Feathered Star course with Craft University

My online Feathered Star course with Craft University is now “ON DEMAND”! You can start any time! For my followers on the blog, you can get 20% off by using the coupon code: NOW20

The class project is a 15″ Radiant Feathered Star: my favorite feathered star block and what I think is one of the easiest to piece. The online course covers drafting, precision cutting, and precision piecing.

Since I’m not able to travel to teach anymore, this is your chance to take my all-time favorite workshop.

CraftUpromo

https://www.craftonlineuniversity.com/courses/feathered-star-quilting-techniques-with-marsha-mccloskey?utm_source=linkconnector&utm_medium=affiliate

 

Radiant Blue1

My  Radiant Blue wall quilt is made of 15″ Radiant Star blocks: the same block we make in the online course.

HOW TO FIGURE YARDAGE FOR A QUILT

It happens regularly: a quilter sees one of my patterns and wants to make the quilt in a different size. She writes to me asking that I figure the yardage for her to make a quilt that measures  x” by  x”. This is what I generally send as a reply.

#1. Most quilt fabric is 42″ to 44″ wide. For figuring purposes, you can count on 40″ usable width after shrinkage and cutting off selvages.

#2. Take each shape of each color in your quilt design and determine how many patches are needed.

Example: Each block needs four 2-1/2″ red squares.

There are 20 blocks. 4 x 20 = 80.

Divide the width of the fabric, 40″, by the cut size of the square, 2.5″,  to get the number of squares that can be cut from one strip 2.5″ wide.

40″/2.5 = 16 squares per row.

Divide the total number of squares needed by the number that can be cut from one strip 2.5″ wide, to get the number of rows of squares needed.

80/16 = 5 rows.

Multiply the number of rows by the size of the square to get the number of inches of fabric needed.

5 x 2.5″ = 12.5″

( If you need other shapes from the same fabric, go through the same process and add the inches together.)

To allow for shrinkage, multiply the number of running inches needed by 106%.

12.5″ x 106% = 13.25″

This is almost 3/8 yard (3/8 yard = 13.5″). So 3/8 yard should be enough fabric for eighty 2-1/2″ squares. If you don’t mind having a little extra, buy ½ yard.

#3. Repeat the above for each shape and fabric in your quilt plan. I know it’s a pain, but if you feel the need to buy just the right amount, then all that figuring is what is needed.

This is also why I do not figure yardage for individuals’ quilts — it just takes a long time and there are a lot of variables … and you’re better off knowing how to do it yourself.

(OR you can make scrap quilts and just collect a whole bunch of reds and when you run out of one print, start cutting from another.)

It is, however useful to get a ball park amount of yardage for a quilt. One method I use is to take the amount of yardage needed for the backing of the quilt and multiply it by 1-1/2 to get an approximate amount for the quilt top. So if you need 6 yards for the backing, you’d need somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 yards (plus) for the top. This is good information in case you go through all the calculating and come up with a total of, say, 25 yards. 25 yards is nowhere near the 9 yard ballpark figure, so you treat that as a clue that something went wrong with your figuring. If your calculations gave you a total needed of10-1/2 yards, I would consider that in the “ball park” and have confidence to buy that amount.

And then there’s the old saying: “If a fabric is worth buying, it’s worth having.” So buy a little more that you need to build up your stash.

 

Inches to Yards Chart

This will help you convert your calculations to yardage amounts.

