This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Feathered Star

Time to learn something new!  

Feathered Star blocks are complex and difficult to make.  Typically there will be many small pieces, and extreme precision is necessary.  They aren't for inexperienced quilters (nor for the faint of heart.)  I'm not getting any younger, and I've been quilting seriously for almost 15 years.  (I made my first quilts in the mid-70's when the Bicentennial fostered a quilting revival.)

Thanks to Auntie Google, I found a terrific tutorial that guided me through the process:
I read and reread this several times, printed the diagram and made notes, and then selected fabrics.  Now, here's the truth:  I was not completely confident that this would go well, so I picked fabrics that I do not particularly like (color, pattern, etc.) in case this turned out to be a Bad Experience.  Best not to risk my favorites, you know!  During the process of cutting and constructing, I made several emergency trips back upstairs to the computer to study parts of  the tutorial again.  Spatial tasks are difficult for me, and this is definitely a block that is hard to make-- 121 pieces in all.  

Here it is!  Marsha McCloskey's 'Radiant Star.'

My original decision to make this block is based on some anxiety about the upcoming Round Robin (see previous post, right before the hawk photographs.)  What if I couldn't bear to hand over the Rooster medallion?  One sees quite a few Feathered Star medallions (possibly because the quilter could not face up to making more than one.)

This took me the best part of a week.  Of necessity, the work goes slowly, with a lot of pressing and precision sewing.  I modified the original pattern, of course--I'm still me, after all.  I got better as I went along.  
I added a small dot of aqua to the center because I needed to expand the color palette.  (And as I mentioned, I don't actually care for these colors and fabrics.)  
Okay, full disclosure....this is the NEAT part of my studio--the design wall.  Choosing fabrics usually means emptying various drawers and shelves and creating chaos.  

I will be adding a narrow 'frame' around the feathered star block, to bring it to the agreed-upon 18" size.
Here is the Rooster medallion.  Obviously, the two centers are very different--color palettes are very disparate, and the companion fabrics for the Rooster are prints with a Provencal feel while the companion fabrics for the Star are batiks and hand-dyes.
Which would you choose?  Vote in the Comments, please. 


  1. I absolutely would not give up that rooster (if it is question of relinquishing it, as you seem to imply). The feathered star is beautiful, even though you don't care for the color palette. So go with that. Certainly the amount of work and expertise you put into it makes it a very worthy candidate.

    1. Well, I would still *have* the creative control of what comes next. That's the hard part of this challenge--handing my center over to someone else........!

    2. Oh, P.S. Each of us gets the quilt top back in the end, after 4 to 5 successive quilters have added a 'round' (another border) to the growing quilt top.


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