When it comes to free motion quilting, there's nothing I like better than to quilt feathers! I like to them where they are all wild and different though. So a huge border full of uniform feathers is a wee bit intimidating. When I first started marking the border, I was using the Fine Line 10" Continuous Curve ruler for the spine; flipping it alternately down a straight line for an undulating curve that was supposed to go all the way around the border. But I just couldn't work out the corners and get it spaced so it went well with the curved crosshatched triangle shapes.
So I ended up using a circular spine so there was a curled up feather between every CCX'd triangle. It still didn't work out perfectly around the corners, two curl in and two curl out. But at a diagonal from each other it looks fine. And once all the feathers get added, it'll be fabulous! That's what I get for being all free-spirited and not drawing out all the elements of my design ahead of time, but that's just a part of how I am.
I did go ahead and stitch the spines and the drop at the end of each curving spine, as I wanted to use that big teardrop shape to help me get every space filled with plumes. Then it was time to go back around and add the plumes.
I had some trouble at first getting the inner plumes to turn in that circle evenly, but I wasn't trying to make them all identical anyway. I might redo a few spots on the first ones when I get done. It got better as I went along.
To turn that inner turning circular part of the feather, I divided the circle into fourths and then quilted each quadrant with a set of plumes that filled each wedge. The plumes have to vary in size in order to turn them this way. You can get another quilter's take on turning feathers at IvorySpring.
I think these aren't bad, but I could still use more practice. It always looks worst when you're right at the machine, once I step back and take a look, it's so much better. Some of the plumes are longer and skinnier than I want, maybe I should have used a slightly bigger circle template. I made my own with my AccuQuilt circle die cutter and some dense cardboard. Best way ever to get perfect circle shapes!
I used the big teardrop shape at the end to help 'tighten' the circular curve so it looks more like a spiral than a circle without having to use a different template. I also used the teardrop as part of the spine for the outer plumes, so I could fill all the space.
We'll see more of these feathers in a few months when we do feathers as our Free Motion Mondays design, most likely in July.
Do you love feathers? I hear that the more modern quilters find them too traditional, and I agree that some forms of them are a bit stiff and old-fashioned. But some quilts scream for feathers and there are so many variations that there's got to be something for every style.