Reply

    Jennifer Monroy

    January 23, 2012

    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.



    • Reply


      January 23, 2012

      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! 🙂

  26. Reply


    January 23, 2012

    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!

  27. Reply


    April 19, 2012

    soooooooooooo excitied to try this .. have the perfect fabric .. thanks for the superb tute.

  28. Reply


    May 3, 2012

    Hi Faith,
    I just made another one of these stars for the do good.Quilting bee – I love the way it came out! I am going to make a complete quilt out of this design – thank you!

  29. Reply

    Nancy W.

    June 25, 2012

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

  30. Reply


    July 7, 2012

    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!!

  31. Reply


    August 1, 2012

    Like this pattern; simple and easy. would work good for quilts of valor.

  32. Reply

    Carlyn Prince

    January 26, 2013

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

  33. Reply


    July 29, 2013

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

  34. Reply


    September 26, 2013

    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!

  35. Reply

    shelley lewis

    March 11, 2014

    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.

  36. Reply

    Barb DeGrow

    April 18, 2014

    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!

  37. Reply


    November 15, 2014

    I was looking for an easy but pretty star block for a block swap. Thanks for the great tutorial!

  38. Reply


    February 11, 2015

    Awesome stars. It is in my list already. Seems so easy. Thanks

  39. Reply


    February 23, 2016

    How do I follow this series?

  40. Reply


    April 17, 2016

    very nice thisd would make a great scrappy quilt!!!

  41. Reply

    Jacqui in Australia

    May 8, 2016

    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.

  42. Reply

    Mary Hurst

    July 23, 2017

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I am a fairly new quilter, and I have struggled with HSTs for a while now. This is the first one I’ve managed to get close to perfect!