Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fierce Feathered Star Flimsy

 A couple weeks ago, I shared my experience testing Jesse from Threaded Quilting's new large feathered star block pattern -- this block is 36" square before any borders are added!  There is also a 20" star included in the pattern and Jesse just posted her second finish using this pattern.

Mine has been staring at me from the design wall waiting for a flimsy finish and with my group's deadline for finished quilts for holiday donations drawing closer, it was time to get stitching.
To elongate the piece, I made flying geese for a top and bottom border.  Happily the measurement of my outer edges was 39" -- so a 3" by 6" (finished) goose unit would be just right.  I used Marti Michell's Flying Geese Ruler to cut my pieces.
I'm going to pause here to make an observation about students who cut triangles with templates versus making oversized HST units and trimming them down to size. The students who use templates generally gets better results overall because they have had to learn to stitch a consistent 1/4" seam so everything fits together.  Those who rely on trimming often don't seem to develop the same accuracy when stitching because they are always correcting with the trimming and that's fine up to a point, but when they get to the aspects of piecing a quilt top where trimming is no longer an option, I often see them struggle to maintain the accuracy they want to achieve.
Just saying . . . .

I spent a couple pleasant hours in my studio piecing and listening to a book, One Wild Bird at a Time by Bernd Heinrich.  It was published this spring and the author shares interesting observations about a variety of American bird species -- right up this bird nerd's alley!!

The pineapple block is my current "leader and ender" vehicle -- only 2 more blocks to go!!
I'm always pleased with the uniformity of my goose units when I use Marti's tool.
That means I don't chop off any tips or points!
Since the number of units needed was an odd number, I added a blue rectangle in the center of each border.  This is also a good strategy when you need to "adjust" sizes to compensate for math issues.
  I could also have made all the geese go in one direction.
Another light border and I was ready for the outer borders using more of the focal print that was the basis of the color scheme.
Here are the stats for my quilt. 
The center block is 36" square. 
I floated the star by adding a 2" (cut) border around all four sides.
The flying geese are 3" by 6" (finished).
There are floating borders above and below the geese borders -- cut 2" again.
The final border is cut 5 1/2".  I cut the side borders along the lengthwise grain of the fabric and the top and bottom borders along the crosswise grain to keep the bird houses upright.
Finished size is 48" by 64",

Next week, my charity quilt making friends will layer it up for quilting.
If you read THIS POST about how much I love to layer quilts, you would have been impressed, yesterday as the group met, I actually spent the entire 2 1/2 hours layering quilts?!? 
I was impressed!

I made my Mom's apple cake and took it along -- figured we could use some comfort food!
It's easy to make and it was well known in her social circles -- we served it after her memorial service and it was so much fun to hear people remark "it's Ruth's apple cake" over and over.
No picture because it was gone before I thought about sharing the recipe.
So here it is!

Apple Cake
Peel and slice/chop up 2 to 3 (tart) apples.
Grease and flour a 9" by 13" baking pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (I use 335 degrees in my convection oven)
Beat together 1 1/3 cup sugar and 3 large eggs.
Add 7/8 cup (7 oz.) cooking (canola or corn) oil
Stir in 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt
Stir 2 cups sliced apples and 1 cup chopped nuts (I like pecans) into the batter.
Spread batter in baking pan -- I sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the top.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
You could also sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar after it cools.
Another variation is a scoop of vanilla ice cream to top a piece of cake with a drizzle of caramel sauce!!

Blessing to everyone for a restful weekend full of smiles and stitching!!



  1. Gee, Mary, what a difference the dark border made as I was scrolling down! And it's always a nice feeling to read when quilts are headed to someone who is need of one. Thank you for your good work.

    1. Thanks, Julie! Making quilts for charity has become an important outlet for me!!

  2. A feathered star is on my list to make someday. The quilt is beautiful. Whoever receives it will be so happy. Blessings, Gretchen

    1. This pattern works well when you decide to give it a try, Gretchen!!

  3. It's on my bucket list likewise. Yours is beautiful. Reads like a yummy cake - so right for fall. Blessings to you, Mary.

    1. Thanks, Angie!! Let me know how you like the cake if you give it a try!

  4. That is an interesting point about templates vs trimming and long-term accuracy. I had not thought of that, but I understand your logic.
    I made a feathered star like yours years ago in my first sampler. Honestly, I do not remember how I did it!

  5. You did a beautiful job with your feathered star. Love how your framed it.

  6. I really need this feathered star pattern. Can you hook me up?

    1. Hi, Darla -- if you click on the words "Jessie from Threaded Quilting" in the first sentence of this post, it will take you to her website/blog and you can purchase this pattern from her!