 

4-1/2” = 1/8 yard

9” = ¼ yard

13-1/2” = 3/8 yard

18” = ½ yard

22-1/2” = 5/8 yard

27” = ¾ yard

31-1/2” = 7/8 yard

36” = 1 yard

40-1/2” = 1-1/8” yards

45” = 1-1/4 yards

49-1/2” = 1-3/8 yards

54” = 1-1/2 yards

58-1/2” = 1-5/8 yards

63” = 1-3/4 yards

67-1/2” = 1-7/8 yards

72” = 2 yards

California Star

9"centerCAFS

 

I finished my new California Feathered Star block!  This is the one that I made the scrappy bias-strip set ups for. It is sized for a 9″ finished center. I’m working on a block book of 3″ finished blocks and this will be one of the projects. The 3″ Ohio Star is the same one used in the Winter Star block. I gave detailed instructions for its construction in the Winter Star Tutorial last year.  There is another California Star block that has a 7-1/2″ center (2-1/2″ Ohio Stars)  in my book Feathered Star Quilt Blocks II on page 34. The quilt shown here was one of the patterns in my book On to Square Two (out of print*).

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I also have an old quilt, probably from the 1930s or 1940s, that features one huge California Star. The Ohio Stars in this one finish at 9″so the center is 27″ across. I still haven’t figured out why a California Star has Ohio Stars in it…. maybe Variable Stars would be a better name here. Oh well.

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See Me on The Quilt Show

As you may already know, I appeared as the featured artist with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims on The Quilt Show in episode #1203 and talked about my Winter Star pattern. If you didn’t have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you’ll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in honor of International Quilting Weekend March 18-20. To find my show go to:
There is also a contest with over $11,000 in prizes featuring a Grand Prize of a BERNINA 570QE. It’s a fun weekend and quilters look forward to it every year.
 http://bit.ly/IQW-2016

Making Scrappy Feather Squares

Today I’m BETA testing my new Bias Square-Plus ruler. What better way to put a ruler through its paces than to cut the pieces for a new Feathered Star block! I’m making a large Feathered Star in red and white. I wanted it to have scrappy feather squares. To get maximum variety of prints and still use the Bias-Strip Piecing technique, I cut 8-1/2″ (the size of the new ruler– how easy is that?) beginning squares from 7 different light reds and 7 different dark reds.

BSP squares

I cut them all into 2″-wide bias strips. Choosing one strip pair from each combination, I stitched the strips together (these are just the longest strip pairs -there are a LOT more strips). Every seam line gives a different fabric combination. Fun.

For further information on Bias-Strip Piecing, see the step-by-step directions in the Winter Star Tutorial.

Scrappy Bias Strips

My block has 2 different sizes of feather squares: 1-5/8″ and 1-9/16″. One is only 1/16″ larger than the other. To keep the sizes separate, I cut all the larger squares first and put them in a marked plastic bag for safe keeping.

Scrappy Bias Squares

Next are the 1-9/16″ squares, which also have a plastic bag.

BSP-red and white

The new Bias Square-Plus ruler is 1/2″ larger than the old 8″ Bias Square from Martingale, has dashed lines for the 1/8″ dimensions, and markings at the edges and down the bias line for 1/16ths. The original Bias Square rulers were designed in the 1980s by Nancy J. Martin for That Patchwork Place, but went out of print last year. Nancy and I developed the bias-strip piecing technique together, and I LOVED the 8″ Bias Square. It was (and is) one of my favorite rulers for cutting squares. I couldn’t stand the thought of not having it available anymore. To get rights to the design and the Bias Square name, Nancy obtained permission from Martingale (formerly That Patchwork Place) and granted it to me. One has to be careful of copyrights. It will be the fifth ruler produced by my small company, Feathered Star Productions, and will be available later this Spring (2016). The changes made to the design make it even more useful.

 

Drafting Baby Blocks

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My friend, Loretta, is teaching a sampler class. The subject of this week’s lesson is Stars and Baby Blocks made with 60 degree diamonds. For years, my go-to person for 60 degree diamonds and triangle designs has been Sara Nephew. If you google her, you’ll see all sorts of rulers, books and quilt designs using hexagons and related shapes.

A great aid for designing with these shapes is Isometric Graph Paper. Again, a quick Google search will show you sites where this triangular grid paper can be printed. It can also be found in some stores. In Eugene, I would look at an art supply store or the University of Oregon book store.Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 1.47.16 PM

You can draft a hexagon with regular graph paper. The graph paper I use has 8 squares to the inch and has a heavy line at the 1″ increments. You can draft this on unlined paper as well.

