Nordic Mini Quilt Along, Row 1

Welcome to the Nordic Mini Quilt Along, Row 1!  I appreciate everyone’s response to my query about participating in a quilt along.  This will be a little casual in style, and evolving as it goes along.  At the moment, I have the rows planned out but only two of them are finished. So it’s a little bit mystery and a little bit mini!  I’ll be giving instructions for at least one row each week, with a total of 4 rows.  The final quilt will definitely be mini at 14 1/2″ square!

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

For the entire mini-quilt top, you will need 1/3 yard of white fabric, 1/4 yard of red fabric, and 1/4 yard of red/white print fabric.  You can also make this scrappy with an assortment of reds and whites.  A fat quarter will do for the backing.

You can find links for the other rows below:

We’re starting out with my favorite row which is the Nordic Star.  It’s fairly simple to make, but because the components are so small it will take a little bit of patience.  I know you can do it!

A note about pressing:  It goes against my religion, but I suggest pressing most (if not all) of your seams open for this block (see my post on pressing seams for more information).  Pressing seams open is advantageous for such a small block with narrow/small pieces.  Your seams will lay flatter and reduce bulk.  Shorten your stitch length when pressing seams open (I use 1.8).

Cutting Instructions for EACH Nordic Star Block.  There are a total of 3 stars:

  • Red Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares, (1) 3/4″ square, (1) 1″ x 5″ rectangle
  • Red Print Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares
  • White Fabric:  (4) 2″ squares, (4) 1″ x 1 1/2″ rectangle, (4) 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangle, (1) 1″ x 5″ rectangle.

Nordic Star Cutting Instructions for Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

1.  Make half-square triangle (hst) units.  Draw a diagonal line through half of the 2″ squares.  With right sides together, pair them as follows:  red/white, red/red-print, white/red-print .  Stitch 1/4″ on each side of drawn line.  Cut apart on drawn line and press seams open.  Trim to 1 1/2″ square.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

2.  Make corner units.  Stitch the red 1″ x 5″ rectangle to the white 1″ x 5″ rectangle.  Press open or towards red.  Sub-cut into 1″ wide segments.

corner unit 2

Join these units to the white 1″ x 1 1/2″ rectangles.

corner unit 3 plus

3.  Make the star corners.  Arrange the hst’s and corner units as shown in the photo below:

corner combined

Press seams open.  The resulting unit should measure 2 1/2″.

corner assembled

4.  Assemble block.  Arrange the star corners, the white 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles and the red 3/4″ square as shown below:

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

Stitch the units together and press open.  Your star should measure 4 3/4″ square.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

5.  Create the first row.  Make 3 stars.  Join them together with two sashing strips that measure 1 1/8″ x 4 3/4″.  The row should measure 14 1/2″ long.

Nordic Mini QAL by Julie Cefalu @ The Crafty Quilter

I have a bonus for you.  I made this block bigger for those of you who aren’t ready to try such small piecing.

Large Nordic Star @ The Crafty Quilter

I took a picture of all of them together so you can see the size difference:

Nordic Stars, mini and large @ The Crafty QuilterBelow are the cutting instructions for a 13″ (unfinished) Nordic Star.  Assembly is the same, but you can press your seams to the side instead of open!  When you make the corner units (step 2), you will sub-cut your strip into 2″ units.  The hst’s need to be trimmed to 3 1/2″.

  • Red Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares, (1) 1″ square, (1) 2″ x 9″ rectangle
  • Red Print Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares
  • White Fabric:  (4) 4″ squares, (4) 2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles, (4) 1″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles, (1) 2″ x 9″ rectangle.

Are you curious to see what I’ll do with this larger star block?  I’ll be showing pictures as I go along on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there (thecraftyquilter) and use the hashtag #nordicminiqal to post your own pictures.

Have a great weekend!


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  1. I will be making some patriotic star blocks for a charity that I sew for. The blocks will be unfinished 12 1/2″ & I was wondering if you could give cutting dimensions for a 12 1/2″ block. I love this little star block.

