Threaded Quilting Studio

kona cotton

Feathered Star QAL: Week Two

Jessie ZeiglerComment
Week Two will be a repeat of Week One: two 16" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

Week Two will be a repeat of Week One: two 16" No Y Seam Feathered Stars

#ClubOneTwoNine! How are you doing!? 

Of all the stars in our sky–I mean quilt top–I think that the 16" No Y Seam Feathered Star is the easiest one to complete. 

To ease us into the QAL and to give those who are starting late an easier time of catching up, Week Two will be about completing the last two 16" NYSFS blocks needed for the twin quilt top. If you did your printing, cutting, and prepping last week, this week should take less time! If you haven't yet made the first two blocks, check out the Week One post for lots of tips!

This is a heads up if you're looking ahead to the other sizes of paper piecing stars: the difficulty increases the smaller the pieces get. If you have the extra fabric available, you may want to pre-cut the pieces a little larger than what I recommend in the pattern, especially if you have trouble getting them aligned. I'll talk about that more in the weeks to come, but wanted to mention it now if you are thinking about working ahead.

The final part of making this block for the QAL is sewing the sashing strips onto certain sides of the blocks as detailed in the pattern. Make sure that between Week One and Week Two, you have the correct number of blocks with the appropriate strips sewn to each.

When sewing the sashing strips into place, I find it most helpful to sew with the back side of the star on top and the sashing strip on bottom, that way you can prevent seams from being turned. And always pin! At first glance, I find that there is usually a slight difference in the length of the strips compared to the length of the blocks. I pin at both ends first, then in the middle, and then I ease the rest of the fabric in by pinning at regular intervals. Sew and then press (I've been pressing these seams open, but do whatever makes you comfortable). 

It has been an absolute joy to see these stars coming to life in your very capable hands! I'll leave you with this photo of Doris Brunnette's blocks (check out the fussy cutting!), but if you'd like to see more, come join us in our Facebook group! For even more photos, check out the #featheredstarqal hashtag on Instagram.

I've also started a Pinterest board to which I will be pinning QAL inspiration!

Made by Doris Brunnette.

Made by Doris Brunnette.

Feathered Star fabric selection

Jessie ZeiglerComment
Here are the fabrics I'm using. They're all Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman (with a wide back from the Doe collection in the background).

Here are the fabrics I'm using. They're all Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman (with a wide back from the Doe collection in the background).

It's about that time! It's time to start selecting fabrics for the upcoming Feathered Star QAL, if you haven't already. Find yardage requirements here.

First and foremost, I have to disclose that I'm a solids lover. I tend to gravitate to solids for many projects, not just feathered stars. I'm not exactly sure why this is... it feels like solid colors are easier for me to work with, but I don't think that's always been the case. Part of it is the longarm quilter in me (read: overquilter) who loves when her stitches SHOW. I know there is an appeal in solids not masking those quilting designs.

Another benefit of working with solids as it relates to paper piecing: you can't accidentally sew the wrong side! This isn't such a drawback to the experienced foundation paper piecer, but when a person it just learning, it's one more consideration that needs to be made.

Okay, phew! Now that I've written some of my reasons for choosing solids, it all seems a little better founded than just selecting solids on a whim.

But my goodness, there have been AMAZING feathered stars made from non-solid fabrics. Which brings me to a major downside of using solids: not using the fantastic, cute-as-can-be printed and designer fabrics that are oh-so easy to come by in our local quilt shops!

Check out this link to other feathered stars. Note to yourself what strikes you as being successful (or less so). Personally, I've found that strong contrast appeals to me. 

Here's a star I made a year an a half ago. It was a slight departure from the No Y Seam Feathered Star, but I think it'll help to illustrate my point.


I attempted to have a "matchy" center. When I had my pieces sewn together, I pretty much hated it. There was not enough contrast and with the center square being the only printed fabric... well, I think it fell flat.

I decided to un-sew the center and tried a solid fabric with more contrast.


In my opinion, the second attempt is WORLDS better. I ended up setting this star on-point to make a wall hanging:

Ooops! I used all solids again. :)

Ooops! I used all solids again. :)

Here is one more example from my checkered feathered star past. (Ha!)


I use this example not in a "what not to do" sense, but in a way of preference. I actually like this block, and it gives me a chance to point out some other things to think about when you're choosing fabric for your feathered stars.


This block has contrast AND it has a "softer" feel to it. The star center, star tips, and capstone squares (my lingo, I don't know if these have proper terms) in teal have great contrast. They really jump out against the background and other star components.

