Meet the Patchwork Divas and their fantastic Feathered Star quilts

19th-Century Patchwork Divas' Treasury of QuiltsA common love of antique quilts and reproduction fabrics brought them together. Now, 20 years after the 19th-Century Patchwork Divas block-exchange group was formed, their book The 19th-Century Patchwork Divas’ Treasury of Quilts shares the fun and friendship that’s part of a block exchange.

We caught up with queen Divas (and coauthors) Betsy Chutchian and Carol Staehle at Quilt Market, and they were kind enough to walk with us through the special exhibit based on their book. Over the next several weeks we’ll be sharing videos about the classic quilt blocks that the Divas share in each chapter—and we’re starting with one of the pinnacles of patchwork: the Feathered Star block.

Delectable Feathered Star quilt
Delectable Feathered Star by Diva Sue Troyan

Here’s how the book by the Divas works: each chapter is dedicated to a time-honored quilt block. Members of the Patchwork Divas exchanged blocks, and then they made quilts from their blocks. You get to see how members transformed their piles of patchwork into absolutely stunning quilts, each more spectacular than the last.

We’ll let Betsy and Carol tell you more about their Feathered Star exchange in this video:

Viewing this post in email? Click here to view the video.

It’s fascinating how many different ideas the Divas came up with for their blocks! Let’s take a look at the antique quilt that inspired the Feathered Star exchange:

Antique Feathered Star quilt


Here are all the traditional blocks that the Divas exchanged and share in their book:

Divas' quilt-block exchanges

In The 19th-Century Patchwork Divas’ Treasury of Quilts, you also get the Divas’ advice on how to start a successful block exchange with your quilting and sewing friends. (And the Divas should know how!) With these amazing quilts from the Divas, your group will never run short of inspiration.

Which quilt block would you choose for a block exchange? Tell us in the comments!

You might also like: A Divas’ guide to antique quilt-block patterns







58 Comments (leave a comment)

  • I would ask for the Pine Tree block because I really like it but wouldn’t want to make as many that would be needed for a quilt! You picked out some really good patterns here

    Karen on June 26, 2017
  • Postage stamp. It would be fun to see all the different fabrics from each person’s stash.

    —Nelle on June 26, 2017
  • All the time that I’ve been quilting and I have yet to make a log cabin quilt, so I would choose that square.

    —Joanne O'Neal on June 26, 2017
  • So cool! I would choose the album block.

    —Kimberly p on June 26, 2017
  • I would choose the "wild Goose Chase", probably because "my heart goes where the wild goose goes".

    Donna on June 26, 2017
  • I’d choose the indigo basket. I really like that block.

    —stephanie woodward on June 26, 2017
  • I think the postage stamp or Pine tree would be very interesting. Would be interested in seeing all the fabrics.

    —Peggy on June 26, 2017
  • Being from Ohio, the Ohio Star of course.

    —Kathy R on June 26, 2017
  • I would enjoy an exchange of log cabin blocks. The variety and scrappiness would be fun.

    —Lisa Zook on June 26, 2017
  • Love them all! For an exchange, I’d choose Ohio Star.

    —Mary Lou on June 26, 2017
  • Although the log cabin is my favourite block, I think that the postage stamp would be the most fun for an exchange. I think the traditional goal of the postage stamp is to have no two fabrics alike, and the chances of that happening are great when you have an exchange. Sounds like a fascinating book!

    —Carol on June 26, 2017
  • I like the Ohio star. I’m drawn to star designs.

    —Cynthia Fedak on June 26, 2017
  • I would choose the Pine Tree block because it looks very hard and it would be nice to have some extra help to make a larger quilt

    —Gina B on June 26, 2017
  • The only choice for me would be the OHIO STAR,
    simply because Ohio is my home state…once a Buckeye,
    always a Buckeye…no matter where you roam.
    The Ohio Star is simply elegant. Any level of quilter,
    experienced or beginner, can easily accomplish an Ohio Star
    pattern. Thanks for asking!

    —Colleen on June 26, 2017
  • I would do the Wild Goose chase for a block exchange as I just love flying geese!

    —Diane Heller on June 26, 2017
  • I would love the Log Cabin block exchange!!! I recently made a Log Cabin with reproduction scraps and fell in love with it. So now my goal is to made the blocks and set it in all the different ways!

    —sharon schnebly on June 26, 2017
  • For a block exchange I would choose postage stamp. No points to cut off and you could square each block up easily to use in your quilt.

    —Frances Claassens on June 26, 2017
  • I have done log cabins, Ohio stars and nine patch exchanges. I would love to try the sunflower but maybe not as an exchange. Unfortunately, I have gotten quite a few swaps that were very haphazardly constructed. I would love a postage stamp swap. I would happily make ten using strips and trade!

    —Judi on June 26, 2017
  • Hard to choose as I like several of them! I would probably go with the Postage Stamp as it would be fun to see all the different fabrics used to make them in the exchange.

