Recently, I wrote about the Round Robin swap the Sunday Sew and Sews are doing. Eight of us created center blocks, 12"-16", to swap with 3 others over the next several months. See that post here: A Feathered Star
My first project to work on belongs to Donna D. She made a 15" Feathered Star block, using the wonderful pattern from Sue Garman, Washington Medallion. The pattern is available for purchase, at Sue's online shop: Washington Medallion. It is a Block of the Month pattern--you can choose to buy all 12 patterns or each one individually. Month 1 is the Feathered Star pattern. Month 2 sets it on point and adds the HST border and floater border.
Here is what I did with Donna's Feathered Star:
First, I set it on point, creating a 21.5" center, including seam allowance. Then I made 56 Half Square Triangles (HST), using 7 different prints and 5 different backgrounds, two of the backgrounds were used twice. The pattern shows how to do that easily, using paper. I simply used a mechanical pencil to draw the sewing line on the back side of the light fabrics. Very easy to see and sew as a pair, creating 8 HSTs from each pair of fabrics.
After the HST were sewn into border strips, it is time to figure out the size of the "floater borders" that make everything fit together perfectly.
Learning how to calculate Floater Borders changed everything for me as a quiltmaker. It is the BEST thing I learned from Sue, but certainly NOT the only thing.
In a perfect world, our piecing would fit precisely. In reality, or at least in MY world, the more seams in a border, the more chance for the border to grow or shrink and not be a perfect fit.
CALCULATING FLOATER BORDERS:
1. Pieced HST borders, including seam allow. 24.75" (these should have been 24.5"--mine grew)
2. Center Block, including seam allowance 21.5"
3. Difference between 1 and 2 3.25"
4. Divide 3 in half 1.625" FINISHED WIDTH of the Floater
5. Add 1/2" seam allowance to 4 2.125" WIDTH to CUT the Floaters
For the Left and Right Floaters, cut 2.125" x 21.5". Sew to the left and right sides of the center.
For the Top and Bottom Floaters, cut 2.125" x 24.75". Sew to the top and bottom of the center, AFTER sewing on the Left and Right Floaters and pressing them toward the Floater.
Now, add the Left and Right HST Borders to the quilt. Press toward the Floater,
Add the Top and Bottom HST Borders to the quilt. Press toward the Floater.
The quilt top is now 24.75" square, ready for whatever comes next.
NOTE: the fabric I used for the Floater was a fat quarter, not long enough to cut 24.75". I could have pieced it to be long enough, but decided to add Cornerstones to the Top and Bottom borders instead. Those squares were cut 2.125" and added to the left and right ends of the Top and Bottom Floater borders.
If you want MORE of this information, I have an even more detailed Tutorial on the process. Find it here: The Magic of Floater Borders
Here is Donna's center block, as I received it:
I hope she likes what I've done with it.