Spools and Stars: 3 Yard Quilt Pattern

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Spool Quilts are a quilter’s favorite pattern to make! This free Spools and Stars Quilt Pattern requires just 3 yards of fabric. Have you made a 3-yard quilt yet? They are easy to make and so popular. If you have three 1-yard pieces of fabric in your stash and are feeling creative, you can make a quilt. This fun quilt uses a spool quilt block to make a 47” x 57” throw quilt pattern with 10” quilt blocks.

This spool quilt pattern is unique because it may appear to have two different blocks that you have to learn… but you only have to learn and sew a single block. When you sew the blocks together, the pretty sawtooth stars will appear!

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 that’s optimized for printing. Find it here. The free Spools and Stars 3 Yard Quilt 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 for you to access anytime you want? Check it out.

For a LImited Time!

3-Yard Kits Featuring Benartex Fabric

Choose your favorite 3-Yard Quilt Pattern to go with the fabric that I picked out!

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How Big is a 3-yard Quilt?

This particular quilt finishes at 47” x 57”, which is a smallish throw-size quilt. You’ll have enough fabric to finish the quilt top, including 20 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 would also make a darling baby quilt with 3 yards of fabric. 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.

I have another spool quilt pattern that uses charm square pre-cuts, but this quilt is different because it has stars too! You can’t see the stars when you make a single block; they are a secondary pattern that appears when you put the blocks together, turning every other block a quarter-turn.

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.

Except for the strips, all of the dies I used for this quilt were in the GO! Qube Mix & Match 10″ Block set.

How to Choose the Right 3 Yards of Fabric

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.

If you follow these instructions for choosing your fabrics, you can’t go wrong, and you probably already have 3 fabrics in your stash that will make a beautiful quilt.

Wouldn’t this quilt pattern make a beautiful quilt in blue and cream fabrics too?

Spools and Stars Free Three Yard Quilt Pattern

This free quilt pattern includes instructions for my Spool Block that makes stars as a secondary pattern. There are 20 easy blocks in this quilt, and each block finishes at 10”.

Including the borders, this finished throw quilt is 47” x 57”. It’s perfect for snuggling on the couch, gifting to a friend, or donating to Quilts of ValorProject Linus, or another worthy organization.

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

Important note: This 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.

Of course, the 3 Yard Quilt Kits in my shop will all work great!

You will need:

  • 3 one-yard cuts of fabric (a main focus fabric, one darker fabric, and one lighter fabric)*
  • a rotary cutter acrylic ruler, and 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:

  • 3 yards of backing fabric (or enough to piece together a 52” x 62” or larger quilt back)
  • a piece of quilt batting at least 52” 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:

  • 20 squares 6” x 6”
  • 20 squares 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”
  • 5 strips 2” x 42” for the outer border
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 6” squares, cut 40 – 5” finished HST triangles with die 55805 (in the 10” Qube set)
  • Instead of cutting 3 1/2” squares, cut 40 – 2 1/2” finished HST triangles with die 55804 (in the 10” Qube set)
  • 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:

  • 40 squares 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”
  • 40 squares 3” x 3”
  • 5 strips 2 1/2” x 42” for the inner border
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 3 1/2” squares, cut 80 – 2 1/2” finished HST triangles with die 55804 (in the 10” Qube set)
  • The 3” squares may be cut with die 55804 (in the 10” Qube set)
  • The border strips may be cut with the 2 1/2” strip cutter die 55017
Fabric layout for 1 yard of lighter fabric.

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

  • 20 squares 6” x 6”
  • 60 squares 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”
Optional Accuquilt cutting instructions:
  • Instead of cutting 6” squares, cut 40 – 5” finished HST triangles with die 55805 (in the 10” Qube set)
  • Instead of cutting 3 1/2” squares, cut 120 – 2 1/2” finished HST triangles with die 55804 (in the 10” Qube set)

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 Spools Quilt Block

Make 40 Small Fabric A/C Half Square Triangles (HST’s)

1. Use the pencil or fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line across the wrong side of all of the 3 1/2” Fabric C squares. This is a cutting line. You will use 20 of the squares now, and the other 40 next to Fabric B/C HSTs. 

Place 20 of the 3 1/2” Fabric C squares right sides together with the 20 – 3 1/2” Fabric A 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 3” square. Repeat to make 40 small HST units.

Make 40 Large Fabric A/C HST’s

Repeat Steps 1-3 above with the 6” Fabric A squares and 6” Fabric C squares. Trim the HST units to 5 1/2”. Make 40 large HST units.

Make 80 Small Fabric B/C HST’s

1. Place the remaining 40 – 3 1/2” Fabric C squares right sides together with the 40 – 3 1/2” 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 3” square. Repeat to make 80.

Make 20 Spool and Star Blocks

Tip: Careful placement of the pieces is important in the next steps!

1. Sew a Fabric A/C HST to a Fabric B/C HST as shown. Make sure your piece looks exactly like the one above!

Repeat to make 40 pieces.

2. Sew a Fabric B/C HST to a Fabric B 3” x 3” square as shown. Make sure your piece looks exactly like the one above!

Repeat to make 40 pieces.

3. Sew two pieces together to make a 4-patch unit as shown.

Repeat to make 40 4-patch units.

4. Sew two 4-patch units together with two large Fabric A/C HST units as shown.

Trim and square up your block to 10 1/2” square, if desired.

Make 20 Spool and Star Quilt Blocks.

Assemble the Diamond in a Square 3 Yard Quilt Top

1. Arrange the 20 quilt blocks on a quilt design wall, table, or bed as shown. There are 5 rows, 4 blocks in each row. Rotate every other block a quarter-turn so that the stars appear.

2. Sew 4 blocks together into a row that has the outer spools pointing inward, as shown above.

Make 3 rows like this.

2. Sew 4 blocks together into a row that has the outer spools pointing outward, as shown above.

Make 2 rows like this.

3. Sew the five quilt block rows together in an alternating pattern.

Measure and Sew the Inner Border

1. Sew all the 2 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.

The expected length of the side border pieces is 50 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 44 1/2”. Measure your quilt and cut two strips for the top and bottom border. Attach the top and bottom border pieces.

Measure and Sew the Outer Border

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

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 47 1/2”. Measure your quilt top with the inner border and cut two strips for the top and bottom edges. If you need extra fabric for the outer border, you should have enough from your Fabric A scraps.

Finishing the Spools and Stars Three Yard Quilt Pattern

1. Cut or piece together a 52” 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. 🙂

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