After I made the decision to use the paper pieced pattern from McCall’s Quilting web page, I printed out the PDF file. I gave the link to the free pattern in part one of the feathered star. I looked to see if I had any paper piecing paper left. I could not find any in my stash. I don’t like to use printer paper. I like vellum paper for this but settled on artist tracing paper. You can see through it and it is holds together when you sew on it. It also works in my printer. When you can see through the paper you don’t have to flip it over as much as you add pieces.
Quilty has a 2 part video on how to paper piece you can watch on you tube.
It is better to watch how it is done. Paper pieced patterns always have the sections numbered so you start with the first section. They usually tell you what color of the fabric so you know. The thing is to remember that you put together the wrong side of the fabric with the wrong side of the paper. Then add the second piece of fabric right side to the first piece. That is why I like to be able to see through the paper to line it up. You use a little pine that is flat to hold it in place and sew on the line that is marked on the right side of the paper. You then open the two fabrics up to make sure you have covered the second section with fabric. But before you make the next section bend the paper on the seam you just made and trim to make a 1/4 inch seam. There is always extra fabric in the way to trim away at the seam. You need a generous piece of fabric to make it easy to work with. Now you repeat the process until you have the whole section completed.
I chose the same color scheme as was in the pattern because it was a traditional colors that was chosen in the 19th century.
For the background I chose unbleached muslin to stick with the fabric choice that was often used then.
It was confusing at first because the pattern gave the cutting instructions for the whole quilt. I was only doing one feathered star. I finely figured out that I would only need page 5 of the PDF for the star. The rest of the pattern was for other parts of the quilt.
You will need to cut for one feathered star:
One 5 1/2 inches square for the center piece. (Red medium print fabric)
Sixteen 2 1/4 inches squares small print fabric cut in half square triangles to make 32 pieces. (Red small pint fabric)
Eight 1 3/4 inches by 3 1/4 inches rectangle for the feather points. (Red small print)
Four 3 1/4 inches square in contrasting fabric cut in half square triangles to make 8 pieces. (Green small print)
Four 1 3/4 inches squares of accent color. (Yellow small print)
Twenty-five 2 1/4 inches square of background fabric cut in half squares triangles to make 50 pieces.
One 8 3/4 inches square cut into four triangles in background fabric. (see picture below)
Four 4 inches square of background fabric.
In this pattern you have four sections that you will be paper piecing. I started with section 1 and followed the order that was marked on the pattern. I only needed 4 of these sections. Line up the rectangle for the feather point like in the picture below. Then when you are finished making the section. Trim off the excess fabric on the dotted line to shape the point.
The next step was to do section 2 all four pieces and add to the four corners of background fabric that is 4 inches square.
Now that the four corners of the block is finished you take section 3 and 4 of the pattern and complete the piecing. The colors are marked on the pattern so it is easy to follow. All the fabric pieces are very generous so they are easy to place on the back side of the pattern.
Now sew sections 3 and 4 together like the picture. You can see how I trimmed the the excess fabric on the dotted line. I lined up the intersection with pins and then sewed just on the line locking in the stitch at both end of the seam. When you have all for of these sections completed you add one on each side of the center block.
Now you add the corner blocks to the other 2 sections.
This is the hard part, adding the the background fabric triangle into the block.
After I did one, I realized that I was to sew the first seam on the side that had the seam folded under and then make the second seam to the section that the seam was not folded.
The next step is to sew both of these section on the center block.
The final step is to add the last two background pieces to finish the block. When you are finished with that you will be an expert on paper piecing and setting in right angle blocks.
It is a impressive block to make and it looks harder then it is. This is something you can make to get your quilt guild to sit up and notice your quilting skills. Just don’t tell them you followed an easy paper piecing pattern.