A Salute to You in that Blue Star Banner

Star 1

Blue Star Banner
Roger E.Overstreet Jr
United States Navy
Desert Storm: The Persian Gulf War

Double Blue Star Banner
Star 3
Charles N. Wohlever
United States Navy
World War II
Ronald L. Jones
United States Army
Vietnam War
Fallen Hero’s Star Banner

Star 2
Eugene V. Jones
United States Army
World War II

I want to take a moment of silence to thank those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom. And also for those who have served in the past and have past away.

*Break for silence*

Now I want to thank all of you who are still serving to keep us free. Without your everyday efforts, we would not to be able to live like we do and for all your sacrifices; again thank you!

Hello every one I am Jennifer Overstreet from Gable House Sewing and I know I am a bit late on delivering this for Veteran’s Day but better late than never. What I have for you today is a personalized blue star banner.  I have seen other quilted blue star banners done up before but I have never seen anyone use photos of their loved ones in them. 

What’s a blue star banner? It is a banner signifying a loved one who has served in the armed forces overseas. The banner started in World War I, but was more heavily used during World War II. Would you believe it was started and adopted right here in my home state of Ohio? To find out more information about it go here to the American Legion Website.

Before we begin I am going to warn that this star is not for a beginner! If you are an ambitious beginner, please seek help from a experienced quilter.

Lets get started!

Blue star ingredience

One Prairie Paisley II Layer cake by Minick and Simpson
1/2 yard of Blue Stars  147391 5
1/2 yard of Cream 147401 3
One package of photo fabric of choice
One Dowel Rod 1/2 inch round

*Fat quarters will work out good for the star too, especially if you are making just one banner

One half yard of medium to thin cording
One package of small tassels
One dose of patients and understanding because stars are typically made from a square base. Not a rectangle!


*Use 1/4 inch inseams unless indicated.


One photo fabric picture printed at 4 in x 6 in. Cut photo 4 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in.
Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions prior to printing.
*Some photo fabric products are dry clean only

photo fabric

For each blue star banner choose one dark blue, one light blue, and one cream 10-inch square from the layer cake.

For the fallen hero banner choose two dark cream color ways with different prints and a light cream or white for the background color.

Materials to cut

  • 4 – 3 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in squares in cream or white
  • Cut material from the attached templates in the printable version
  • You will need two large (6.5) dark blues cut and two small (4.5) dark blues cut from the template
  • You will need two large (6.5) lite blued and two small (4.5) blues from the template
  • You will also need to cute two cream/white from the larger (6.5) and two cream/white from the smaller (4.5) template 

Borders, Backing and Binding

From one of the 1/2 yards cut:

  • 2 – 4 1/2 in x wof for top and bottom border
  • 2 – 2 1/2 in x wof for side borders
  • If using two stars in one banner cut 2 1/2 in x wof strip to be placed in between the two star blocks. This will be for the double star banner.
  • Cut a 2 1/2 in x 14 in strip of fabric for rod holders.
  • Use what is leftover for backing and binding. I typically piece my backing.


Pull out various reds from the layer cake for the red border. Cut the various choices of reds into 2 1/2 inch strips. You should get four strips per 10-inch square.

red 2.5 strips

  • First print and cut out the templates included in the Printer Friendly Version. Don’t fret, this is not a paper-piecing project. I had to go back and revise my original design. The templates are to be used like a clothing pattern. So what you see in my banners is the original design not the revised edition.
  • Once templates are printed and cut out, place templates according to the colors indicated.
  • Make sure the template is faced right up with the right side of fabric placed directly underneath the template.  
  • Using a fabric pencil trace around the templates as many times according to the directions above.
  • From the cream template there are two small dots on each corner of the template. Mark those dots onto the cream material.

Assemboly 10

  • With dots in place on the cream material, place the light blue piece right side down with the bottom edge on the dot. (Note that the picture below is from my first design not the revised template.)
  • Once in place stitch pieces together. 


