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