19 June 2007

Feathered Star

I promised a photo of my Feathered Star quilt, which took me ten years (or so) to make. Here's my disclaimer about the photograph before I recount the story of the quilt:
it is actually a queen size, square quilt with wide blue borders. Due to
1. the difficulty of photographing a quilt this size, and
2. my lack of skill with Photoshop,
the photo has been cropped after I had a nasty run-in with the Magnetic Magic Wand. For these reasons, the quilt looks wonky and the borders look as if they are different widths. Sigh. My technological deficiencies will always let me down. Trust me - the quilt is square and looks much better in real life.

Anyway, here's the story.

I fell in love with Feathered Star blocks many moons ago after buying Marsha McCloskey's first book about Feathered Stars (1987). I always thought they would be too hard for me, but decided to try to make a block (yes, a single block) by hand piecing. I chose the Radiant Star block from that book. It is a 15-inch block. I loved my first block so much, I thought I'd make some more. As you can see, I hand pieced nine blocks.

Then came a quandry. Most of the blocks I saw in quilts were laid end to end and I felt that the star effect was lost with that layout. I pondered for years about how to set my blocks until I finally decided to sash the blocks. I then had to work out the mathematics for the sashing pieces and that took me a while. Then I pieced the sashing and the blocks.

I pieced the white and then the blue borders but they were awfully wavy, so I unpicked them all. Remember, this was all hand pieced. I re-measured, re-cut and re-stitched.

I toyed with the idea of hand quilting it and even basted the quilt. Then I decided there was no way I would ever finish quilting it, so I unbasted it and took it to a local professional quilter, Joanne Knott, who quilted it brilliantly for me. You can't see the quilting in this photo, but it is excellent. Finally I put the binding on (in 2005). It still doesn't have a label.

I am still in love with Feathered Stars and want to make some more (maybe not in a quilt this large!) And yes, I will hand piece again.


  1. Oh wow Erica, that is so worth waiting 10 years for! If you love feathered start you need to look at the AQS book Fathered Start New Quilts from Old Favourites ISBN 1 -57432-817 -4

  2. Wow! Hand pieced and all -- it's really beautiful. You did a fabulous job on choosing the style of sashing -- it really adds to the quilt!

  3. Stunning quilt, Erica! I have only had one attempt at a feathered star - years before I had the skills to complete it, so it never happened!
    Thanks for the link! I've linked you back (sorry it took my a little while!)

  4. It's gorgeous, Erica! I love it and think you're very clever.

  5. Erica

    I love your feathered star. Its something I have been too much of a chicken to attempt.. I have been known to chop a point or ten off!
    Congrats on sucha lovely quilt..


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