First the winner of yesterdays give-away is Deborah
“I made my first quilt with the help of my grandmother when I was a pre-school age child. I took my first quilt class in 2005 and have been hooked ever since.”
Congratulations Deborah, your e-mail is on its way. If you don’t get it post a comment here and we will figure something out.
Feathered Star Lesson 1: Old Fashioned Piecing.
For making feathered star quilt blocks there is probably no better reference than Marsha McCloskey’s book “Feathered Star Quilt Blocks:1”. You can find it at her website www.marshamccloskey.com or I have it in my Amazon Store (see right side bar). I think the best one to learn to make is the 18.5” finished block. It has a lot of pieces but none of them are so tiny that you will get super frustrated.
A couple of things before we start: It’s a good idea for your thread to match your background fabric because the “feathers” are pressed…gasp…OPEN so there is a greater likelihood of your thread showing. Also, I like to use the Quilt-in-a Day Triangle Square Up Ruler to make my feathers. I’ve found that I’m much more accurate doing it this way. The one drawback is that when you press your feathers open you have to get your fingers a little close to the iron…but hey, if you’ve been following my appliqué tutorials you should have tough fingers by now. I did a tutorial on this ruler back in my early blogging days (6 months ago) and you can find it here (you might need to scroll down a bit).
Once I have decided on my fabric choices I cut things out. The triangles and squares are pretty straight forward. For the kites the first thing you do is cut a square the recommended size. Then cut it once across the diagonal. To get the kite shape you line up the diagonal with one edge of your ruler. The point of the diagonal should be the length of the side away from the end of the ruler (4 7/8” in this case). Cut off that little triangle and there’s your kite. Don’t forget you need eight.
For cutting octagons you start with a 6 1/8” x 6 1/8” square. You will need to cut off the corners to form the octagon. I make a mark ¾” along two sides and draw a line. This line will be where you cut to get your octagon.
For cutting the diamond on the end of each star point you need a strip of fabric 1 ½” wide. Cut off one corner off this strip at a 45˚ angle. From this cut edge measure 1 ½” up and line the straight edge up with the ruler 45˚ line as shown. This cut will give you the diamond. Don’t forget you need eight of these too.
To make my feathers I cut a 4” square of both my feather fabric and my background fabric. I mark two diagonal lines and sew ¼” inch on each side of both lines. From here I cut along each diagonal and 2” in from each side. This will give you 8 feather units. To square up the feathers I use my handy dandy ruler to make each unit 1 ½” x 1 ½”. I turn the feather around and cut off my points. To complete just press the seams open. (I have more pictures in this post)
Be as precise as you can with the feather step. It will be worth it later!
Tomorrow we will get started sewing things together.