Folded Star Potholder | A Tutorial

Folded Star, Origami Star, Amish Star, Somerset Star. There are many names for these fun folded star blocks. One thing we can all agree upon: they’re cute and make great gifts! So, let’s make a Folded Star Potholder together!

A note before we begin: There are several ways to construct these folded star blocks. I’m going to show you the way that I learned, which was by finishing the vintage blocks in the photo below. A lady at our guild brought in her mother’s fabric stash after her mom had passed away and encouraged us to take what we wanted. I found unfinished folded star blocks in the pile and loved them immediately. Although this block has been around for a long time, you’ll notice that by updating our fabric choices, it becomes a great kitchen accessory for the modern home.

Vintage Folded Star blocks I finished and turned into trivets
A modern folded star potholder

Prefer video? Watch the tutorial instead!

What you need:

  • (1) 7.25″ circle of fabric cut from muslin or another scrap (used as star foundation and will not be seen, see step 1 for cutting out your circle)
  • (1) 8″ square backing fabric
  • (4) 4″ squares for center of star
  • (8) 5″ squares for middle of star
  • (8) 5″ squares for outside of star
  • (1) 8″ square of insulbrite (thermal batting)
  • (1) 8″ square of cotton batting
  • 1 yard of bias binding

The How To:

  1. Find a circular object between 7-7.5″ in diameter to use as your template, and trace out a circle of muslin or scrap fabric. This is our foundation fabric and will not be seen in the final project. Cut out your circle.

2. Fold your circle in half and press. Fold in half again to create quarters and press. These lines will be your foundation when building your folded star. Set aside.

3. Prep all the star points: fold a 4″ square in half away from you and press. Fold up the two corners closest to you towards the center to create a triangle. All of the raw edges of the fabric should all be on the long end of the triangle. Press. Repeat with all remaining 4″ and 5″ squares.

4. Start with the 4″ squares for the center of the star. Using the lines your pressed into your muslin scrap as your guide, line up all four triangles, points towards the center and pin in place.

5. Sew all the way around the triangles with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance.

6. Line up the second layer of your star, first lining up four triangles of color 2 so they are in a direct line above the color 1 triangles. You’re aiming for 0.5-0.75″ away from the center point. Make sure that they are all the same distance from the center. Pin in place, then stitch down 1/4″ away.

7. Add the remaining (4) color 2 triangles, making sure they are the same distance from the center as the others. With these four, the point of the triangle should match up with the seam between two triangles of color 1. Pin in place, and then stitch down.

8. Repeat steps 6-7 for the color 3 triangles. With these, however, I find it easier to stitch them down at the machine with the muslin circle facing up. Aim for 1/8″ seam allowance away from the edge of the muslin.

9. Trim Away the excess fabric that surpasses the edge of the muslin, then zig-zag all the way around with a wide zig zag to secure all the layers together.

10. Time to tack down the points of the star. You can choose to do this with your machine or by hand. If sewing with the machine, layer your insulbrite, batting, and backing and quilt through all of the layers with your walking foot.

To tack by hand, start with bringing your needle up to the front center of the star, catch the edge of one of the center triangles, and bring your needle back down through the center to create a tacking stitch.

11. Repeat this for all of the center points, then continue towards the outer star, securing all of the color 2 and color 3 points as well. When completed, the back of your muslin should show a spiral motion of stitches.

12. Sandwich your potholder: start with the backing, right side down. Then add your batting, your insulbrite, and finally, your folded star. This will be a thick quilt sandwich!

Stitch all the way around the star, catching all of the layers, with about an 1/8″ seam allowance. Use your walking foot and go slowly.

13. Trim all the way around your folded star, then, with the back of the potholder on top, zig-zag all of the layers together at your machine. This is an optional step, but it makes binding the potholder much easier.

14. Add a tacking stitch to the center of the star to secure all the layers together. I like to do this because without it, the potholder has a tendency to want to bow up.

15. Bind your potholder using the bias binding. You can do this at your machine, but I like to do it by hand, using chunky stitches that go through all of the layers of the potholder.

And there you go! A beautiful, functional, modern folded star potholder! These would make lovely housewarming gifts, Christmas gifts, and great home decor! Looking for more tutorials? Check them all out here!

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