  2. THANK U Bless u for ur site that posted the nordic star block (so beautiful ez) with pattern instructions AVAILABLE immediately. i was surfing sites all am disappointed other sites just forwarded to purchase but its was right there to use immediately.i have large fabric stash so was thrilled start right now,loving it n i’ve only been quilting 1year, had to write again love it esp. in 2colors contrast amazing i’m excited n this got my mind off feeling down today w all the rain n onto making for someone THX ss

  3. FINALLY a site that had quilting beautiful pattern available immediately!! without having forward to BS & books to buy etc etc. I LOVED this pattern & site so refreshing to get it stat,thx !!!!!

  4. I am a beginner quilter and love this pattern so much. I made a valor quilt out of the larger pattern. Everyone loves it!

  5. I love this block! My local quilt guild is creating a row quilt this year and I would love to include this block. I don’t want to share it without permission. Would it be possible for me to share this block with my guild on a very small (under 25) limited basis? My row is due in April 2017, so hopefully I have contacted you in enough time. I would have to adjust the size slightly to create a 9″ block, but will not do it without your permission. Thank you!

  6. I love your block and plan to make this row immediately. My quilt guild has a mini quilt challenge this year and you just gave me the block I plan to use. Thanks.

  7. Love that I can Print the pattern with instructions, I like reading the tutorials, waste ink and paper on them.

    Thank you

  8. Glad I found you and your Nordic QAL; I hope to make this for my son’s Norwegian in-laws who are coming to the states for Christmas.

  9. Love how you broke it down to show others how you made the quilt squares I’m a beginner at seeing/ quilting and this has helped me alot thank you

    1. Really like the chosen pattern. Perfect instructions. I will be making the squares as soon, as I finish the Poinsettia pillow you posted. Thank you!

  10. Hi, just came across the Nordic block. Is there a way I can still get the pattern. I realize it is late but thought I could make this for a service person using red white and blue in a larger size. It won’t make it in time for Christmas but it’s the thought that counts. Most service people I give to are home bound so these things really cheer them up. Your mini quilt turned out beautiful. Thanks for your help.I really enjoy making these for the elderly.

    1. I love this quilt pattern. Thank you for sharing and with the tutorial too! I’d like to make the larger block but need a 12” finished block size. How do I adjust the measurements to finish at 12 1/2”?

  11. How beautiful! think i will go will larger block… my crippled RA hands could not do justice to the small pcs.

  12. My three Nordic Stars are finished! So cute. The finished mini will be a Christmas gift but will be hard to give away. Thank you for the pattern.

  13. I really enjoy your emails and will get organized to make this Nordic Star mini-quilt. Thanks so much for your interesting emails you send me.
    Happy Thanksgiving
    Sue Wheeler

  14. I just LOVE your mini QAL…I love mini anything…and I have no business starting something new right now…but when has that stopped me!?! I believe I will give this a try. Thanks for your awesome instructions!

  15. I’m already neck-deep in too many projects, and I’m bad at finishing too, but I couldn’t resist making your Nordic Star block. It’s soooo adorable! I’ve got everything cut for the other two star blocks, and hopefully I’ll get them sewn soon too. I posted a link to your QAL in a Facebook group I’m in, so I bet you’ll get some more participants from there as well. Looking forward to your next post!

  16. Thank you for this project…..it will be my first one since we moved. Slowly things are getting put where they should and maybe this week I can take out my sewing machine and play with it. I have been wondering what to start with, and this will be perfect!

  17. why do I not read all the instructions see now when I go back for a through read you have done a bigger block just like me rush in like a bull in a china shop!

  18. I will have a go but a bit teewny weeny for me and is it okay if I change the colours want to use stash ones and red is very lacking in my stash

  19. I’m excited about the quilt along. And I love mini’s. Love your Nordic Star, can’t wait to get started

  20. What a lovely star block, cannot wait to get started, thank goodness I save all my scraps…Thank you for the mini quilt along…..

  21. This is so cute Julie. I absolutely love red and white quilts and I am going to try and squeeze this in my many ongoing projects.
    TFS as always,

  22. Loving these mini stars! I wish I had time right now to do it, but I have some Christmas gifts to get finished first. I will definitely be doing it though, as I love the nordic quilts I’ve seen lately, and love mini’s. I may do it in teal and white though, maybe… We’ll see.

  23. Julie, I love your little Nordic Star, but, I am curious what I am missing, what do we do with the grey fabric??? or is that later.

    1. That’s a great question, Janet. I can see that I wasn’t clear, so I updated the instructions. The yardage I gave is for the entire mini-quilt. The grey fabric will be used towards the end.

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