    —Tammy Siria on June 26, 2017
  • I adore the sunflower block :0)

    —Janet on June 26, 2017
  • I would choose the Indigo basket or secondly the Pine Tree. Both would be fun to share with other quilters and see the fun fabrics used in the half square triangles.

    —Marie Eddins on June 26, 2017
  • The pine tree is pretty amazing!

    Anita Jackson on June 26, 2017
  • I would like the pine tree!!

    —Tammy Ahrens on June 26, 2017
  • Wild goose chase because I love anything with flying geese!!!

    Diane H. on June 26, 2017
  • It would be hard to choose as I like them all. The album block would most like win out over the others because I have a fondness for friendship quilts and this is one that I have not yet done.

    —Faith on June 26, 2017
  • I think Pine Tree would be my choice.

    Robin on June 26, 2017
  • I’d love to exchange log cabin blocks!

    —Jean Blythe on June 26, 2017
  • This is a tough choice, but I would have to go with the wild goose chase!

    —Tracy on June 26, 2017
  • Perhaps the Ohio Star. I was thinking this over and I believe several of my quilts have that star included in the blocks.

    —Althea Klosterman on June 26, 2017
  • I would choose Wild Goose Chase

    —Becky DuBose on June 27, 2017
  • I would choose the indigo basket block. It is doable for advanced beginner. It would make a great quilt

    —Jere Barrett on June 27, 2017
  • I would go for log cabin blocks–easy to trim and fit together!

    —Karen in Breezy Point on June 27, 2017
  • I would choose the log cabin block.

    —Judith Clovsky on June 27, 2017
  • The pine tree block, it stood out from the others for me!

    —Patricia Anderson on June 27, 2017
  • I love the log cabin block.

    —Joyce Carter on June 27, 2017
  • Our sewing club worked through the Divas’ previous book – their examples were truly inspiring. I would probably choose the Indigo Baskets – I have been wanting to do an indigo and cheddar quilt for awhile and this would be perfect!

    —Susan Putman on June 28, 2017
  • Always aqua! It is such a cheerful color and can be so soothing as well. Thank you for the giveaway!

    —Kim Davis on June 28, 2017
  • There is just something about yellow. It speaks to me and seems to pop up in my quilts as well as every other aspect of my life😀

    —Lisa Atkinson on June 28, 2017
  • I think I would do the Pine Tree, it’s such an interesting but complicated block.

    —Naomi Gies on June 29, 2017
  • Log cabin is often my go to block .. but I have had my eye on the pine tree block recently.

    —Mary on June 30, 2017
  • Preference would be the Album block. Color placement could create alternate designs effect in the over all quilt look. Individual choices of fellow quilters would make for a very interesting quilt ! Thank you…

    —Marta on June 30, 2017
  • I would choose the pine tree block

    —Susan on June 30, 2017
  • Oh, a tossup–either the Goose Chase or the Sunflower. :-}

    —shirley marvin on June 30, 2017
  • Stars are my favorite, so it would have to be the Ohio Star.

    —Donna W on June 30, 2017
  • Love the Ohio Star, always have; but this round I think I’, drawn to the Sunflower. Looks complicated to me, but I love the pattern!

    —Nancy on June 30, 2017
  • I love the pine tree and the indigo basket. Couldn’t choose just one!

    —Maclary on June 30, 2017
  • The pine tree looks like fun!

    —Lorna on June 30, 2017
  • Log Cabin is an all-time favorite block because of the versatility of settings. But I really like that indigo basket block!

    —Karen on July 1, 2017
  • I’d choose the postage stamp block – the variety of fabrics would be mind boggling!

    —gayle on July 1, 2017
  • Log cabin is a favorite of mine. But the pine tree is pretty darn cute too!

    —Paula on July 1, 2017
  • Postage stamp block would be interesting in an exchange. Very scrappy.

    —Louise Mease on July 1, 2017
  • Indigo Basket, Pine Tree, or Wild Goose Chase. I just love triangles!

    —Linda Towers on July 1, 2017

    —irene indelicato on July 1, 2017
  • I would like to participate in a Postage Stamp Block exchange to see the variety of fabrics people would chose to exchange – Hopefully not too many of their ugly castoffs!

    —Carol Ann on July 2, 2017
  • I would pick the Ohio Star as it has always been a favorite of mine. Simple piecing and gorgeous fabrics…….could there be a better combination!

    —Mary Smith on July 4, 2017
  • Love the Pine Tree using half-square triangles ~ especially when their finished square is 1/2″ wide!

    —Marty on July 5, 2017
  • The feathered star seems so intricate in design, and I love all the star blocks. How beautiful all the vintage quilts are!
    Thank you, Divas!

    Linda Hovey on July 22, 2017
  • They are all nice, but it would be easier to square up a Postage Stamp Quilt and it looks great with more fabrics.

    —Kay Menefee on October 31, 2017

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