Next check how straight your pieces turned out. If the light blue piece is not straight on both sides it will throw your whole star off. This blue triangle is the key to making or ruining your star.

Assemboly 5

  • Once you have the cream and the light blue side perfected, line up the bottom of dark blue triangle on the other small dot.
  • Stitch and fold back to check your work.
  • If everything is even and measures out correctly (2- 4 1/2 in x 3 in) and  (2- 6 1/2 in x 3 in) clip the edges or ears.

assemboly 6

Okay that was the toughest part of this whole project! Now you can breath!

Start assembling the rest of this star and banner.


  1. Time to take the 3 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in squares, and the star sides you just created and the photo of your loved one. Sew everything according to the arrows in picture one. Press your seams outward to the darker fabric.
  2. Sew your two remaining edges according to the arrows in picture two.

Assemboly 2

3. Picture three is what your completed block should look like and measure out to be an 8 in x 10 in star. Also don’t forget to square off the block too if needed!
4. In picture four, add the 4 1/2 in x wof to each of the top and bottom sides of the block. Then add the 2 1/2 in x wof to the sides of the block. Again press seams towards the darker fabric.

red boarder

Before adding the red border, you will need to take the red strips and arrange them around the banner edges. Then stitch them together. The result will be 4- 2 1/2 in x wof strips.

Assemboly 3

5. When you have all of your red borders ready stitch the top and bottom on first and press seams towards the red side. Finally stitch on the two remain sides and press seams towards the red sides again.
6.  One completed single blue star banner top.

If you are going to make a double or more star banner, everything stays the same with the exception of adding more length to the sides and adding a 2 1/2 in x wof strip in between each block.

assemboly 4

Now for the finishing touches!

Assemboly 7

  • Grab that 2 1/2 in x 14 in strip of fabric and press on each side 1/4 in towards the fabric.
  • Stitch along the pressed seams.
  • Then cut down into 3 1/2 in strips.

Assemboly 8

  • When you have your backing, quilting and binding done, take two of the 3 1/2 in strips and fold them in half wrong sides together. Place each strip near the top corners of the banner.
  • Slip the rough edges between the binding and backing. Leave the now loop in to be stitch into place.
  • Once you are finished stitching your binding and the loop into place. Hand stitch the bottom of the loop to the backing. Be careful not to get your stitches through to the topside.

Assemboly 9

  • Take the dowel rod and have it cut down to size of the banner.
  • Then place the dowel rod in between the loops
  • Take the cording and stitch into a loop that will fit around the dowel rod and repeat for the other side.
  • Add tassels if desired and you are done.
Star 1

One or a few personalized Blue or Bronze Star Banners

Single star banner measures out to be 16 in wide x 21 in long
Double star banner measures out to be 16 in wide x 34 in long

Thanks all!

And again thank you for all of you who do serve our country.
Also if you have any problems with this star please let me know or see under my tabs on my page of Design Blunders.

Jennifer Overstreet

{Gable House Quilting and Designs}

Square Dance Quilt

Are you the type of quilter who likes to do some mindless sewing and yet still create a great looking quilt? Well then, this is just the project for you!

Layer Cake: American Banner Rose by Minick and Simpson
Layer Cake: Prairie Paisley II by Minick and Simpson
General sewing supplies

Using 1 Layer Cake each of Minick and Simpson’s newest lines, American Banner Rose and Prairie Paisley II, you can create a scrappy quilt in no time. The best part is that you’ll be working with the original Layer Cake size (no additional cutting) and the nice people at Moda have already done the color sorting for you!

Let’s begin:
  • Open up each of the Layer Cakes and look to see where the color division from darks to lights accrues. It’s right there in the middle. Divide each of the 2 sets into darks and lights for a total of 4 piles.

