Master the Feathered Star with Marsha McCloskey

Do you have a quilting bucket list? I’m not talking about those quick quilts on your immediate to-do list, but rather the quilts you dream of making “one day.” Making a Feathered Star quilt is one task on many quilters’ bucket lists, and it isn’t hard to see why. They are an all-time quilter’s favorite and absolutely, positively, breathtakingly beautiful. They aren’t particularly difficult to make, but they do have a lot of pieces and take some time. In other words, they’re one of those designs where you want to slow down and really do your best work. Well-known author and teacher Marsha McCloskey has been collecting and creating these intricate designs for many years, and we are so excited about her upcoming online course on Craft University: Feathered Star Quilting Techniques.

marshamccloskey Master the Feathered Star with Marsha McCloskey

Marsha McCloskey has written or co-authored 30 quilting books since 1981. She specializes in the Feathered Star and other traditional pieced designs.

This six-session online course will walk you through Marsha’s tried-and-true Feathered Star process. “The reason I chose the Feathered Star as a topic for my video is that I have been teaching this particular Feathered Star for many years, and it’s really my most popular workshop,” Marsha said. “I learned a technique early on called bias strip piecing that enabled me to make very accurate two-triangle squares that are the smallest triangles – the feathers, the sparkly part of the stars. I think if I hadn’t learned bias strip piecing or developed the technique, I wouldn’t be making Feathered Stars because it is that accurate and that easy.” Here’s a preview of what Marsha will be covering in the six lessons:

Lesson 1: Introducing Marsha McCloskey and Feathered Stars

  • A short history of Feathered Star quilts and how they became Marsha’s passion
  • How to tell the different Feathered Star quilt block types apart
  • How to choose fabrics for our Radiant Feathered Star Wall Hanging project

Lesson 2: Drafting the Radiant Feathered Star Wall Hanging

  • Draw the basic Radiant Feathered Star on graph paper
  • Identify the shapes that need to be cut
  • Add seam allowances to shapes to get cutting dimensions
  • Modify the design and make it larger or smaller

FeatheredStar4 Master the Feathered Star with Marsha McCloskey

Lesson 3: Making Feather Squares with Bias-Strip Piecing

  • Make the Bias-Strip set-up
  • Estimate fabric to make the number of units needed for a Feathered Star block
  • Determine strip width for different sized 2-triangle squares
  • Use Marsha’s Feathered Star ruler

Lesson 4: Rotary Cutting the Other Shapes

  • Choose fabrics for the different parts of the design
  • Cut half-square and quarter-square triangles and trim the points for easy matching
  • Cut accurate diamonds, octagons, and kites
  • Cut the large trapezoids for the outside pieces
  • Determine when pieces need to be cut to exact size and when to use a cut-it-larger, trim-it down approach

Lesson 5: Piecing the Units

  • Achieve an accurate seam allowance
  • Organize the pieces for sewing
  • Stitch and press the different units with the utmost accuracy

FeatheredStar1 Master the Feathered Star with Marsha McCloskey

Lesson 6: Joining the Units, Finishing the Block

  • Finish partial seams and join the units together
  • Make the outer triangle units using a set-in seam
  • Join the outer triangles to the finished block
  • Plan a Dogtooth border to enlarge the wall hanging

By the time the Feathered Star Quilting Techniques course is over, you won’t just be able to cross the Feathered Star off your bucket list – you’ll be a master! The course runs Oct. 26 – Dec. 13, 2015, and since it’s all online you can watch the videos at your convenience.

Learn more about the Feathered Star Quilting Techniques course on Craft University!

Happy Quilting,

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