Creative articles about quilting

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 6: Mill and Stars

We are continuing with the sixth block of the Old Block Quilt-Along! Today’s block is called “Mill and Stars”:

This block is also known as “Periwinkle”, “Hummingbird”, “Arkansas Snowflake” orMichigan’s Pontiac Star”. Most of the blocks mentioned differ only in the way they are sewn – they look the same.

This is actually a block that you see quite often. I liked the many possibilities created by the clever arrangement of the colors. The example shown in the picture above is a traditional version and is attributed to Nancy Cabot. However, it seems to have been mentioned for the first time in 1897 in the “Ladies Art Company Catalogue”. There it appeared under the name “Four Point”. 

In the middle of this block perhaps you can see the windmill, which is flanked by the four stars?

Cheryl Arkinson presented a really lovely, modern quilt with this pattern on her blog: Modern Mills and Stars from Perfectly Pretty Patchwork

It will be exciting to see what you do with this block!

We are sewing the “Mill and Stars” patchwork block

The “Mill and Stars” patchwork block measures 10.5″.

It is easy to make using foundation paper piecing, but I have also provided you with a PDF with pattern templates.

Download the patchwork templates

For cutting out, I have created three PDF documents to download:

  • The first is a coloring sheet. This allows you to try out colors and designs for this block to see what they look like.
  • On the second PDF you will find the templates for the foundation paper piecing
  • and on the third you will find the pattern templates.

On the PDFs with the FPP templates and the pattern templates, I have put a control square with a side length of 1 inch so that you can check whether your printout of the templates is the right size. It is important to set your print options to “Actual size”.

Here are the downloads:

“Mill and Stars” coloring sheet

“Mill and Stars” FPP templates

“Mill and Stars” pattern templates

Cutting out the pattern pieces

If you are working with the pattern templates, you will need to cut out the following number of pattern pieces:

A: 16 pieces

B: 16 pieces

C: 16 pieces

I have not provided any information abowedut which should be background or patterned fabric because it depends on how you arrange the colors on this block.

Sewing the “Mill and Stars” patchwork block

It is up to you whether you prefer to work with the pattern templates or with the FPP.

The picture below shows what mine looked like initially. I gathered all my scraps and then, using the templates, I was able to determine whether the scraps were big enough for each piece. I worked with the FPP templates. First I pinned all the middle pieces onto the paper template. I then sewed on the side pieces. Finally, when all the templates were sewn, I trimmed them.

I then laid out the trimmed FPP templates according to the pattern.

First, sew the diagonals between two triangles together. To make sure that the seams lined up with each other, I secured them by inserting pins at a 90° angle. This allows you to easily – but slowly – sew over them.

The next step is to close the longer diagonals. 

To make the three converging seam lines meet up precisely, I also used pins again here.

You now have four squares. Incidentally, these sections are also shown as a single block in some books and instructions.

The next step is to join the two block pieces in each row.

Finally, sew the two rows together. 

That wasn’t difficult, was it? Blocks don’t always have to be complex, with a thousand pieces… I can’t wait to see what you do with this block!

New here?

Have you only just discovered the quilt-along? No problem! You can join at any time. Registration is not required, and you can win a BERNINA 570 QE! All the posts will remain permanently available at the following link: Old Block Quilt-Along – overview of all the posts

In the first post, which was the invitation to participate in the quilt-along, you will find the important initial information about our joint project:

Old Block Quilt-Along – who’s in?

You can find the rest of the blocks from the quilt-along that have already been published here:

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 1: “Bride’s Bouquet”

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 2: “Quilter’s Delight”

 Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 3: “Bird’s Nest”

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 4: “Cross and Star”

Old Block Quilt-Along, Part 5: “Morning Star”

That was quite an easy task today, wasn’t it? I hope you still had fun and we’ll see you again for the next block!

Enjoy your sewing,



Related content you may be interested in

Comments of this post

4 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Required fields are marked *

  • karen brown

    Thank you, I am enjoying making all these lovely blocks and knowing their names.

  • Janet Nelson

    I am very frustrated distinguishing between each piece on #5. The size for patterns are so much larger than then listed small size block on a 8×10 page  example.  I still have not been able to tell where to put A:s and B’s. Email me if  I just confused you more.

    • ramonawirth

      Dear Janet,

      Destinguishing between A and B is indeed tricky. I found the correct placement by cutting out the pattern, hold up the FPP paper against a light source and then align the thick lines of the pattern with the FPP. This way, I was able to mark where the pieces have to go. Hope this helps!

Dear BERNINA Blog readers,

if you want to publish pictures via the comment function, please log in to the blog first. Click here to sign in.

You haven't registered for the BERNINA blog yet? Click here to create your free account.

Thank you very much

Your BERNINA Blog Team