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Exploding Star

Designed by Darlene Zimmerman



A half yard of fabric will yield 280" of bias binding. A fat quarter will yield 100" of bias binding.

Open the 1/2 yard or fat quarter and lay flat. Lay ruler so that the edges of the ruler touch the top and bottom edge of the piece of fabric.

Make your first cut, move the ruler over so that the straight edge aligns with the cut edge of the fabric.

Continue until all fabric has been cut. Trim the blunt ends of the fabric for perfect alignment when your strips are sewn together.

finished size 49" x 49"

fabric requirements

Fabrics from Robert Kaufman, Imperial Collection, Kyoto colorway
  • Fabrics 1-7: 2/3 yd. each
  • Fabric 8 (star,border, binding): 1-1/3 yd.
  • Backing: 3 yds.
  • Batting: crib or twin


cutting directions

TIP: Before cutting the fabrics, iron with spray starch. A stiffer fabric will minimize fraying and stretching.

assembling the strip sets

STEP 1 Determine the order in which to arrange your colors, working from the center out. Sew the 2-1/2" strips together in that order to make a total of 4 strip sets with the ends off-set from the right by 2". Press the strip sets carefully so they remain straight (not curved). Press the seams all to the bottom strip.

STEP 2 Using the Bias ruler, align the angled end at the bottom of one strip set, and making sure the lines on the ruler match the seam lines of the strip set. Cut a strip the width of the ruler. Continue to cut diagonal strips the width of the ruler.

STEP 3 Create four more strips sets using the same color arrangement, but off-setting the strips from the left side by 2" on each strip. Press toward the top of the strip set. Using the Bias ruler in the same manner as Step 2 above, starting at the left edge, cut diagonal strips from the remaining four strip sets.

STEP 4 Using the strips cut in Step 2 above, create a large triangle/diamond shape by sewing the strips together on the diagonal edge. Remove one diamond from the beginning of the second row and sew, off-setting each row. Remove two diamonds from the beginning of the third row, three diamonds from the fourth row and so on. You will need a total of 12 rows, so use the shorter sections to create the last rows. After sewing, press, and trim the whole unit into a large triangle, making sure you have a square corner at the bottom. Make four triangles as shown.

STEP 5 Using the Step 3 units, in the same manner as above, create four more triangle units facing the other direction as shown.

assembling the quilt

STEP 1 Sew the Step 4 and 5 triangles together on the long edges to make squares, pinning and matching the seams. Press the seam open. Make four squares.

STEP 2 Sew the squares together in two pairs. Sew the pairs together to make a large square. Press all the seams open.

STEP 3 Measure the quilt through the center. Piece the border strips together with diagonal seams pressed open. Trim two borders to the width of the quilt. Sew to the quilt, pressing the seams toward the borders. Repeat for the remaining two sides of the quilt.

finishing the quilt

Layer, baste and quilt as desired. The quilt shown was stitched in the ditch and a small meander was quilted in the border.

Join the binding strips with diagonal seams pressed open. Fold in half, wrong sides together and press to make a double binding. Sew to the quilt with a 1/4" seam, mitering the corners. Trim excess batting and backing, turn to the back side and stitch down by hand with matching thread.

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