Colorado star quilt pattern

Colorado star quilt pattern DEFAULT

I enjoy Foundation Paper Piecing and have over the years made several projects using this technique, including theSpot On Quilt way back in , and more recently the Geese Around the World Doll QuiltPaper Piecing involves the use of a foundation upon which fabric pieces are sewn in a particular order; it is a great technique for accurate seams and sharp points.

I do find Foundation Paper Piecing confusing, and each time I attempt this technique it seems that I need to re-learn the basic steps.  Once I have re-acquainted myself with these steps it again becomes quite procedural and structured.  

It does not come without the occasional error :  Oops no seam allowances! - Unfortunately doing is still the best way to learn (as does reading the instructions before trimming the units).

This block is called the Colorado Star and it is from the book titled 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Starsby Carol Doak.  It's a book I have had in my quilt book library for quite some time and have photocopied foundation papers for numerous blocks, but until now have not sat down to piece any star blocks. 

The book includes a detailed step by step tutorial with photographs, as well as a presentation by Carol Doak demonstrating her paper-piecing technique on CD-ROM.

Some of my own foundation paper piecing tips:
  • Cheap A4 paper is perfect for this task.  I used 70 gsm paper weight.
  • Cut fabric patches larger than necessary to assist with easy placement.
  • Use a 90/14 Needle and shorten stitch length to 18 to 20 stitches per inch.
  • Use a dry iron to press. 
  • Don't remove foundation paper prior to sewing units into a block.

Paper piecing is a little fiddly, time consuming, and so very messy,  but well worth this end result.  Crisp lines and matching seams make for happy stitching!


Colorado Beauty Quilt Block Instruction

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

Skill Level: Beginner

The Colorado Beauty quilt block is a close relation to the Jack in the Box block—the only difference being the sashing between the units and a center square are removed.

The repeated unit is a combination of a Flying Geese and a rectangle with half square triangles. Both are simple to make using basic piecing techniques.

Neither requires any special tools or rulers. (YEAH!)

On this page, you'll learn how to make the block using connectors corners (there is a link to learn how to paper piece the unit, too!)

Colorado Beauty quilt block instructions

The beauty of connector corners (sometimes called 'sew and flip' or 'stitch 'n flip') is that you start out essentially with a fabric foundation that is cut the exact size. It is a part of the block and there as a reference the whole time. Saaaa-Weet!

Towards the bottom of the page are other blocks that use the same units. If you like making a Colorado Beauty, you just might like making those, too!

Let's get started!

Step 1: Choose a technique, size and cut the patches

Colorado Beauty quilt block designColorado Beauty design

Sample Size: 8" finished / 8&;" unfinished

Grid: 4x4

AKA: Colorado Block

Design Type: Pinwheel, 4-patch

The charts below are for two different techniques—blue is if you want to paper piece, mauve is if you choose Connector Corners.

In the paper piecing chart, the patches are cut over-sized to make placement a breeze.

You can print the needed patterns from the chart (see row highlighted in yellow) after choosing the finished block size.

You'll need the most current version of Adobe installed on your computer to download the pattern.

On the Adobe Print Menu page, under 'Page Size and Handling' set 'Custom Scale' to % before printing for accurate results. Click here to see what it looks like on the Print Menu page.

After printing, use the 1" square graphic on the printed pages to confirm they are printed accurately.

In our example, the 'Geese' are dark, but that doesn't mean you can't change the color values around. To make sure that the points show, choose fabrics with enough contrast. 

After printing, use the 1" square on the printed copy to make sure the pattern is the correct size.

For connector corners, patches are cut exactly to size.

Paper Piecing

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Colorado Beauty Quilt Block

~ Paper Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block SizeSub
4” 6” 8”
1 A 4 1&#;" x 2&#;" 2&#;" x 3&#;" 2&#;" x 4&#;" --
2, Sky B 8 2&#;" x 2&#;" 2&#;" x 2&#;" 3&#;" x 3&#;" Symbol for a half square triangle
Goose A 1 3&#;" x 3&#;" 4&#;" x 4&#;" 5&#;" x 5&#;" Symbol for a quarter square triangle
PRINT Jack in the Box units 2"3"4"** --
Unfinished unit measures 2&#;" x 2&#;" 3&#;" x 3&#;" 4&#;" x 4&#;" --
Unfinished Colorado Beauty
quilt block measures
4&#;" x 4&#;" 6&#;" x 6&#;" 8&#;" x 8&#;" --

**Print 2 copies for a total of 4 units.

Connector Corners

Generations Quilt Patterns logo

Cutting Chart for a
Colorado Beauty Quilt Block

~ Connector Corners ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
4” 6” 8”
1, Goose A 8 1&#;" x 2&#;" 2” x 3&#;" 2&#;" x 4&#;"
2, Sky B 16 1&#;" x 1&#;" 2” x 2” 2&#;" x 2&#;"
Unfinished unit
2&#;" x 2&#;" 3&#;" x 3&#;" 4&#;" x 4&#;"”
Unfinished Colorado
Beauty quilt block measures
4&#;" 6&#;" 8&#;"

Connector Corners Technique

On the backside of the sixteen #2/Sky squares draw a diagonal line, dark enough to see but light enough so that it doesn't show through to the front side. I like to use a mechanical pencil because the line is reliably thin.

With RST, align a #2/Sky RST on the righthand side as show below. Make sure the pencil marking bisects the lower right corner and the top center (arrow).

