Sew a Variable Star Quilt Block: Free Pattern

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Learn to sew a Variable Star Quilt Block! This free pattern for the classic variable star patchwork block uses a shortcut method you’ll love. The points of this star are made up of flying geese units, so I will show you how to make 4 flying geese units at one time using just 5 squares of fabric. The rest of the block is made of squares, so it’s quick to finish.

You may notice that this tutorial is similar to the free tutorial for my Flying Geese Quilt Block. That’s because both blocks have 4 flying geese!

This free quilt block pattern shares how to sew a variable block that finishes at 12”. This particular variable star block uses 4 different fabrics because it’s part of my Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Quilt (see more info below). Of course it can be sewn in a hundred different variations.

You can use as little as 2 different fabrics like I did in this little block. See how I made it and then added more flying geese units to make a star in a star.

I have also turned variable stars in stars into a big quilt! Don’t miss my free Merry Stars Quilt Pattern.

These easy instructions will show you how to sew one 12” Variable Star Quilt block.

Download the VARIABLE STAR block pattern as a free printable PDF file.

Enter your email address below to download the free variable star quilt block pattern (which is pages 11-12 of the Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Quilt Pattern).

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There are 4 Variable Star blocks in our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong Quilt, so the cutting instructions in the PDF are for 4 blocks. The instructions found in this blog post below are for only one block. Of course, you can easily adapt the technique and sew as many blocks as you like!

Instructions for sewing a 12” (finished size) Patchwork Variable Star Block

Finished block size: 12’’ x 12’’ (it is 12 1/2’’ x 12 1/2’’ before you sew it in a quilt).

You will need:

  • 4 different colors or prints of fabric (I used light peach, medium coral, deep coral, and navy blue)
  • a fabric marking pen or pencil
  • a rotary cutter acrylic ruler, and mat
  • sewing machine
  • thread
  • ironing board and iron


Navy Blue:

  • cut 4 squares 3 7/8” x 7/8”

Medium Coral:

  • cut 1 square 7 1/4” x 7 1/4”

Deep Coral

  • cut 1 square 6 1/2” x 6 1/2”

Light Peach (or other background fabric):

  • cut 4 squares 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”


Use a scant 1/4’’ seam allowance and a medium stitch length such as 2-2.5.

1. Draw a diagonal line on the back of four navy 3 7/8’’ squares.

2. Place two of the navy squares right sides together on a 7 1/4’’ square, aligned with opposite corners. The small squares will overlap and the drawn lines should make a single diagonal line across the large square.

3. Sew a scant 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on either side. Cut the piece apart along the line.

  1. Fold back the smaller triangles and press. Place another one of the smaller squares on each piece, aligned with the remaining corner as shown. Stitch 1/4’’ away from the drawn line on either side.

5. Cut apart the pieces along the line. Fold back the triangles and press to make 4 flying geese units. Trim the flying geese units to 3 1/2’’ x 6 1/2’’.

6. Arrange the 4 flying geese units together with 1 deep coral fabric square and 4 peach squares as shown.

7. Use a 1/4” seam allowance to sew the pieces together in 3 rows. Sew the rows together to make the Variable Star Block.

Tip: I have used my 12 1/2” square ruler to square up every block in this quiltalong quilt so far and I love it!

If you are sewing our Kitchen Sink Block of the Month Quiltalong Quilt, you’ll need to make 4 Variable Star Blocks. Make sure you enter your email address in the field above to get the free PDF download that is pages 9-10 of the pattern.

This is Block #7 in our Kitchen Sink Quiltalong

Get ready to sew all your favorite quilt blocks this year! This is the year that we are going to sew everything but the kitchen sink in our Kitchen Sink 2022 Quiltalong.

This bold graphic quilt is perfect for learning new quilt making skills that build on one another, or for putting skills you already have into a big beautiful quilt.

Tips: As you work block by block on your kitchen sink quilt, save your scraps because you will be able to use them for future blocks.

These awesome scrapbooking bins are perfect for keeping your finished blocks safe until it’s time to sew them together into a quilt top.

Here are the 10 free quilt block patterns in the Kitchen Sink Quiltalong:

Don’t miss all my other free quilt patterns, too!


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. 🙂