Relax, this is going to be fun!
  • Select one dark and one light swatch. I selected a dark from American Banner Rose and a light from Prairie Paisley II. The beauty of this project is that it allows you to tap into your creativity. Pick any two that you like together. Ideally, you’ll want to pick one that is darker then the other. You’ll see why soon.
  • With the right side facing up on both fabrics, place the two together. Right sides up and stacked on top of each other. Sounds odd already, right? Trust me it will work. It doesn’t matter which color value is on top as long as they are both facing up.
  • Now we’re going to “wacky” cut a grid in the shape of a “tic-tac-toe” board. By wacky, I mean in any size and angle you’d like. The only rule you should consider is not to make the pieces too small or narrow. Below is a picture of my first set of horizontal cuts. I simply placed the rule down on an angle horizontally and gave it a chop. I didn’t have to worry about the perfect little cuts, as so many quilts require. For purposes of illustration, I separated the cuts just a bit. You won’t need to do this when you get rolling.
  • I did the same thing in the vertical direction. You’ll note that there isn’t any pattern to the cut. It’s just “chop, chop” and you’re done.
  • Next, reverse the order of the middle swatches on the outside rows only. It’s very important that you don’t mix-up the positioning of the cuts. Simply “deal” the top card to the bottom of the deck without twisting or turning the swatches. The middle swatch isn’t touched.
  • You’ll now see the positive/negative block you’ve created with 4 easy cuts! Don’t peek yet, underneath is another block waiting to be sewn in the opposite configuration. 4 cuts yielding 2 blocks. Can’t beat that!

Onto sewing:

  • Normally, we’re very concerned with getting our “points” lined up perfectly to create a block. This block throws that idea out the window. Try your best to suspend that hard and fast rule from your quilt brain.
  • First, sew the pieces together horizontally in rows (keeping the order of swatches as they appear). Start at the top left hand corner and work across. With right sides together, sew the swatches together other using a ¼” seam allowance. Remember to make sure each swatch is sewn in the correct order.

Tip: Before sewing the pieces together, line up the top and bottom point to point (sew where my scissors indicate in the photo below). Don’t be concerned with the angle it creates. Just sew that seam with a ¼” allowance straight down vertically.

Row 1:
  • I flipped the top left hand swatch onto the middle one and sewed them together. I know, your gut is telling you that the bottoms are off! Only worry about the sides lining up. Don’t look at the bottom because it will make your quilter’s stomach turn.
  • Now flip the right hand corner over and sew it to the segment you just completed. By lining up just the sides, it appears that you’re sewing the piece at an odd angle. One of the hardest parts of this block is to forge ahead and not worry about the blocks appearance as you’re putting it together. Remember to sew each row across from left to right first. If you try to get fancy and skip ahead, you might be in for big trouble.
  • Pictured below is row 1 sewn together. Yes, the keen-eyed quilter noticed that the right hand bottom shows a small space where swatches 2 and 3 are sewn together. Remember that it’s on an angle, and as a result, these spaces will creep up. When the block is constructed the little space will disappear!
Rows 2 and 3:
  • Following the same rules as above and sew rows 2 and 3 together horizontally.
  • To complete the block, sew the 3 rows together. Start by sewing the top row to the middle. Then the bottom row to the newly sewed piece.

Tip: Again, ensure the points match on the top and the bottom of the rows. The block seams will not line up and that’s fine. It will only enhance the look when it’s done. In the picture below, you’ll see the rows lined up from point to point. Simply sew a ¼” seam to join them.

When you’re done with block 1, block 2 is right there waiting for you to sew.

The 2 blocks completed:

  • When the block was done, I trimmed it to 8.50”. Of course, you can trim it to any size given the random appearance. An 8.50” block will yield an 8.00” block when sewn together into a quilt, which makes the math much easier.

Each Layer Cake has 42 swatches, which will make a total of 84 blocks. A quilt measuring 72” x 72” can be made with 81 blocks. 9 vertically by 9 horizontally. The possibilities are endless. A solid border can be added to increase the size and so on.

Have fun and let your creativity be your guide!
72” x 72” quilt

Glenn Dragone