Spinning Stars

Fussy cutting motifs from fabric is a technique that has been around for generations. It was made incredibly popular about 20 years ago by Bethany Reynolds (click here for her website). At that time I was intrigued by Bethany’s quilts and started playing with my own style of cutting identical triangles from large print fabric. To begin, I chose a teapot fabric with a lot of thin lines and curves.

ss teapot fabric

I found a traditional star block I liked, and devised a fun way to piece it.

ss teapot top

Isn’t the variety of stars amazing? And the fun part is, if I had cut the triangles just an inch away from where I did, every star would be different from these. I must admit, it’s addicting. I showed this quilt to friends and students, and my Spin Star class was born. It has been extremely popular over the years and I think the appeal lies in the fact that each star is a surprise! The down side is that it makes “swiss cheese” out of your fabric:

ss teapot holes

My stars begin as four stacks with 8 identical triangles in each. Here’s a portion of a Jane Sassamann fabric that worked great, and just one triangle stack:

ss sas fabric

ss sas triangles

This one stack of triangles can be put together 2 different ways – with the top right point at center:

ss sas star2

or with the lower left point there:

ss sas star

Here they are together so you can see how much variety there is in just one stack of triangles.

ss star compare

I think it’s time I sew those stars together!

These are the blocks I made from a Christmas poinsettia fabric:

ss poinsettia

Did I mention this is addictive?

During one class I decided to make stars from a fabric printed with adorable children.

ss kid fabric

These blocks have never been stitched together because, even though the star is pretty, it bothers me to see cut up kids swirling around:

ss kid star

If this type of play is of interest to you, I’ll be teaching my Spin Star class at WCTC on Saturday, January 17th, and we need 3 more students to sign up for the class to run. Please consider joining us! The deadline is this Wednesday.

Have you had fun with fussy cutting? Please send pictures. Oh, and those of you who have taken this class – I’d love to get photos of your star creations. Perhaps it would be fun to do a virtual quilt show on a future blog. Send pictures to me at: clkquilt@gmail.com


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