Variable Star


The variable star is part of an era in history renowned for its anti-slavery campaigning.  Northern women would include it in quilts for charity and have inscriptions in the center block.  Inscriptions would vary from strong anti-slavery statements to poetry:

“Mother! When around your child

You clasp your arms in love,

And when with grateful joy you raise

Your eyes to God above—

Think of the negro mother,

When her child is torn away—

Sold for a little slave—Oh, then,

For that poor mother pray.”

Other names

  • North Star
  • Sawtooth Star
Variable Star


We have provided you with a cutting diagram using rotary cutting.  The numbers show the relevant block for each patch.

The sizes and diagrams provided are for a 5″ block and have 0,25″ seam allowances included.

Variable star diagram
Variable star A
Variable star B
Variable star C
Variable Star D

Making the block

Using the diagram as your guide, you can stitch your patches together in two groups.

Use a 1/4″ seam allowance and press after each seam.

  1. Start with a B block and attach two C’s.
  2. Attach these to block D.
  3. Attach another B and two C’s.  Repeat.
  4. Attach and A at each end.
  5. Repeat step 3 and 4.
  6. Attach another B and two C’s.
  7. Use the diagram and attach the patches from step 6 followed by the long strips on either side.

Remember to always press every seam as you stitch your patches together.

Variable Star product image

The machine embroidery version of this block is now available in our store.

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Lavender greetings!



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