Monday, July 14, 2014

Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventure: Feathers, Week 2

So has anybody been feathering their nests this week? With free motion quilted feathers of course! This is such a huge design topic to cover, I can't possibly do more than whet your appetite for them.

Patsy Thompson's book, Feather Adventures, is the most comprehensive book I've seen on feathers. I really like the name for some reason....

Her book is great, with plenty of examples and tips in a variety of styles. But the best help in learning to do feathers was to just keep drawing them! Draw them until your hands can't help but make smooth feather plumes.

free motion feathers

My attempt at a traditional feather from the video above, closely cropped to leave out the ugliest bits.....

My back tracked feather above, and the two non-backtracked styles (regular and hooked) below.

no back track feathers

And my bump-back (or bump-bump) feather.

I finished up my tiny feather fill this past weekend. My hands want to cramp up just at the thought of it. I took a video and will post it later in the week. Now it goes into the bin of unbound quilts.

In the pic below, notice that my stitch length is getting too long for these feathers. The fabric starts to ripple where lines of stitching are running parallel. this can happen with all types of designs when stitch legth gets too long, but it shows up in feathers easily.

I had to restitch that so-called traditional feather from the video. Just to make sure I could. It's....meh.

Then I moved on to a fun feather to help counteract the tenseness I felt as I quilted that traditional one.

So I hope to see some feathery goodness from you this week! If you are new to feathers, show us a drawing if you prefer. Make sure you don't compare your beginning to someone else's 'middle'.

So post something on your own blog about feathers and link up here so we can all go visiting and learn from one another!

Some quick rules:
  • Keep your post relevant to this quilt along please. Spammy posts will be deleted.
  • Make sure you link up to the individual post, not your home page as nobody wants to have to search around for the post if they're a little late to the party.
  • Reciprocate! Link back to this post somewhere in your post or use the clickable blog button in your sidebar. You've got to dance with the one who took you to the party, so make sure you link back.
  • Don't be a wall-flower. (Talking to myself here too. In person I am so stinking shy!) Visit the other links, be sociable, and leave comments.
  • Please make sure you leave me a way to contact you if you are a no-reply commenter, especially if you ask a question. 
Don't forget to bookmark this blog, follow, or sign it up in your favorite feed reader. Like the facebook page (I do post some short things on it pretty regularly), or even check out my Pinterest boards.  I'll be visiting you too!


  1. Your "tiny feather fill" is wonderful (at least the snippet you showed us!!!). The book really does look like a good one and you are so correct....once again, it's "practice, practice, practice"!!!!!!!!

  2. Love Patsy Thompson's variety. I took a year to get the hang of feathers....and drawing is the key to it.

  3. Oh, I so want to see the videos on your site, but for some reason I can no longer get the videos. Can anyone help, I do not know what changed. 10 days ago I could view all the videos on this site, did something change?

    I love your feathers and love to read your blog. Keep up the good work teaching us all these techniques. Mary

    1. Thanks for the kind words about my blog.

      Can you see the videos via youtube itself?

      I did start allowing some ad placement and that could be triggering some sort of ad blocker or security setting on your end?

    2. And for those who have been having trouble leaving comments, blogger just ate my 2 previous attempts to comment here. Grrrrrr..... I do not want to abandon Blogger and have to learn all new blog/website stuff. It cuts into the quilting time!

  4. Your tiny feather fill is just gorgeous! I am working on getting a post together for your linkup for next week! I can't wait because feathers is one of the free motion quilting designs that I am the most afraid of!!!!

  5. I really like your last 'fun' feather!