100 Blocks vol. 6: Spinstar

Have you picked up your Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks volume 6 yet? It’s officially on sale now! I hope you enjoyed last week’s blog tour as much as we did. This week, Quiltmaker editors are sharing our designs. Today it’s my turn!

QMMS 120024 COVER 500 shadow4 233x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarDesigning foundation-pieced blocks for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks issues has been a fun challenge for me. In volumes 2–5,  I designed a block for each of the 4 seasons. But what next? Time to pull out my computer and fire up the EQ7.

The first thing I did in EQ was set up a 6″ square to sketch a section of the block. There I sat with a blank slate and no idea which direction to take. Then in the back of my mind I heard, “What if?” Before I was an editor at Quiltmaker, I was an accountant. I frequently used “what if analysis” when plugging numbers into budgets. So, okay. . . “what if” I draw two diagonal lines through the center? “What if” I created spiky triangles on each side? “What if” I draw diagonal lines on opposite corners? Not all that impressive, is it?

sectionoutline 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: Spinstar

6" section

“What if” I join 4 of those 6″ blocks together to make a 12″ block? That’s more interesting.

blockoutline 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: Spinstar

6" sections joined to make 12" block

Now, “what if” I color it? I’m a batik lover and when it comes to color, I lean toward rich jewel tones. Since I was playing “what if”, I decided to go for something completely different. As I played with the colors and values, a variation of a Friendship Star took hold. My final coloring used reds, golds and blues. I searched for the same fabric colors to sew the block, and selected the Legacy line from Timeless Treasures.

QMMS 120024 FOWLER 100 Blocks vol. 6: Spinstar

Spinstar by Eileen Fowler from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, vol. 6

I wasn’t the only one who played. Check out these arrangements of the 6″ sections made by QM block tester Coleen Tolzmann:

Coleen Tolzmann 1 296x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarColeen Tolzmann 2 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarColeen Tolzmann 3 300x291 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarQM block tester Colette DeGroot used some funky stripes, dots and floral prints in her block. Wow! Wouldn’t that make a fun quilt?

Colette DeGroot 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarNow, “what if” this 12″ block was repeated in a quilt? When I dropped the blocks into an EQ layout, additional stars emerged at the block intersections. The diagonal strip in the middle of the 6″ sections looked like sashes. Look at the light blue patches. Do you see them forming a circle around the secondary star? vol6layout 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarNope, I couldn’t make just one block. I went for an entire quilt top. Notice my spiky triangle-square border. (Now if I can just get it quilted before the year is over!)

photo1 e1352837562972 995x1024 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarI searched the galaxy for a name that would fit this block. But my nickname for it, “Spinstar,” stuck. (Not to be confused with “spinster”–that was my Aunt Bertha.)

If you still haven’t picked up your copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6, here’s another chance to win it. And I’ll include a 100 Blocks mug!

Vol6 mug5 300x300 100 Blocks vol. 6: SpinstarTo win, your mission is to leave a comment here by midnight MST tonight (11/15/12) and include the name of a celestial star or constellation. (That would be a star in the sky, not a star in Hollywood.) One random winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Congratulations to Kathy! Her comment #89 was picked at random. A 100 Blocks volume 7 and mug are on the way!


About Eileen Fowler

I am an Associate Editor at Quiltmaker. My quilting hobby, that began over 20 years ago, turned into a career when I was hired by Quiltmaker in 2008. My quilting passion is slowly taking over every nook and cranny in my house. I have a supportive husband who makes it all possible.
This entry was posted in 100 Blocks, Giveaways & Contests and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to 100 Blocks vol. 6: Spinstar

  1. Lovie Ball says:

    First thought is the constellation Leo.

  2. Julie Crooks says:

    What a neat block! Sirius B the Dog Star

  3. Kathy A Lohberger says:

    ***** THE MILKY WAY *****

  4. CelticRose says:

    40 Eridani A! A real star, but it fiction it’s supposedly the home system of the planet Vulcan. ;) /nerd


  5. Margaret Andrews says:

    The North Star as it shines and shows the way, which is what this quilt does. Nice job.

  6. Sandy says:

    I’ve always loved the Dog Star, Sirius.

  7. tammy k. says:

    ursa minor (i think) – isn’t that a small bear? not sure, but the name stuck in my head. love the block and would really like to win a copy of the magazine!

  8. Connie Robertson says:

    Pegasus and andromeda

  9. Laurie P says:

    Hello. I like looking for the big and little dipper in the evening sky. I also like Orion. Cute block, I love the pattern when put together as a quilt. I am a batik lover too. I think it would look wonderful in purples and blues. I may have to make it for my daughter.

