Marsha McCloskey’s Feather Star Ruler Review

Happy Friday Everyone! As you all know I have spent the last 2 weeks working on Feathered Star blocks – I now have 3 completed and with each one I get faster and the look better.  At the beginning of the month Fat Quarter Shop sent me Marsha McCloskey’s Feathered Star Ruler to play with and I have definitely enjoyed it!

So I will start out with, I have NEVER done a Feathered Star block before and all I knew for sure was that there were going to be some challenging seams in this block. When the ruler arrived there were 4 pages of instructions, which I really appreciated, but the one thing I really hoped would be in there but wasn’t is a pattern or block tutorial.  This was somewhat disappointing because as I said…I’ve NEVER done a Feathered Star block before.  Well, you know me…I’m resourceful!  I started scouring the web for tutorials, I found 2 that were excellent (I will share them both with you on Monday), and finally I went to Electric Quilt 7. I went into the block library and found that there were 16 blocks in the library!  I took one and changed it a bit to fit my personal style.

I learned how to make the half square triangles from the 2 blogs mentioned above – they use an awesome technique I had never heard of before, bias strip HSTs. Awesome for small piecing.  The rest I took into my own hands.

The cool thing about this ruler is that it is designed specifically for these blocks. Almost every single piece of fabric you have to cut for this block is an eighth or sixteenth measurement. This ruler has these measurements from 7/8″ to 4 3/16″.

Things I like:

  • There are four sections on this ruler that give you different cutting measurements
  • Each section has a line down the center – this is perfect for cutting triangles – and you have to cut A LOT Of triangles for this block!
  • The included cutting instructions mentioned the bias strip HST method that I spoke of above – because of this I have learned a whole new method that I will use forever!
  • While I could use a regular cutting ruler to cut these blocks, this ruler guarantees accuracy because it has sixteenth inch measurements on it. It is the only ruler I have seen with measurements that small.
  • I see this ruler being useful with lots of different blocks, especially ones that involve triangles.

Areas for Improvement:

  • This is the first ruler I have ever used that did not come with a tutorial or pattern. That was disappointing, but on the upside I have became self-sufficient and figured out a difficult block, pieced it and made it my own.

Final Thoughts:

Ignoring the fact that there is no pattern, this is a good product. It can be used for Feathered Stars and other projects as well.  I would recommend it with the caveat that there is no pattern so you will need to find a tutorial or purchase a pattern if you would like to make a Feathered Star.  On Monday I will have a tutorial for the one that I made above.

If you haven’t already, make sure you go enter the giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop for a Quilt Blocks Layer Cake – it is the same fabric that I used to create the stars above.

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11 Responses to Marsha McCloskey’s Feather Star Ruler Review

  1. Lisa L. says:

    I like you block better than thee original for sure. It has more visual interest! Cannot wait for the tutorial. Thanks for the review. :)

  2. Connie says:

    Great review Melissa! Love your block, I have bought several rulers over the years and didn’t have directions………..does make you resourceful though!

  3. Snoodles says:

    I’m the “read the instructions” person in this family, so that would have thrown me for a while! Thanks for the good review — I’m looking forward to learning a new HST method!

  4. Thanks for the review of my Feathered Star Ruler. I think you “got it”! And you’re right about Bias Strip Piecing HSTs, I use it all the time. The ruler was designed to go with two books of Feathered Star patterns: Feathered Star Quilt Blocks I and Feathered Star Quilt Blocks II ( http://www.marshamccloskey.com/marshasbooks.html) — that’s why there is no pattern in the package with the rule– people usually have the book. My FS block patterns are also available at My EQ Boutique: http://www.myeqboutique.com/Shop/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=178&idcategory=31
    Have fun with the stars — I like your variation. Would love to see more:)

    Marsha McCloskey

  5. Beth says:

    Wow – that ruler looks complicated! I look forward to your tutorial!

  6. Susan says:

    Actually, I prefer your block. =) Thanks for reviewing the ruler.

  7. Gene Black says:

    Your block looks great! I love your variation.
    Thanks for the giveaway reminder.

  8. Sharon says:

    Does the ruler have measurements for making blocks of different sizes?
    If you rally get into these, check out Marsha Mcclosky’s book feathered star quilt blocks 1. The subtitle is “really hard blocks that take a long time to make”. That totally cracks me up. These are fun, though.

  9. CeLynn says:

    Great review Melissa! I really like your version,looking forward to your tutorial also :)

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