The spines and the "star point" fabric are prints with similar tones to the background fabric. That's what gives it the softer feel.  They are not well defined against each other, which brings me to...

Scale and size:

The spines are in a medium-scale print. The star shown above is an 8" block, so the spines are tiny! Any medium- or large-scale print that gets cut up into a 1.5" square and then cut in half diagonally is not going to retain the overall look of the print. But they can still be fun and pleasing to the eye!  


When studying the block above, I want to draw attention to the fact that two of the print fabrics are directional. Can you spot them? The background print–while it is small in scale–is also directional. Let your eye travel around the perimeter of the block to see how the direction of the tiny triangles in the print change. The other directional print is in the star points. It's a subtle print with series of lines. Generally speaking, when lines are involved, there's a good chance the print is directional. 

As you can see, it wasn't important to me that all the directional prints were going the same way. Just like all the other considerations I've mentioned using fabric, these aren't a list of do's and don'ts, they are things of which to be aware.

Fussy cutting:

I speak with absolutely no authority on fussy cutting. HA! At least I can tell you when I have a blind spot. :) I just know it can be done. At this point in my life, I have no interest in it, but then when I see fussy cutting perfectly executed, I think it's the most amazing thing ever! The centers of these feathered stars make for a great opportunity to showcase a special fabric in a really special way.

My last tip on this subject is to use the Recolor app to test out your fabrics (colors) and contrast before you commit to them IRL. I've written about using the free app here. I still think that it's such a fantastic tool!

Also, if you have purchased the Feathered Star QAL, send me an email or get in touch with me on social media and I will send you the coloring page file for the whole quilt layout! Or you can find the single feathered star coloring pages on either the NYSFS or Fierce Feathered Star pattern listings.

Feathered Star QAL pattern is now available

Jessie ZeiglerComment

It's ready for you! Summer challenge, anyone? :)

We're closer to beginning the Feathered Star QAL (June 25th)!  As I was testing the pattern and getting it ready for you, I fell in love with the fabric combinations! It's one thing to design on the computer and a completely different thing to see a design come to life in person. I love the whole process of designing and quilting, but that is one of the best feelings! 

Fabric Shack is still selling kits of the exact fabrics that I'm using in my quilt. You can check out that deal here. The whole quilt top + binding fabrics for $68?! Yes, please!

Do you own the Fierce Feathered Star pattern? It's the one with large 20" & 36" stars. If you do not have this pattern already, you'll need to buy this bundle for the QAL:

If you have already purchased the Fierce Feathered Star block pattern, all you'll need is this pattern for the actual twin sized quilt top:

I realize that having different options can get confusing, but it was important to me to honor those who had already paid for the Fierce Feathered Star block pattern and not make them pay for it twice.

Email me at if you have any questions about which you should buy if you are interested in quilting along with us! 

Watch this space for more as the QAL unfolds. I'll just say this, too, if you like the pattern but know you won't be able to commit to a 9-week project (I get it!), the patterns give you everything you'll need to QBY (Quilt-By-Yourself). HA! I just made that up, but it's true. :)

Pre- Feathered Star QAL

Jessie ZeiglerComment
Twin size: 76" x 86"

Twin size: 76" x 86"

The Feathered Star QAL is a go! I'll be your host and we'll be starting June 25th. I'll be "assigning" portions of the quilt weekly over the course of 9 weeks, but the pattern will have all pertinent information for finishing your top if you'd like to work ahead or play catch-up! Summertime needs to be flexible like that! 

You will be able to purchase the pattern before the kick-off date but it's being tested right now, so I'll have to keep you updated on that. (UPDATE: PATTERN NOW AVAILABLE!) In the meanwhile, I wanted to give you the fabric requirements if you'd like to start planning and dreaming about the fabric you'll use!

I'm using ALLLLLLLL Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman. They are my fave! I've written the pattern based on my selections. Kits are available with these exact fabrics in the quantities below from Fabric Shack for only $68! Each kit includes fabric for the top & binding, but you could easily add in your backing to your order.

Royal (dark blue): 1.25 yards + .75 yard binding = 2 yards

White: 2.5 yards*

Iron (dark gray): 1.25 yards

Shadow (light gray): 4 yards

Valentine (pink): .5 yard

Canary (yellow): .75 yard

Blue Jay (light blue): 1 yard

Chartreuse (green): 1 yard*

Backing: 2.5 yards of WIDE (108") fabric OR 5.25 yards of regular 42"+ quilting cotton

If you'd like more information and haven't signed up for my mailing list yet, you can do that below! :) I'm so excited to share this journey with you!

*update 6/16/17 I increased these quantities by 1/4 yard each to increase margin for error