  10. Julie A. B. says:


  11. Judy1522 says:

    I love your block made in the Legacy line from Timeless Treasure the colors are gorgeous. My favorite constellation is Ursa Major as it contains the Big Dipper which I loved to search for in the night sky when I was a kid.

  12. Kathy says:

    our posting fascinates me. I just love to see how color changes a pattern’s appearance and what a dfference rotating the blocks makes. P.S. As a baby my first puppy was Sirius – named for the “Dog Star”.

  13. Kathleen Gosbee says:

    What a beautiful quilt and colours.
    How about calling it……
    The God’s Eye.

    Your design trully reflects it.
    All the best.

  14. Gun Adrian says:

    Karlavagnen (sorry, don´t know the english word)
    Gun, Sweden

  15. Rachell R says:

    Wow! Spinstar is one of those that doesn’t look like anything in a single unit, but stunning when put together! I love all the design options and colors, and pointing out all the secondary patterns! just amazing!
    I have always loved Pegasus and the Horse Head Nebula. And Orion.

  16. Sandy A in St. Louis says:

    I love Sirius, the dog star because I love dogs! :)

  17. Carmen Barba says:

    Es un hermoso bloque. Mi estrella favorita

    El sol

  18. Susan Davies says:

    Orion is my favorite, learned to pick it of the sky in scouts.that is amazing what all you can do from one basic pattern. Totally cool!!!!!

  19. Lisa Marie says:

    I’ll say Leo, which is a constellation and also my zodiac symbol and my nephew’s name.

  20. Annaleena says:

    I can recognize big and little dipper. Your block is beautiful and nice colours.

  21. Amy says:

    Orion (well, his belt at the very least)

  22. Judith says:

    Cassiopeia is a favourite. And the Southern Cross.

  23. Kathy MacKie says:

    How about The Big Dipper, thanks for the giveaway.

  24. MarciaW says:

    The Big and Little Dipper – the first constellations that I learned about as a child. This is a wonderful block, especially in the quilt you made. I’m a spinster like your Aunt Bertha. It’s fine to name the block Spin-sters.

  25. Patricia Hersl says:

    Love the Seven Sisters, even if I can never find them.

  26. Holly says:

    The Big Dipper. Love the creative possibilities with the Spinstar block!

  27. Kynomi says:

    What a great block. Ursa Major is shining brightly.

  28. LizA. says:

    Vega — the brightest star in the constellation Lyra.

  29. Deborah Tell says:

    Aurora Borealis. This block really has a sense of movement to it. It changes with section piecing choices.

  30. Karyn says:

    Corona Borealis (The Northern Crown). LOVE the motion on your block!

  31. carol l says:

    The Big Dipper is my favorite. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Carol L

  32. Sandra Timmons says:

    Orion, sometimes subtitled The Hunter, is the one I am choosing. I really like The Hunter the best. Really enjoyed your tutorial on SpinStar. That sure was interesting as well as educational. Thank you for giving all your followers anothe opportunity to win that magazine and, of course, the infamous mug.

    Sandi T.

  33. Pat V. says:

    Orion, which at my latitude is a circumpolar constellation!

  34. Angelia Barger says:

    Pegasus, Orion, Big Dipper, Little Dipper
    Your block is neat love your colors and setting, oh my the testers sure thru out some cool options for setting it different.

  35. Poncie Lewallen says:


  36. Judy says:

    The Universe!!!
    What a beautiful quilt! Great job! Beautiful color combinations!
    Thank you for another chance to win the mag and mug!

  37. PPardue says:

    Galaxia. Beautiful quilt

  38. Florence Kerr says:

    Orion for its brightness!! What a beautiful quilt. So many possibilities with this block.

    Thank you for the chance to win, and good luck to all.

  39. Kathy H says:

    Great block! I love paper piecing, so this really speaks to me. Thanks for all of the layout suggestions. As far as the constellations go, I’m not very good at astronomy, but I always liked the name of the constellation Cassiopeia.

  40. Cindy says:

    Orion. Beautiful block. Thanks for the chance to win.

  41. Marie says:

    How about pulsar?

  42. Rose says:

    I love this block. The posibilities are and the colors are endless. Thank you

  43. Diane says:

    Swan ( Cygnus) Constellation

  44. Janice Hill says:

    Polaris. LOVE your block!

  45. Jody says:

    The Big Dipper

  46. Gwen W says:

    Triangulum seems appropriate!

  47. I just love the spinstar as you could make so many different blocks with the pattern.
    Thanks for all of your tips and patterns.

  48. annamaria says:

    I love the different look with this block..beautiful…libra!

