18″ Constellation Star Pillow Tutorial

This is a variation on the startooth star block pattern. They are really fun to make and make a really nice gift!

Gather your materials and Cut the fabric:

  • 4 coordinating fabrics for the star – about 5 ” inches wide – you will cut 8- 5″ squares for each pillow
  • background fabric – you will cut 4 – 5″ squares and 4 – 4 1/2″ squares for each pillow, and then 2- 1 1/2 x 36″ inch strips to border the star
  • a little less than 1/2 yard of fabric for the back of the pillow
  • 20″ inch square of warm and natural cotton batting
  • thread, sewing machine, scissors, rotary cutter, walking foot

Step 1 Make Half Square Triangles

The first step after cutting, is to make half square triangles (HST) with the 5″ star and background fabric squares. 4 of them will be sewn to the background fabric square and 4 of them will be sewn with your star fabrics.

First draw a diagonal line on the back side of the lighter fabric square for each HST set. You then put these squares together with the right sides together and wrong sides facing up. You will be sewing on the wrong side of the fabric 1/4″ inch away from the diagonal line you drew.

You may want to lay out the star first to make sure the inside star fabrics can be laud out the way you want. I did not do that, but will next time. I still like how it turned out, but it could have been better!

There is no need to lift up the presser foot between squares, just put the next up to sew and keep sewing. This is called chain stitching. Then cut along the diagonal line, open and iron flat – you just made 8 HST!

Trim the each HST to 4 1/2″ squares.

Step 3 – Lay out the Constellation Star block

You should now have a total of 16 4 1/2″ squares- the plain background squares should make up the 4 corners of the block and the coordinating patterned squares should make up the middle, and the star points. Try to not let any of the same fabrics touch each other, and you may want to adjust some of the HST blocks to get it how you want.

You will have 4 extra squares which you can save for another project or make a mini pillow:

Place the squares on top of each other in order so that you sew them all the way you’ve laid them out.

Now sew them together. The most efficient way I know is to utilize chain stitching and just keep running them through the machine sewing squares of the first row, then second row, third, and then 4th. Then complete the first row, second, etc.

It helps to nest the edges together making one side lie on way and the other side the other as shown:

After it’s sewn the seams should look like this so they are lined up perfectly.

Finally sew the first and second rows together, followed by the third and fourth rows. Then sew the second and third rows completing the star block. It may help to keep a picture nearby so you can be sure you are sewing them in the right order!

Open and iron the block out flat.

Sew the strips to the outside of the block, making a frame. The finished size should be 18.5″ at this point.

Step 4 – Quilt the Pillow top

Smooth out the batting square and pin the sawtooth star block to it. The batting should be larger than the block since it may move some during the quilting process. Then using a walking foot ,quilt the pillow however you like.

I sewed wavy lines along the seams of the rows first to keep everything in place, and then somewhat evenly spaced lines between each square.

Trim the batting so the front piece is all the same size.

I really like it, but if I did it again, I would have redone a couple of the middle blocks to get a slightly different look.

Step 5 – Turn it into a pillow

Cut the pillow backing fabric into 18.5 x 14 ” pieces. Iron one of the 18.5″ sides dow 1/4″ and again down 1″ on both pieces. Then sew in place. These will form the opening in the envelope closure of the pillow.

Set back pieces face down on top of the quilted sawtooth star block so that the sewn edges are overlapping by about 4 inches. Trim the bottoms and sides so that it is a square ready to be sewn all the way around right sides together. Trim the corners.

Step 5 – Finish

Turn the pillow right side out, put in a pillow form, and you are done! Enjoy your new festive pillow!

Finished pillow plus little pillow


I'm a mom of 8, I homeschool and do all the homemaking stuff! I love the outdoors, hiking and creating.

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