Little 3"-square Sawtooth Star blocks shine on a patriotic table topper. Learn how to make them using a traditional piecing method. Or, if you prefer, use the foundation-piecing pattern.
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Designer: Jo Morton


  • 1⁄4 yard dark blue print (blocks)
  • 2--1⁄4-yard pieces assorted cream prints (blocks)
  • 3--9×22" pieces (fat eighths) assorted red prints (blocks)
  • 1⁄3 yard dark red print (block, binding)
  • 1⁄4 yard tan print (sashing)
  • 1⁄8 yard blue print (sashing)
  • 1⁄2 yard blue stripe (border)
  • 1⁄8 yard black print (border)
  • 1 yard backing fabric
  • 34" square batting

Finished quilt: 28" square

Finished block: 3" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Designer Jo Morton used a single-fold binding of 1-1⁄8"-wide strips. If you wish to use a double-fold binding, increase the dark red print amount to 1⁄2 yard and cut 2-1⁄2"-wide strips.

From dark blue print, cut:

  • 64--1-5⁄8" squares

From cream print No. 1, cut:

  • 7--2-3⁄4" squares
  • 7--2" squares
  • 28--1-1⁄4" squares

From cream print No. 2, cut:

  • 9--2-3⁄4" squares
  • 9--2" squares
  • 36--1-1⁄4" squares

From each assorted red print, cut:

  • 1--5-3⁄4" square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X for 4 setting triangles total
  • 1--3-1⁄2" setting square
  • 2--3-1⁄4" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 corner triangles total

From dark red print, cut:

  • 3--1-1⁄8×42" binding strips
  • 1--5-3⁄4" square, cutting it diagonally twice in an X for 4 setting triangles total
  • 1--3-1⁄2" setting square
  • 2--3-1⁄4" squares, cutting each in half diagonally for 4 corner triangles total

From tan print, cut:

  • 12--2×9" sashing rectangles

From blue print, cut:

  • 9--2" sashing squares

From blue stripe, cut:

  • 4--3-1⁄2×22" border strips

From black print, cut:

  • 4--3-1⁄2" squares

Assemble Flying Geese Units

For precise seams in small blocks such as these, some quilters prefer paper piecing instead of the traditional method. If you would like to paper-piece the Flying Geese units in this quilt, click on "Download this Project" above for foundation pattern.

1.    Use a pencil to draw a diagonal line on wrong side of each dark blue print 1-5⁄8" square.

2.    Referring to Diagram 1, align two marked dark blue print squares with opposite corners of a cream print No. 1--2-3⁄4" square. Sew a scant 1⁄4" from drawn lines on both sides of lines. Cut apart on drawn lines to make two triangle units (Diagram 2). Press seams toward small triangles.


3.    Referring to Diagram 3, align a marked dark blue print square with cream print corner of a triangle unit. Sew a scant 1⁄4" from drawn line on both sides of line. Cut apart on drawn line (Diagram 4). Press seams toward small triangles to make two Flying Geese No. 1 units. Repeat with remaining triangle unit to make two additional Flying Geese No. 1 units. Each Flying Geese No. 1 unit should be 2×1-1⁄4" including seam allowances.


4.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 with remaining cream print No. 1--2-3⁄4" squares to make 28 Flying Geese No. 1 units total.

5.    Repeat steps 2 and 3 with cream print No. 2--2-3⁄4" squares to make 36 Flying Geese No. 2 units.

Assemble Blocks

1.    Referring to Diagram 5, lay out four Flying Geese No. 1 units, four cream print No. 1--1-1⁄4" squares, and one cream print No. 1--2" square in three rows.


2.    Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward squares in each row. Join rows to make a Sawtooth Star block A. The block should be 3-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

3.    To reduce bulk, clip through both layers of seam allowances up to seam lines 1⁄4" on each side of seam intersections (clips will be 1⁄2" apart). Press Flying Geese seam allowances toward cream print No. 1 squares. Press clipped intersections open to create a tiny Four-Patch on the block's wrong side (Diagram 6).


4.    Repeat steps 1–3 to make seven total of Sawtooth Star block A.

5.    Using Flying Geese No. 2 units and cream print No. 2--1-1⁄4" and 2" squares, repeat steps 1–3 to make nine total of Sawtooth Star block B (Diagram 7).


Assemble Quilt Center

1.    Referring to Diagram 8, lay out four assorted Sawtooth Star blocks and one setting square and four setting triangles from the same red or dark red print in three diagonal rows. Sew together pieces in each row; press seams toward setting square and triangles. Join rows. Add four matching red or dark red print corner triangles to make a block unit. Trim block unit to 9" square, leaving a 1⁄4" seam allowance on all edges.


2.    Referring to Assemble Blocks, Step 3, clip seam intersections on block unit. Press block seam allowances toward red or dark red print setting pieces; press clipped intersections open.

3.    Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make four block units total.

4.    Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out block units, tan print sashing rectangles, and blue print sashing squares in five rows. Sew together pieces in each row. Press seams toward sashing rectangles. Join rows to make quilt center. Press seams toward sashing rows. The quilt center should be 22" square including seam allowances.


Add Border

1.    Sew blue stripe border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Press seams toward border strips.

2.    Sew black print 3-1⁄2" squares to ends of remaining border strips to make two border units. Press seams toward squares. Join border units to remaining edges of quilt center to complete quilt top. Press seams toward border units.

Finish Quilt

1.    Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste.

2.    Quilt as desired. Machine-quilter Jo Richards stitched in the ditch around the star points and block edges (Quilting Diagram). She quilted grid lines in the block centers and border squares, a star in the setting squares, and parallel lines following the stripes in the border.

3.    Bind with dark red print binding strips using the single-fold method.