Block 2019: Feathered Star Variations


Welcome to the Block 2019 Creative Challenge! We’re exploring different classic quilt block each month all year long. Before we get to the Feathered Star variations, we want to be sure you get to see the Block 2019 Sampler Quilt!

It’s 72″ x 72″ and suitable for quilt-as-you-go. Get fabric requirements for the sampler or look at the kit for another fun way to participate in Block 2019. Okay, back to the variations!

Last week we met Feathered Star. This week, we’re going to play with Feathered Star variations and learn along the way what essential parts from the block must exist in its variations. Let’s start by look at the original.

Feathered Star quilt block

According to Barbara Brackman in Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, this block is sometimes known as a Star of Chamblie and was popularized in the late 1920s through publications like the Grandmother Clark booklets. Feathered Star quilts predate these publications by decades. The block features an eight-pointed star with triangles, squares and diamonds around the perimeter of the star creating a jagged sawtooth appearance.

Now, let’s take a look at three block variations, and Feathered Star quilts from the AQS QuiltWeek contest through the years!

Feather Edge Star

Feathered Star variations

Published in 1934 by the Kansas City Star, the Feather Edge Star features an eight-pointed star, but the star is based on an Ohio Star block.

Click Here to download the Feather Edge Star templates.

Star Diamond

Feathered Star variations

Published in Ladies’ Home Journal around 1920, Star Diamond has a central star surrounded by squares and Half Square Triangle (HST) units. It does not have diamonds, and the orientation of the HSTs in the block make for a more simplified star.

Click Here to download the Star Diamond templates.

Star of Bethlehem

Feathered Star variations

Star of Bethlehem was published in the early 1930’s in Capper’s Weekly. This is a more complex feathered star with a more triangles in the feathered edge and kite shapes for star points. The octagon center with triangles spinning around it creates a faceted feel in an already fancy block. Every part of this star sparkles.

Click Here to download the Star of Bethlehem templates.

Using the Templates

Patchwork Method

Create durable templates from the template printables. Measure the 1″ square to ensure the page printed the correct size.

Use the Placement Guide page to color the block any way you like, and from that note how many pieces you will need of each shape by color.

On the wrong side of the fabric, trace the template to create the sewing line. The templates do not include the seam allowances, so leave space for seam allowances between shapes.

Add the seam allowances as you cut out the pieces.

To sew these seams, stitch only on the sewing lines and not into the seam allowances. Place 2 patches right sides together. Use pins to line up the end of the sewing lines on the 2 patches. Backstitch at the beginning and end, and take care not to stitch into the seam allowance.

By hand:

All of these blocks date back to when all quilt blocks were hand sewn, so it is actually easier to construct these blocks by hand than by machine. Remember not to press until the very end of sewing the block together. This allows for increased accuracy.

By machine:

Take your time and try a few of these tricks to make the block easier to piece. Decrease the stitch length on your machine to about 1.8 mm. Start a few stitches in front of the true starting point, sew to the starting point, pivot and sew down to the end. Use your handwheel at the beginning and end of seams for increased accuracy.

English Paper Piecing Method

This hand sewing method allows for accurate, beautiful results. If you enjoy EPP, this method is a great option for making the Feathered Star variations.

Print multiple templates onto sturdy paper like cardstock and cut out on the solid lines. Measure the 1″ square to ensure the page printed the correct size.

Use the Placement Guide page to color the block any way you like, and from that note how many pieces you will need of each shape by color.

To brush up on your EPP basics, click here. Using the method of your choosing, baste the fabric to the EPP templates. Sew the pieces together to assemble the block.

Feathered Star quilts from AQS QuiltWeek

There have been some absolutely stunning feathered star quilts in QuiltWeek contests through the years. Each of these shows off how special and unique opportunities to create variations of this block.

Feathered Star variations
A Truly Feathered Star by Karen Sievert


Aunt Minnie’s Garden by Nancy Losee & Sylvia Thompson


Dreaming of Stars by Sungwon Lee


Fine Feathered Fancy by Ann L. Petersen


Grandmother’s Strawberry Quilt by Betty Carpenter


Feathered Star variations
Paisleys and Peacocks, India Remembered by Sharon Hansen


Stars After the Hurricanes by Jimmie Ann McLean


Feathered Star variations
Stars of Epping Forest by Michiko Takahashi


Feathered Star variations
Twirling Feathered Star by Rebecca M. Kercado

That’s all for now…

Check back next week, November 20th, for quilt-as-you-go ideas for quilting your Feathered Star block.

Looking for the rest of Block 2019? Click Here to return to the main post!

Show us your Feathered Star blocks and variations in the AQS Project Parade Facebook group, or use the hashtag #Block2019 and tag us @aqsonline because we can’t wait to see what you make!

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