  1. Choose a dimension for the finished side of the 60 degree diamond. I chose 2″ and using that setting on my compass, drew a circle with a 2″ radius. Then I drew a midline through the circle dividing it in half. It helped that when I drew the circle, the compass point was placed at the intersection of the heavy lines.

60-1

2. Now, I need to locate 6 points on the circle that are the same distance apart. Using the compass again with the same 2″ setting, put the compass point where the midline intersects the circle and make a mark on the circle.

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Now, move the point of the compass to the mark you just made, and repeat the process to make another mark. Continue until you have 6 points located on the circle (2 are created with the midline and the other 4 are made with compass markings).

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3. Connect the 6 points as shown to draw a hexagon with 2″ finished sides.

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4. Connect every other point on the circle with the center, to make three 60 degree diamonds with 2″ finished sides. (I can also see a set of equilateral triangles.)

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5. To make a template, color in one of the diamonds and add a 1/4″ seam allowance.

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Have Fun!

My Online Feathered Star Workshop at Craft University

CraftUpromoMy Craft University course on Feathered Stars starts September 29!
I’m so excited! I went to Golden, Colorado, in June to do the taping. There’s even a video to promote it. Here’s the link:

Feathered Star Quilting Techniques with Marsha McCloskey

In the meantime, I’m working on the last post on the Winter Star — the one about sewing the block together. We had a few setbacks in August (a funeral to go to and my husband was in the hospital for a week) and it has thrown my schedule off somewhat. Thankfully, things have settled some and I’m back to my studio and getting ready to teach for the Utah Quilt Guild’s Quilt Fest 2015 in mid September. This is the last conference I have scheduled that I have to fly to. I had already agreed to do it last year when I decided to limit my travel to just the Northwest. I’ve been to this event before and they put on a really fun show: http://www.utahquiltguild.org/annual/

If you are interested in taking a class IN PERSON, I have scheduled some classes locally in the Eugene area and a retreat in Washington State next year.

EnglishIvy6sm

ENGLISH IVY QUILT,  Saturday, October 3, 2015 

At “Our Sewing Room” in Springfield, OR

I’ll be teaching my English Ivy quilt, which can be made in a miniature 3” block, or in a standard 6” block. You will learn some “cut it larger, true it down” sewing techniques and bias-strip piecing to make ½” scale triangles (for the miniature version). This is a very sweet two-color quilt. Cost is $55.

Radiant Blue1

2-DAY RADIANT FEATHERED STAR, Mon., Oct. 5 & Tues., Oct. 6, 2015

At “Our Sewing Room” in Springfield, OR

This 2-day class will include drafting instruction for the Radiant Feathered Star, color placement, and accurate rotary cutting and machine piecing. Lunch and snacks are included both days. Cost is $295 for the 2-Day workshop.

Chamblie Sampler1

5-DAY FEATHERED STAR RETREAT

AT THE WILD ROSE RETREAT CENTER in ORTING, WASHINGTON

Session I: June 3-7, 2016

Session II: June 8-12, 2016

If Feathered Stars are on your bucket list, this is your chance to learn from the quilting world’s Feathered Star expert! Enjoy 5 days of total Feathered Star immersion at The Wild Rose Quilt Shop and Retreat Center in Orting, Washington. The registration fee of $995 includes 4 nights double occupancy lodging, most meals, and daily classroom instruction with Marsha. The class agenda includes a trunk show, drafting and design, rotary cutting and machine piecing. You will have plenty of free sewing time and individual help from Marsha during this 5-day retreat!

QUESTIONS ABOUT THESE WORKHOPS? Contact Adonna Roelke at:

Email: GetawayGirlsRetreats@gmail.com                 Phone: 541-554-9537