diagram of Stretched Star quilt block
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Stretched Star – Little Bit Different 2023 BOM

Let’s hope the clouds from April Showers part long enough to give us a glimpse of twinkling stars, because that is the theme for this month’s block. Back in March, I played with the classic churn dash quilt block, and this month we are drawing inspiration from the heavens for our Stretched Star. The Little Bit Different block-of-the-month program gives you a collection of 6″ x 9″ rectangular blocks, rather than the traditional squares you generally see in quilts.

rectangular version of the classic Friendship Star pattern

Rectangles present a design challenge, because we are working with units that are tall and skinny. This month, I want to share some tips for making half-rectangle triangles. I’ve been a longtime fan of HRTs since I fell in love with the AnglePlay templates about ten years ago. You can read about my Meteor pattern that features HRTs in this blog post. But, special templates can be hard to find, so I applied the concepts to my new block idea and made it work with regular rulers.

Stretched Star Instructions

Choose a light/medium blue for the background and a bright yellow for the star.

Cut the following:

Four (4) blue rectangles at 2 ½” x 3 ½” and one (1) yellow rectangle at 2 ½” x 3 ½”.

Cut two rectangles of each color at 4” x 5”.

Piece half-rectangle units from the 4” x 5” pieces as follows:

Keep fabrics right side up! Cut rectangles on the diagonal to create uphill and downhill triangles.  

diagram showing rectangles with a diagonal line

You will need two triangles of each color and direction.

Rotate the cut pieces so you have groups of triangles.

a row of triangles facing left and right

Lay a yellow triangle on top of a blue triangle, right sides together, linig up the diagonal edge. You will have two “peaks” as you sew. Always pair the uphills together, and the downhills together.

triangles in place for sewing HRTs

Make 4 HRTs, 2 each uphill/downhill.

Press the seam open and trim to the required size: 2 ½” x 3 ½”.   ** Hint – place the corners of your ruler on the seam line, you will be slightly “off-grain” when trimming

Place the blue rectangles in the corners, and arrange the yellow triangles so they touch the yellow rectangle in the center to form a friendship star. (see pictures).

diagram of Stretched Star quilt block

Piece the block in three rows like a nine patch, and trim the finished block to 6 ½” x 9 ½”.

Stars, Multiplied

Are you saving all the Little Bit Different blocks to make a sampler quilt? I get so excited each month that I can’t stop making blocks! What is a girl to do but design more quilts? So I present to you a new pattern, called Clusters. Using the same method to make larger HRTs we can put groups of Stretched Star blocks around larger stars for a sparkling modern quilt that plays with scale.

Clusters quilt lap size

The Clusters patterns gives you an option of three sizes: lap, twin and queen. The pattern is available for 50% off during the month of April. Purchase your copy today.

Thanks so much for sewing along with me on this adventure where we are doing things a Little Bit Different! If you’d like to speed things up and use rectangular blocks in a modern sampler, I have a special surprise planned. Leave a comment and I will share a sneak peek with you!

To see a first quarter recap of the Little Bit Different Block of the Month program, watch this video:

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Longarm Quilter, Pattern Designer, Teacher



  1. Modern quilts are my favorite. I am starting to get interested in art quilts or landscape quilts. I’m having fun doing this BOM – Little Bit Different . I’ve never done a sampler before, but I’m saving my rectangular blocks.

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