The Patchwork Diaries

The Patchwork Diaries

We go on a no-sew patchwork star adventure with our columnist Aine Foley of Lismore Quilt Co.

This is a ‘no sew’ zone. Wonderful effects can be achieved by simply folding fabric into triangles. If you don’t have any fabric handy, try using sweet wrappers – a great excuse to finish the box of Roses! Believe me, I’ve done it.

This particular folded star is called a Somerset Star – I hope you give it a go!

Cut background fabric 10” square and mark diagonal and cross lines in pencil (it’ll be covered).

Cut fabric star points 1.5” x 2.5”. You’ll need a minimum of three fabric colours for the star points – four points for row 1: eight points each for rows 2 and 3: sixteen points for row 4. Fold scant quarter inch edge on the long side.

Fold corner down

Fold second corner down

Place star point into middle of background and align with marks

Place four points so they touch and background isn’t visible.

Tack down centre points so they’re stitched together and attached to the background. Use same colour thread so the stitches are as invisible as possible. Then tack the outside of the points onto the background close to the raw edges of the triangles.

Round 2 – Place the first four points equal distance from the centre and pin in place.

Place the remaining four points and pin.

The points can be placed by eye, or if you wish you can measure the distance from the centre. You should see a star appearing in the centre. Tack down the individual star points with a few small stitches through the background with a matching thread.

The thread can travel from point to point behind the fabric. Then tack the raw edges to the background.

Round 3 – Make sure the points are covering the tacking stitches of the previous round. At some point, the circle gets so big that it’ll be hard to cover the raw edges of the previous round with eight points. Then you’ll need to use sixteen points. You can place eight of the sixteen points further in than the other eight alternatively.

When the star is finished, measure the distance from the centre of the star to the edge of the star (stay within the raw edges) with a compass.

Use that compass measurement to mark a circle on a piece of fabric. Stay-stitch (machine stitch with a small stitch on the drawn circle line) and cut out inside the circle, leaving a seam allowance. Clip the seam allowance (don’t clip into the stitching) and fold the edge in.

Applique the circle over the star to cover the raw edges.

These circles can be made bigger to make cushion covers, table centres etc. Or why not go smaller and make an insert for your Christmas cards!


Aine Foley has been quilting for more than 20 years. She has completed the City and Guilds Certificate in Patchwork and Design, and in 2013 she established the Lismore Quilt Co. She runs a range of quilting and patchwork classes for all levels from her purpose-built studio, where you will also find everything you need – fabrics, wadding and notions – to complete your quilts. She has a particular interest in quilt history and finds her inspiration in antique quilts.