Easy Quilt Block Tutorial: The Friendship Star

Easy quilt block tutorial

This is the Friendship Star classic quilt block tutorial! Have you made it before? It’s so easy because it’s just a nine-patch with some half square triangles thrown in. I love a scrappy quilt so I went crazy using mostly prints. I only used a couple solids.

Update: I wrote an updated Friendship Star Quilt Block Pattern that has a downloadable PDF. Plus check out my finished Twin Sized Friendship Star Quilt here!

friendship star block

I made six dark star blocks and six light star blocks. There isn’t very much contrast in the lighter star block but I love it that way. The lighter star blocks fade into the background like morning stars… You can see my finished top at the end of this post.


Choose Joy BOM copy.jpg


The friendship star block is a variation on the 9-patch quilt block that uses half square triangle units in four of the ‘patches.’ My blocks are huge – 18”!

This tutorial also includes instructions for a classic 12” block.

The graphics above also show that you can make your star ‘turn’ in either direction. Keep this in mind when you are piecing your block.


Cutting instructions for an 18’’ block:

  • Color 1 (the star) – cut 1 square 6 1/2” and 2 squares 7”x 7’’

  • Color 2 – cut 4 squares 6 1/2” and 2 squares 7”

Cutting instructions for a 12” block:

  • Color 1 (the star) – cut 1 square 4 1/2” and 2 squares 5”x 5’’

  • Color 2 – cut 4 squares 4 1/2” and 2 squares 5” x 5’’

Place your squares in piles and label them with sticky notes or clip little pieces of paper on them. This is important because you will be making the half square triangle units with the larger squares and you don’t want to mix them up. I labeled mine ‘Whole’ (for the ones that wouldn’t be cut) and ‘HST’ (half square triangles).

1. Making Half Square Triangle Units

There are a few different ways to make half square triangle units. This is my favorite way because it think it is easiest and most accurate. Using your slightly larger squares, place one of each color right sides facing. Then draw a line (any pen will do) diagonally from one corner to another. This is your cutting line, not your sewing line.

Sew 1/4” from each side of the drawn line. Then cut on your line. Easy, huh? If you don’t have a 1/4” foot for your sewing machine, you may want to draw two stitching lines 1/4” from either side of your cutting line to give yourself a guide.

Note: whenever I say 1/4”, I am actually stitching a scant 1/4”. That is just my preference. I would rather sew seams that are a tad smaller and then trim some away when I square my blocks than have my blocks end up too small.


Press your half square triangle units and cut away those little triangle ‘ears’ at the corners.

Trim each HST so to measure either 6 1/2’’ (for an 18’’ finished block) or 4 1/2’’ (for a 12’’ finished block).


2. Stitching the squares and HST units together

The block is shaping up already! Carefully arrange your HST units and whole squares into the star pattern. Double check that you have them the way you want them, and then start sewing. Remember, the star can ‘spin’ either way.


Sew the rows together first.


And then sew your rows together to make your friendship star block.


Repeat the process to sew more blocks and your blocks into rows and your rows into a quilt! My twelve 18” blocks made a 54” x 72” quilt top. I think I’m going to add a 10” border so I’ll have a generous twin size quilt.

As you can see, it’s already so big that I had a hard time photographing it. I love how my dark stars pop out and you really have to look for the lighter ones.

See more of my easy quilt block tutorials on this pinterest board.

Happy sewing!


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