Sunday, March 3, 2024


As this posts, I am teaching at EMPTY SPOOLS SEMINAR  at the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove CA. I am sure we are having an awesome time, more than 20 students with me for 5.5 days learning to make FULL CIRCLE. The pattern is by Wendy Williams and has a lot to teach. I am sure I will have much to report when I get home.

The Sunday Sew and Sews are a group of friends who meet at my home to support and encourage each other with quilting projects. Usually we are working on one project, the Block of the Month from The Quilt Show, for example. It's fun to see how everyone selects fabrics to create a similar but unique quilt. 

This year the Sunday Sew and Sews are making Feathered Star quilts. If you want to sew along with us, look back at the two previous posts about this project: PART 1 and PART 2

This might be a bit backwards, but today I'll talk about cutting the many pieces that are required for the 15" Feathered Star block designed by the late Sue Garman. You shouldn't be surprised that it takes a while to cut all this out:

When I first started my Diamond Jubilee quilt about 12 years ago, I created a chart to keep track of my fabric selections with hand written cutting directions. For students, I had to make a much more legible, organized chart for cutting sizes: 

Paper piecing requires pieces be cut oversized, then they are trimmed to the accurate size after adding each piece to the paper foundation. While it uses more fabric, it is fast and accurate. And why do I have all this fabric if not to use it?!

My blocks have two fabrics that are the same in each block: the center paisley and the off white feathers. The other fabrics change in each block. First, I decide on a background color. Then the color of the feathers. After that, I just figure out the rest: the kites, tips/squares and the fabrics that surround the center octagon.

Cutting Steps:

1. I didn't fussy cut the center squares as it would make little difference but you could:

2. One big QST cut in quarters, 4 squares are the Background fabric: 

3. I like to cut feathers with a Half Square Triangle Ruler, it saves a little fabric and is fast. I cut the green feathers in the exact same way: 

4. 45 Degree diamonds are easy to cut, start with a 45 degree cut on the outside edge of the 2" strip:

5. Cut 2" wide Diamonds using the 2" line on the ruler: 

6. Kites are easy and FUN to cut. Start with four 5" squares cut in half: 

7. Turn the long side of the triangle like this, place the 5" measurement on the left corner, trim away the little triangle on the right side--it is trash unless you save pieces that small:

8. Viola! Now you have 8 Kites:

9. A lot of useful cutting instructions can be found in this book. Each shape has its' own page and both left-handed and right-handed instructions/diagrams are provided:

10. For some of the small pieces, I don't cut them apart until I need them so they don't get lost. On the wrong side I have used a pencil to draw the cutting lines so I'll remember what they are for--these 8 triangles will surround the center, 4 are HST and 4 are QST: 

11. Here are all the pieces cut for another Feathered Star. Now I am ready to sew:

Feathered Stars are marvelous blocks! One can be the center of a great quilt--I have made several quilts with a Feathered Star as the center medallion. Many are amazing in one quilt.  Give it a try. 

Let's quilt.


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