Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Hard Stuff

I'm giving a presentation to the Madison Station Quilters next week on "The Hard Stuff".  I'll talk about these more challenging quilts:

Mariner's Compass, made 2001, original pattern

Double Wedding Ring--this is a mini, made 2009, pattern by Virginia Robertson

Feathered Stars: Joyful Journey made 2009, pattern by Sue Garman

The PowerPoint is ready and I did step-outs for blocks needed for my next quilt, Diamond Jubilee.  I'm about a year and a half behind in starting that one so this was a good reason to get started.  Here are the 2 blocks I made this week:

These are 15" finished stars.  One I made by Foundation Paper Piecing with Sue Garman's pattern, Stars for a New Day.  The other I did by regular piecing.  The problem with that:  those feathers are a weird size for regular piecing:  13/16".  Yes, I did all the measurements in sixteenths of an inch--crazy!  At the lecture, I'll have suggestions on how not to make it so hard.

I've also been plugging away at the Barbara Brackman  Stars in a Time Warp QuiltAlong blocks.  Here are the last four weeks:

Barbara Brackman is the queen of quilt block history and has written many books about this wonderful topic.  I have them all and this is a great way to learn more about fabrics and techniques over the centuries.  I am making two 6-inch Sawtooth Stars each week--I now have 68 blocks done.  Each week, Barbara shows some possibilities for how to use our stars and I'm beginning to think about how I want to set them.  Time will tell.  Here are a couple possibilities:
I'm on the lookout for a Printed Center Medallion panel

A lifetime of Applique' though
Now it's time to get those garments started for Houston--that will be here before I know it.

Let's Quilt!



  1. Sounds like it will be a great presentation. Somebody needs to talk about the hard stuff so that it isn't so intimidating! : )
    Love that little DWR. Hope to make one someday.
    You've made some lovely feathered stars!

  2. Such pretty quilts. Yes, those patterns do look hard to construct. Probably too complicated for me, lol. Your Time Warp star blocks all look excellent :)

  3. One way to make piecing those Feathered Stars easier is to use Marsha McCloskey's Feathered Star Ruler. It actually has 1/16 and 1/32 markings on it. I've also used it when resizing other blocks that need those kind of odd measurements.

  4. It should be a good lecture! Love your samples!!

  5. Hi Barbara....I'm very new at quilt-making. I've been trying to make a quilt of squares laid out on the angle similar to the way Feathered Stars above is laid out. I don't know what possessed me to try this! I don't know how to assemble the rows on an angle like that. Also, I can't figure out how to attach the half-triangles along the ends of the rows on the outside of the assembled squares. Can you help me or steer me in the right direction. If you can, I would be so grateful. Your quilts are beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing them. Loretta McGinn

    1. Loretta, the feathered star is traditionally sewn with set-in/partial seams. The pattern I used by Sue Garman, has the 4 corner squares with a seam on two sides of the corners so the block can be assembled in straight rows. I'll send you a picture.