I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson


Appliqueing STAR points ! or, How I get sharp points.

Pls note I taught myself how to do this while I was making The Porch Quilt's starry flowers. It may be common practice, it may be wrong. It's a little finicky, there's no fast easy way to  do this, as far as I can tell. Be patient, don't hurry. Normally I dislike prep work and do simple needleturn applique. But for points, this is worth the effort.
Works for me so I am sharing.

Tools you need: cheap glue stick. Not fancy applique basting glue, just cheap small Elmer's. Buy the smallest size because they dry out fast. I only keep 2 on hand for that reason. Any grocery store will have them. The glue washes out. Purple kind is okay too.

Small iron if you have one, plus your regular iron. My little iron is from Joann's and was very inexpensive, 9.99?

Copy the star onto computer paper, either w/ your printer's copier or by hand. You can layer the paper up to 4 layers and cut out as many multiples as you'll need. Cut one paper star for each applique, you can't reuse them. Freezer paper is not needed.

Put the star fabric face down on your ironing board. Dab some glue on the face side of your paper pattern and set it glue side down on the fabric.

Cut out the fabric. Bigger seam allowances are good, up to 3/8" unless your star is tiny.

Clip the inner corner points. Dab w Fray Check.

Now we'll form the points. You want the left side of each arm to be sewed last so you press them in foist. With the star facing down, that seam  allowance {SA} is on the right of each arm. Press all the right seam allowances into the paper.

Repeat with all the left hand SA, go all around.

Be sure the fabric is crisply ironed around the paper points.

Press with your big iron for sharper creases. Turn off the steam so you don't get burned.

Now take the glue stick and smear a bit on the points. Lift the little tab that has formed, put a bit of glue and pinch it or finger press into the sharpest point you can make.

When you look at the front of the fabric star, paper underneath, there's a little tag of fabric to the left of each point. Leave them for now.

Dab a bit of glue on the paper and position your star. You're not securing the star,with the glue, just positioning it. You can pin it for more stability, or staple it..\We'll leave in the paper for as long as possible because it stabilizes the star arms. [I hate hooking star arms, where the bias has stretched out.]. Try not to sew thru the paper when you're sewing.

Start sewing about an inch past any point. I sew counterclockwise , from right to left. When you reach your first point, stitch all the way to the point, secure the point w/ one or two stitches extra.

start here

You're ready to turn the point.

Take your sharpest scissors and carefully clip the little tag off, even with the left folded edge. See below.

As you come around, you can tuck in just the tiniest few threads at the star's point, especially if it's a fraying type of fabric. Often you won't need to do this though. You can use a toothpick or your scissors' point to put a tiny dab of glue a the point and tuck in any stray frays.
Hold the point with your thumbnail and sew the left arm of the point catching only the folded edge and gently pushing the cut edge behind/ underneath,

Continue around  until you've sewed all but one side of the final two arms. Reach in and tug out the pattern at this point. It's okay to tear it.

If you hold each star point in your left hand and with your right hand jerk the paper sharply, it will pop right out.

Finish the last arm sides and final point.  All done.

The small amounts of glue won't make the applique stiff or hard and will wash out when you launder your finished quilt.

**The same method of folding and gluing points works well without paper for things like leaf tips. Just fold left, right, glue, snip.

Pls let me know if you have questions.




  1. Thanks Lizzy! What a great tute....can't wait to try it....there are a lot of stars in Lizzies Big Flowers quilt.

  2. What a terrific tutorial. I've written quite a few and it's hard to write a good one. Your pictures are so perfect.

    Hope you're having a great week. It's been so nuts here that I'm behind in visiting. The only good thing about that is that I have fun posts to look forward to reading.


  3. LOL, you practiced telling me how to do these, I think. It works pretty darn slick!

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! I will have to try this next time. I always struggle with points.

  5. Love the step by step with pictures. For years, I've fought with myself for not 'being able to follow directions.' Turns out what I always needed was a little visual aid!

    They look awesome!


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