I thought I would show you my normal stitching schematic before we dig deeper into this feathery business. As you can see from the diagram below:
1. I work on my feathers one side at a time. I tend to have better control of how my feathers turn out. I do want to at some point work on doing the simultaneously feathers on both sides. I have done it a couple of times, but didn’t find my work satisfactory.
2. For regular “everyday” feathering, I do the backtracking shown in the diagram. Note, the dashed lines simply means you will stitch over the same spot again to get to the point you would start a new lobe.
And now, concerning those individual “lobes”… I think how your feather lobes look determine the appearance of your entire feather plume. It is definitely a worthwhile investment of your time to sit down and draw out how best to execute your lobes. Some like theirs slender, while some like theirs to be a bit more full. I like them both, and try to incorporate both in mine when I can.
From my own limited experience, the anatomy of a good feather plume consists of:
1. Smooth curvature on the feather lobes.
2. The width of the feather lobes should decrease as the curvature approaches the spine.
3. You know that curvature… make sure the smooth-ness persists till the bitter end where the feather lobe meets the feather spine
4. I like to backtrack along my previous feather lobe until it is about halfway before starting off with a new lobe. I find that my new lobe looks more substantial that way.
Now, how about some real life feathers so that you can spot the aforementioned principles? Being able to spot what you are looking for in your own feathers is the first step in beautiful feather quilting. I can say that because I spent hours and hours and hours just staring at master quilter’s feathers!
I hope this is helpful to you to first diagnose why you don’t like your feathers, and hopefully begin your journey in fixing certain quirks to help you better quilt your feathers. Stay tuned for my next Thread Talk post dealing with the issue of perspective in feather quilting. In order to do the perspective in an attractive manner, you will have had to master your lobes! So, get busy and get drawing, will you? :) Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.