Carpenter’s Star: 3 Yard Quilt Pattern

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Sew a beautiful Carpenter’s Star Quilt Pattern with just 3 yards of fabric! This free quilt pattern with half-square triangles might become your all-time favorite. 3 Yard Quilts are so popular right now because most quilters have 3 yards of fabric in their stash that are just waiting for the right pattern. Let me show you how to make Carpenter’s Star quilt blocks and sew them into a quilt.

Don’t miss these other 3 Yard Quilt Patterns too:

Or see all my 3 Yard Quilt Patterns!

This blog post has been converted to an optional PDF optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Carpenter Star Pattern is included in the blog post below and is free to read, print, and sew! Just hit CTRL +P on your computer to print. The Optimized for Printing PDF download for $3 is optional. Did you know you can get ALL the Optimized for Printing PDF files organized in a library to access anytime you want? Check it out.

What Size is a 3-yard Quilt?

This particular quilt finishes at 41” x 57”, which is a smallish throw-size quilt. You’ll have enough fabric to finish the quilt top, including 6 large blocks and 2 borders. More fabric is required for the binding and quilt back.

Most 3-yard quilts are throw quilts or lap quilts because they don’t require a lot of fabric. Many of them (like this one) would also make a darling holiday wall hanging. Since this type of quilt isn’t very big, you can finish it quickly and give it as a gift or use it in your home. Because of the size, throw quilts like this one are easy to quilt on a domestic sewing machine.

This particular quilt block is very popular on the internet using the name ‘Carpenter’s Star,’ but very similar blocks have been named Carpenter’s Wheel and Star of Bethlehem. I love the reference to Christmas. I have another Carpenter’s Star Quilt Pattern that uses much larger half square triangles. That one is much faster to sew if you are in a hurry. It’s also great for beginners.

If you love to use your AccuQuilt fabric cutter like I do, I’ll share the optional cutting die numbers to make this pattern Accuquilt-friendly. Using an Accuquilt is optional, but I love it! See all my Accuquilt-friendly quilts. Look under the cutting dimensions below for a list of fabric-cutting dies you may use instead.

Since this quilt block only has 2” finished half square triangles and squares, you can cut the entire block with the value die that comes with the basic AccuQuilt GO! Cutter. Individual dies for these blocks are included in the GO! Qube Mix & Match 8″ Block.

How to Choose the Right 3 Yards of Fabric for a 3 Yard Quilt

All my 3 Yard Quilt Patterns make it really easy to pick your fabric. First, find a beautiful ‘focus fabric’ in your stash or at your local quilt shop. This should be a fabric that really sings to you – or that makes you think of the intended recipient of the quilt.

After you have chosen your focus fabric, choose one coordinating fabric that is lighter and one coordinating fabric that is darker. The lighter fabric may be considered a background fabric. It’s important that it has good contrast with the other two fabrics.

If you follow these instructions for choosing your fabrics, you can’t go wrong, and you probably already have the right yardage in your stash to make a beautiful quilt.

Wouldn’t this quilt pattern make a beautiful quilt in pink or red too?

Carpenter’s Star Free Three Yard Quilt Pattern

This free quilt pattern includes instructions for an easy Carpenter Star Block. There are 6 blocks in this quilt, and each block finishes at 16”.

Including the borders, this finished throw quilt is 41” x 57”. It’s perfect for snuggling on the couch, gifting to a friend, or donating to a worthy organization.

Let’s get creative and sew a beautiful quilt today!

Important note: This free pattern squeezes as much as possible out of each yard of fabric. The width of each piece must have 42” of usable fabric. Most fabric printed in the last 5-10 years will work great because it’s 44” wide, including the selvages so it is 42-43” wide after you cut off the selvage. Please measure the width of your fabric pieces before getting started to make sure and follow the cutting charts below carefully.

You will need:

  • 3 one-yard cuts of fabric (a main focus fabric, one dark fabric, and one light fabric)*
  • a rotary cutter, acrylic ruler, and cutting mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread (I suggest thread matching the lighter fabric)
  • ironing board and iron

*A little bit of extra fabric may be required if you are using an AccuQuilt Go! fabric cutter.

To sew the quilt top into a finished quilt, you will also need:

  • 2 3/4 yards of backing fabric (or enough to piece together a 46” x 62” or larger quilt back)
  • a piece of quilt batting at least 46” x 62”
  • 1/2 yard of fabric for the binding

Cutting:

Fabric layout for 1 yard of focus fabric.

Fabric A is your focus fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 96 squares 2 7/8” x 2 7/8”
  • 24 squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”
  • 5 strips 2” x 42” for the outer border
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 2 7/8” squares, cut 192 – 2” finished HST triangles with die 55712 (in the 8” Qube set) or the value die
  • The 2 1/2 inch squares may be cut with die 55709 (in the 8” Qube set), or the value die
  • The border strips may be cut with the 2” strip cutter die 55025
Fabric layout for 1 yard of darker fabric.

Fabric B is the darker fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 84 squares 2 7/8” x 2 7/8”
  • 5 strips 3 1/2” x 42” for the outer border
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 2 7/8” squares, cut 192 – 2” finished HST triangles with die 55712 (in the 8” Qube set) or the value die
  • The border strips may be cut with the 3 1/2” strip cutter die 55032
Fabric layout for 1 yard of lighter fabric.