  49. Sandra Gallivan says:

    I am fond of the Aquarius constalation.

  50. Donna says:


  51. grahamplaid says:

    A stunning block and quilt. The center of a 4 block group looks like a star- reminds me of Crux- the Southern Cross. All the possibilities shown are delightful.

  52. Rina Mason says:

    My favorite is Pleiades but when I was working I would always look for Orions belt as I drove home in the winter. I could see it out the drivers window and it was comforting to know that it was there during my 50 mile nightly drive.

  53. I always remember Cassiopeia because it is so fun to say. lol

  54. Janet says:

    Capricorn…love the mug!

  55. Wanda Heath says:

    Big Dipper. I really like your block :)

  56. Brenda Hulsey says:

    Oh how pretty! How about the morning star?

  57. Stephanie O says:


  58. Carolyn French says:

    Thank you for a chance to win!! I too like Orion. :)

  59. Jeanne Calkins says:

    Chamaeleon – What the block could be called since it looks so different with different fabrics.

  60. That is a very pretty and interesting quilt. There are so many ways to turn the block. Thank you for sharing.

  61. Pauline Gudas says:


  62. Dianne Smith says:


  63. Regina says:

    Orion was always my favorite – until my son’s summer camp made their own planetarium and their own constellations with corresponding stories. Now I like the “Golden Cow”

  64. Martha J. says:

    I grew up in the country and star gazing was a favorite pasttime. Always looked for the Big Dipper first.

  65. arlette says:

    Love the block and all the variations you made, it looks spectacular!!!!!, I’m still daydreaming with your prizies :P , and now about the constellation, I’ll say Orion (the name of my doggie, lol)

  66. LizaA says:

    Sirius aka Dog Star

  67. I have always love the big dipper. Thanks for the chance on your wonderful giveaway. I would love a magazine and a mug.

  68. Bonnie H. says:


  69. Lynette G. says:

    RIGEL – the brightest star in Orion! Would love to win a copy and a mug! If not I shall have to purchase the magazine as I am trying to collect all the issues!!

  70. Lee Ann L. says:

    Polaris! (the pole star)

  71. DianeH says:

    Cepheus forms a shape resembling the cap of a clown. I remember learning all about the constellations when I was a Girl Guide leader out on camping trips with the girls.
    Your block and fabrics are wonderful. Fabulous quilt.

  72. Lynn says:

    When I was a child my sisters and brothers and I would always look for the big and small dipper when we were outside or riding in a car after dark. I still find myself looking for it as an adult and every time I find it I remember those long ago years growing up.

  73. Patti says:

    A constellation is Libra, which I put into a quilt once upon a time. Thanks for a chance.

  74. Robyn Brown says:

    Hmmm how about the seven sisters?

  75. Dee says:

    I love your triangle boarder. Pieced boarders are so much more interesting than plain. I also love this block in the brights….Rock on!

  76. Anne Joubert says:

    Crux, or Southern Cross. I chose this one because live in the southern hemisphere.

  77. Eva says:

    That is a beautiful block which can make an awesome quilt, my pick Hercules. Thanks for the giveaway.

  78. Kathy says:

    Ursa Major.

  79. Michele says:

    The little dipper!

  80. Di J says:

    Since I come from the “Land Down Under” I’d have to nominate the Southern Cross for my group of stars. Stunning design, this Spinstar!

  81. Dell says:

    I’ll say Cancer Constellation since I was born in July.

  82. Bernie S says:

    I guess I’d choose Orion. That light blue circle might be a belt.

  83. Pleiades or Seven Sisters! This star cluster is already a quilt block!

  84. Connie Tessier says:

    The only one I can easily find in the sky is Orion. I always look for him when star-gazing.

  85. Leanne says:

    I love this block…and the quilt. It would work in so many different colour combinations. I’ve always loved the Pleiades, which means seven sisters…sounds like there’s another quilt block in there somewhere. Thanks for all the chances to win.

  86. Tamsyn says:

    The Big Dipper.

  87. Barbara Favreau says:

    Holy cow! That quilt is amazing! I’d tell you to name if after Ursa minor….but there is nothing minor about it!!!!!

  88. Dana says:

    Draco the dragon

  89. Donna says:

    Pyxis which means mariner’s compass.

  90. Karlene says:


  91. Gill says:

    Ursa Major!

  92. Hueisei says:

    Sirius :)

  93. Joan says:

    Milky Way!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  94. Joyce Mitchell says:

    Love your block. Have always liked Orion. Thanks for the chance to win.

  95. Sharon Griffith says:

    Polaris, keeping my fingers crossed

  96. Gwendolyn Clark says:


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