Thursday, March 13, 2014

5 tips for better fancy folded stars

Hello everyone. I am back again to talk about the fancy folded star first published by Maria Wallin at You can find the German translation here. This technique has stayed with me, and I can't stop making it. I first made a demo for our quilting group, and now we are incorporating it into our 20th patchwork group anniversary quilts. So, I made a fourth fancy folded star from a collection of fabrics that I will be using for that quilt. I photographed some steps that I may have forgotten before to pass on.

1. Use less fabric to make fewer rays. I first made the Fancy Folded Star with eight different fabrics and eight rays. After that, I reduced to six! Reduce to four or five if you want to. It makes it less bulkier and easier to handle.

2. Pick really contrasting fabrics, small print, TOT or solids of different hues or colors. In the beginning, you just sort of pick out fabrics and think they might be contrasting, but pull out your color wheel or use a color that wouldn't normally go with the color scheme. It will make your star pop out. Arrange your fabrics to imagine how they will work to create a star.

Below, the bottom right (with white first) produces a higher contrast. I wanted the contrast, but I achieved this in my very first star. This time, I wanted the turquoise radiating from the middle. I also wanted the larger print on the outside which creates a more modern feel and swirling effect. Sometimes, it is just a complete surprise.

3. Be accurate! A friend of mine said this star was good for people who are accurate and less likely to be precise in their sewing. There is actually very little sewing involved here, so your measurements have to be right. Make sure you measure the distance of your rectangles and is exactly 0,5cm or 1/4" between them in the center where the sewing line will intersect all fabrics. Also, some of us have some wonky rays that are longer than the others - I have this problem too! Why would this happen? On my very first star, I drew the line exactly in the middle (5cm from each side) before I laid it on the foundation and sewed. Even on this star, I drew the line afterwards but was still measuring 5cm from each side when lining up most of the middles. Try it and see the difference!

4. Pull those rays taut or tight but not stretched. There should be no folds or puckers in the fabric but try to to warp the foundation piece. I usually pinned down between folding the rays on just one side. Don't forget to take the pins out when you put the next one in.

And don't forget to push the folded fabric all the way into the crack of the seam and press! You will get a better fold.

5. Make sure your center is evenly lined up! This part is really hard, but do it. Make sure that every pair of fabric bundles butt up against each other when you sew. Do not let it ripple in the middle or fold over. The very last picture below looks like it is lined up, but the pairs are not flush! They are a millimeter (or more) off.


I hope this is a good help for you. If you have a tip about the Fancy Folded Star, please add it in the comments section. We would all like to learn from it.

The ladies from my quilting group brought their new fancy folded stars at our monthly meeting this week to show me what they have created, and I didn't have my camera with me!! They are so creative!! Every single one is so different. they all chose a different way to frame them. I am so excited to show them to you soon...until then...keep sewing and folding!



  1. Der Stern lässt Dich wohl wirklich nicht mehr los, und für mich sind Deine Sterne die schönsten.

  2. Hallo!
    Diese Sterne sind einfach der Hammer! Ich liebe deine Farben! Aber sag mal, ich würde so einen Stern gerne vorne auf eine Buchhülle machen, da sind mir 25 cm zu gross. Kann man das irgendwie umrechnen, ohne Schichten einzubüssen, oder geht verkleinern nur durch reduzieren der Lagen?
    Danke für deine Hilfe!
    Ich hab mir deinen tollen Blog gleich mal als Lesezeichen gesetzt :D

  3. Quoting you, "A friend of mine said this star was good for people who are accurate and less likely to be precise in their sewing."
    Lol that statement contradicts itself and doesn't make a lot of sense, however if you were talking to your phone I can understand why it's like that.


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