It has been a busy week in our household! Cheer tryouts for the little (she made the squad!), a lot of late nights at the job for my husband and guild meetings for me.
Back to the fun stuff! On my bucket list has been a feathered star quilt. Let me just say, I hate set in seams or Y seams, so I went in search of a paper pieced feathered star pattern. I found one, got all of the little pieces sewn, went to put it together and some of the pieces didn’t match. I checked and double checked to make sure it wasn’t my printer (or me) scaling them wrong. It was odd, 3 of 4 pieces were correct or 1 of 4 pieces were correct. There wasn’t a pattern to the incorrect/correct pieces. Anyway, I had to toss the whole thing.
Then it hit me, why not just make my own! And then to coin a phrase, a star is born!
You can download the free pattern here. Make sure the one inch squares on the pages are exactly one inch when printed!
I have also included a cutting chart for easy reference. I separated two ways on the chart: by piece and by color. Just a note here, the chart will give you pieces that are over sized so there will be some waste but plenty of room for error. I used the chart for my pieces. If you are more comfortable with paper piecing, you can download the templates here. Be aware, if you use the templates there is NO room for error. Consider yourself warned.
You will also need some thin cardboard (think cereal box cardboard), a ruler, a rotary cutter for fabric, and a rotary cutter for paper (gasp! yes, i have one that I just use to cut paper).
Here are all my pieces cut out.
I’m going to walk you through some of the steps that can be confusing. Let’s start with the N piece.
Paper piecing is sewn backwards so to speak we start on the back of the paper and we sew in the order on the front of the paper. N one is point of the star, which for mine, is purple. Begin by lining up the piece at the bottom left hand corner and pin it.
This is what it looks like on the other side. See how the fabric covers the entire N1 area?
Now, place your cardboard right at the line between N1 and N2. Bend the paper back over the cardboard and crease.
Use your ruler to cut 1/4 inch away from the crease. Tada! You just created your seam allowance!
Flip the piece back over. You can barely make out the lines of the triangle in the corner of the piece because its on the front of the paper. We are going to add this piece.
I have highlighted the corner triangle lines in green for explanation purposes. When you add your next piece, it needs to mirror the piece its going to be. See how the hypotenuse (the un-highlighted side) is touching the hypotenuse on the fabric triangle and it mirrors? Line up the edge of the fabric triangle with the edge of the purple fabric and pin.
Now the sewing! No quarter-inch foot needed here! I’m using an open toe foot. Flip the whole thing over, make sure your pin isn’t going to be sewn over, drop your needle down exactly at the intersection, then drop your foot. It’s important to drop the needle first so you can move the piece around as needed.
Couple points here:
-Shorten your stitch length. I usually set it to a 1.2.
-Some people recommend a larger needle like a denim needle but I just use regular sized piecing needle. Both work well.
-Back stitch at both the beginning and the end of the line
Sew ON THE LINE until you reach the next intersection. Don’t forget to back-stitch!
Clip your threads. I’m not sure how I missed taking a picture of this step but its easy. Flip your piece to the back where the fabric is and flip the fabric triangle open. Use a hot dry iron, give it a good press.
This is what it will look like on the paper side. See how it covers the whole corner area! Don’t worry about the extra fabric around the edges, we will trim that later.
Continue the process all the way up the paper. Just repeat the steps over and over! It may help for you to color code your pieces just so you remember which are back ground and which are your feathers. The first piece is the hardest. Once you get the hang of it, its easy and you get super accurate results!
It always helps to have a nice bright light so you can see through your paper for reference.
Second background triangle sewn.
Remember how I said to mirror the pieces? I wanted to show you what the other triangle “mirrored” looks like. Again, I’ve outlined the next triangle on the front of the paper in green. See how its mirrored? The hypotenuse is facing out on the green triangle and the fabric triangle? Remember, after you sew on the line, the piece flips up and must cover the whole area outlined in green.
Alright, this is the whole piece put together. It doesn’t look like much yet but just wait.
Take your ruler and line up the 1/4″ line on the DARK outline. The edge of the ruler should be right on the LIGHT outline. Trim the extra with your PAPER rotary cuter. Ignore my nails. Yes I bite them. Yes I tried everything in the book to quit. Don’t judge me.
This is the front after you have trimmed all 4 sides.
And the back after trimming! Check out those points!
All of the pieces are pieced exactly the same way. Follow the number order.
After you have all the pieces sewn, its time to put them together! The layout is below. Start in sections. KFD, GMB, HLE, and IJC are pieced the same. Sew K to F. Then sew D to KF. Do the same for the other sections. Sew Q to T, O to U, N to R, and P to S.
At this point, you can sew it together just like a regular old nine patch. Top row, middle row, bottom row. Then sew the rows together.
Here is the back!
18″ finished – 18.5″ unfinished block
Good luck!!! I’d love to see if you make any!! Use #sococharmsfeatheredstar and comment to let me know! As a bonus, here is a coloring page for you to start your creativity!