From my experience, feathers are probably one of the least forgiving quilting motif. Sometimes I look at the feathers I quilt, and I can instantly tell whether they are on or off. I have discussed the anatomy of an “on” feather here. And I think the key is really that curvature that we round off in forming those feather lobes.
So, the question becomes how does one practice this almost mystical rounded curvature? I personally don’t really like to practice for just practice. I like to actually still achieve something when I am practicing. I had a light bulb moment when I was quilting these “pseudo” informal feathers on my Woodland Snapshots quilt a few weeks ago.
These pseudo feathers are much more forgiving and much easier to quilt, and I think they provide the perfect opportunity to practice that rounded curvature in the midst of the quilting process. I hope the following schematic helps. The basic idea is to form a feather lobe (solid line), but after the rounded curvature is formed, I would echo along the previously stitched lobe (dotted line) to return to the spine before forming the next lobe.
The goal is to form the lobes with a curvature as gracefully round as possible. I have shown in the following some lobes that are kind of “off”. Hopefully you will be able to compare the shapes of your feather lobes when they are “off” and see what I mean about the rounded curvature… and more excitingly you are on your way to quilting more “on” feathers than “off”.
Here you see more of the pseudo feathers in action. You will notice that not all are perfect, but as a whole, these feathers are forgiving. I gained some insights as to how to better round off that curvature when I free-hand quilt my future feathers.
Also, I have meant to mention to you that my online “Learn to Machine Quilt” class has been made into a DVD. For those who find it a little tedious to have to follow the class via the internet on a computer and prefer to pop the class into a DVD player – it is available for you now!
Click here to read more about the class.
Click here to purchase the class online, or DVD. By the way, the online class (NOT DVD) is offered at 50% AGAIN! Do take advantage of the great deal.
Thanks for stopping by! Happy Quilting, and Happy Weekend – everyone!