Winter Star Tutorial: Cutting the Rest of the Pieces

To finish the cutting for the 11″ Winter Star, we will need to cut some squares and triangles. The 3″ Ohio Star for the center and the 16 feather squares were made earlier. Going back to the drafting, there are small squares (S3) that fill in where the feather rows turn, and large squares for the block corners (S13). There are also three triangles: TT10, T9 and T3. These template designations match those found in the cutting chart on page 46 of the Feathered Star Quilt Blocks II book.

Cutting instructions here include Trimming Points for Easy Matching

Trimming points on triangles and other shapes takes the guesswork out of matching cut parches before they are sewn together. Once you’ve trimmed points, patches will fit flush with one another when correctly aligned. I know many quilters skip this step in preparing their pieces, but I really encourage you to try it. My piecing is just better when I trim points.

The templates in the book and on my drafting include both points and trim lines. You need the points drawn for measuring cutting dimensions.

Triangle points can be trimmed in two ways: perpendicular to the long side or to the short side of the triangle. The direction of the trim line depends on how the triangle will be sewn to the next shape. the amount you trim will always be 3/8″ on 45° angles. There are other point trimmers on the market, but I designed the point trimmer function into the Precision Trimmer 3 ruler and the Precision Trimmer 6. Mostly, I use the PT3.


Here is my drafting and a drawing of the block with template placement.



• S3: Cut 4 squares 1-1/2″ x 1-1/2″. I like to choose a fabric here that contrasts with the dark-side of the feather squares.

•  S13: Cut 4 squares, 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″, of the background fabric.

• TT10: Cut 1 square, 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″, of the background fabric. Cut diagonally twice to make 4 quarter-square triangles.

QSTTrim points for match using the PT3 as shown. Line up the dashed center line of the ruler with the long side of the triangle and the solid diagonal line with the short side. Trim off the 3/8″ triangle that sticks out beyond the ruler. Repeat for the opposite side.


• T9: Four of these triangles fit around the center Ohio Star and eight are used for the  star points. Following the rule of straight grain placement (it needs to be on the outside edge of the pieced unit), these will be cut as half square triangles.

HST— For the T9 triangles that fit around the Ohio Star center, cut 2 squares, 3″ x 3″, of a medium value print. Cut diagonally once to make 4 half square triangles. Before moving the triangles, use the PT3 ruler as shown to trim the triangle points for matching. Line up the ruler’s center dashed line with the diagonal cut and the solid diagonal line of the ruler with the side of the square (short side of the triangle.) What sticks out will be 3/8″ triangles for both triangles. Trim them off. (If you forget to trim points before moving the triangles, they can be trimmed using the method used for the TT10 triangle above, only start with the center line lined up with the long bias edge.)



— For the T9 triangles that are the star points, cut 4 squares, 3″ x 3″, of a dark value print. Cut diagonally once to make 8 half square triangles. Use the PT3 ruler as shown above  to trim the triangle points for matching.


• T3: This is the single triangle at the end of the feather row. Cut 4 squares 1-7/8″ x 1-7/8″ from the same fabric that is the dark side of the feather squares. Cut each square in half to make 8 half-square triangles. Trimming these points for matching is done differently than for the previous two triangles. Instead of the PT3 ruler, use the square ruler that you used to cut the 1-1/2″ feather squares and place the ruler as shown. The 90° angle of the triangle is placed on the 1-1/2″ square marking and the points that extend beyond the ruler are trimmed off. The trimmed part is 3/8″, leaving the short side of the triangle at 1-1/2″, the same dimension as the feather triangles.


With all the pieces cut, the next step is to lay them out on a Portable Design Board in preparation for sewing.


Notice in the photos for this post, a lot of different fabric are used. In my quilt, I played around some with a variety of prints and values to make each block look different.

WSScrappy fabrics

Next time, I’ll show you the piecing.