Fabric C is the lighter fabric. From this fabric, cut:

  • 108 squares 2 7/8” x 2 7/8”
  • 72 squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 2 7/8” squares, cut 216 – 2” finished HST triangles with die 55712 (in the 8” Qube set) or the value die
  • The 2 1/2” squares may be cut with die 55709 (in the 8” Qube set), or the value die.

Quilt Piecing

Use a 1/4’’ seam allowance and a regular stitch length such as 2 – 2.5.

Tip: It is helpful to use a scant 1/4” seam allowance when sewing half square triangle units. That way, you will have a little extra to trim away and make your pieces perfectly sized.

How to Sew the Carpenter’s Star Quilt Block

Make 72 Fabric A/B Half Square Triangles (HST’s)

1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of 36 of the 2 7/8” Fabric A squares. This is a cutting line.

Place the 36 – 2 7/8” Fabric A squares right sides together with 36 – 2 7/8” Fabric B squares. Pin the squares together.

2. Sew a scant 1/4’’ away from the cutting line on on both sides of the line.

3. Cut each piece in half diagonally along the line. Open and press to make 2 half square triangles (HST units). Trim each HST to 2 1/2” square. Repeat to make 72 Fabric A/B HSTs.

Make 120 Fabric A/C Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of all of the 2 7/8” Fabric C squares. This is a cutting line.

Place the remaining 60 – 2 7/8” Fabric A squares right sides together with 60 – 2 7/8” Fabric C squares. Pin the squares together.

2. Sew a scant 1/4’’ away from the cutting line on on both sides of the line.

3. Cut each piece in half diagonally along the line. Open and press to make 2 HST units. Trim each HST to 2 1/2” square. Repeat to make 120 Fabric A/C HSTs.

Make 96 Fabric B/C Half Square Triangles (HSTs)

1. Place the remaining 48 – 2 7/8” Fabric C squares right sides together with 48 – 2 7/8” Fabric B squares. Pin the squares together.

2. Sew a scant 1/4’’ away from the cutting line on on both sides of the line.

3. Cut each piece in half diagonally along the line. Open and press to make 2 HST units. Trim each HST to 2 1/2” square. Repeat to make 96 Fabric B/C HST units.

Make 6 Carpenter’s Star Blocks

Tips:

  • Careful placement of the pieces is important in the next steps!
  • I found these blocks easier to make if I sewed one-quarter of a block at a time.
  • Organize your HSTs and 2 1/2” squares in piles you can grab from as you sew each quarter-block.

1. Arrange the following 16 pieces as shown above to make one quarter-block:

  • 1 Fabric A square 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”
  • 3 Fabric C squares 2 1/2” x 2 1/2”
  • 3 Fabric A/B HST units
  • 5 Fabric A/C HST units
  • 4 Fabric B/C HST units

Make sure your pieces are arranged exactly like the first image above!

2. Sew the 16 pieces into 4 rows. Then sew the rows into one quarter-block. Repeat to make 24 quarter-blocks.

3. Sew four quarter-blocks together to make to a Carpenter’s Star block.

Repeat to make 6 blocks.

Assemble the Carpenter’s Star 3 Yard Quilt Top

1. Arrange the 6 quilt blocks on a quilt design wall, table, or bed as shown. There are 3 rows, 2 blocks in each row.

2. Sew the rows of blocks together.

3. Sew the rows together.

Measure and Sew the Inner Border

1. Sew 3 of the 3 1/2” strips of the darker fabric (Fabric B) together to make one long strip. You will cut pieces from this to make the inner border side pieces.

The expected length of the side border pieces is 48 1/2”. I highly recommend measuring the quilt top and cutting all border pieces to the correct size. See how to cut the correct size quilt borders. Cut two strips for the side borders. Attach the side border pieces.

2. The expected length of the top and bottom border pieces is 38 1/2”. Measure your quilt and cut two strips for the top and bottom border from the two remaining 3 1/2” x 42” Fabric B strips. Attach the top and bottom border pieces.

Measure and Sew the Outer Border

1. Sew 3 of the 2” Fabric A strips together to make one long strip. You will cut pieces from this to make the outer border side pieces.

The expected length of the side border pieces is 54 1/2”. Measure the quilt top with the inner border and cut two strips for the side edges. Attach the side borders.

2. The expected length of the top and bottom second border pieces is 41 1/2”. Measure your quilt top with the inner border and cut two strips for the top and bottom edges from the two remaining 2” x 42” Fabric A strips. If you need extra fabric for the outer border, you should have enough from your Fabric A scraps.

Finishing the Carpenter’s Star Three Yard Quilt Pattern

1. Cut or piece together a 47” x 62” or larger piece of quilt backing fabric and make a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting, and top.

2. Baste together with fusible batting, pins or basting spray.

3. Quilt as desired. Straight line quilting or cross hatch quilting with your walking foot would be fast and easy.

4. Cut 5 binding strips and bind using your favorite method. This is my favorite quilt binding method.

As always, I love seeing the quilts you make with my free sewing patterns. Please post a picture to Instagram and tag me @sewcanshe so I can take a look!

xoxo,

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