Stitch on the line. I use an anchor cloth (that's the nasty looking thing behind the presser foot with all the thread on it) so that my machine doesn't 'eat' the patches as they are fed into it.

Press flat to set the seam. Then press open so that there are three layers of fabric in the upper right hand corner. Make a total of 8 like this.

Decision Time for Trimmingor not!

At this point you need to decide about those extra fabric layers. If you're hand quilting, it goes without saying that you'll want those extra layers gone-gone-gone! It's not as important if you intend to machine quilt, BUT

those extra layers do add lumpy bulk to your seams.

You can either remove both of them leaving behind a 1/4" SA (top) or remove the extra layer of the #2/Sky (bottom).

If all the layers line up beautifully, then I remove both. If my sewing leaves a bit to be desired (and it happens to all of us at one time or another), I cut away just the one layer. Because the rectangle is cut to the exact size it allows us to fudge just a bit like this, if needed.

The choice is yours. With the Flying Geese units, if you are going to trim, you need to do it now, before the second Sky is added to the goose. Once it's been added it's difficult go back and trim out layers.

To finish the Geese

To four partially pieced units, with RST, layer a #2 on the left side, but this time with the pencil mark intersecting the lower left corner and the center of the top as in the photo below (top).

To finish the pieced rectangles

With RST, align another #2 on the left hand side of remaining four. The diagonal marking intersects the upper left hand corner and the center of the bottom side. Use the photo above (bottom) for reference.

Press as before with the layers of the squares towards the corners.

Trim the extra layer(s) of fabric away just as you did for the first eight squares.

If you removed both of the extra layers, we can 're-press' one seam on the rectangle so that our seams will nest and making matching points easier.

As you look at its back side, we've pressed both SAs to the left. Use the photo below for reference.

With RST, layer a stitched rectangle and goose unit. The SAs on the outside edge of it will nest together. I use pins to hold everything in place for stitching because it's a bit lumpy right now.

Press with the seam allowances towards the goose. (This is where out Besting Pressing Technique is really helpful.)

Repeat for the three remaining pairs.

Use the 'Unfinished unit measures' numbers from the charts to confirm that your patchwork is the correct size.

Step 3: Assemble your Colorado Beauty quilt block

Lay the pieced patches out into rows. The goose points out of the center and is rotated a quarter turn as you move clockwise around your Colorado Beauty quilt block.

Lay out the units in rows

Stitch the patches into rows. Press the SA in the direction of the arrows.

Press in the direction of the arrows to reduce bulk

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. But you must admit!

This Colorado Beauty quilt block is da-bomb!

The finished Colorado Beauty quilt block

Common Variations

There are a few variations on this design, though all still emphasize the center pinwheel.

Seesaw quilt block design


The rectangle has lost a HST.

Click here for instructions.

Land of Lincoln quilt block design

Land of Lincoln

The pieced rectangle is flipped end to end and the goose has lost one of it's sky patches.

Lucky Pieces quilt block design

Lucky Pieces

The Flying Goose is now two HSTs!

Lucky Pieces quilt block design

Jack in the Box

Rectangles (like a sashing) and a center are added to the original Colorado Beauty quilt block.

Click here for instructions.

Share your work to inspire other Quilters!

If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at [email protected]

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!

For even more blocks to make

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips

you can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, read about them HERE.

NOTE: All the attribution and alternate names shared in the Free Quilt Block Patterns Library came from these four resources.

  1. Spectrum printing reviews
  2. Lfo modular
  3. Chakra art
  4. Deluxe inflatable goat
  5. Berkley gulp crab
The Centennial State
Our page has photos of the quilt blocks that were uniquely designed or chosen to represent the state of Colorado
in our Nifty Fifty Quilt Swaps. Colorado is the Centennial State because it became a state one hundred years after the
signing of the Declaration of Independence. Colorado is best known for the beauty of it's snow capped mountains,
waterfalls, it&#;s refreshing sun filled climate and the friendly people. It is the highest state. There are a wide variety of
quilt block patterns for Colorado ranging from snowmen, covered wagons and flowers. Sit back, relax and browse
through the beautiful quilt blocks. Learn more about the state of Colorado  through our informative and
educational  links. Be sure to bookmark our pages and come back often to get inspiration from our unique quilt
blocks.  Please support our pages by using our Google search bar at the bottom of our page and our Amazon
links for any purchases. Thank you for your support!!

I am so thrilled to finally be able to share my Colorado Stars quilt pattern with you!  

(You can find it for sale in my Etsy shop - here.)

 A few years ago I saw a vintage quilt from a flea market, and I knew then and there that I would re-create it for myself.  I fell in love that day, and am completely smitten now that I have it on my own bed!

 I started this quilt at a quilting retreat with some of my Aunts, my Mom and my 10 year old daughter.  It snowed so much that we got snowed-in and had to stay an extra day.  No complaining here!
Red Rainboots Handmade
 My friend Abby Latimer (Latimer Lane quilting) did the long-arm quilting for me in Baptist Fans.  I know they're not the easiest pattern to do, but she did an amazing job.  I was a bit worried that I wasn't going to get it back, when she sent me this photo.  It looks so good on her bed! 

But sure enough, there it was on my doorstep 3 days later.

My pattern has 4 different size options: crib, throw, queen & king. 

So basically the options are endless!  Every time I walk past my bed it makes me incredibly happy.


And I'm already planning another!  Want to make one with me?

 (pattern available in my etsy shop: )

Star quilt pattern colorado


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