Machine quilting feathers – easier than you think

Posted by on May 27, 2014, in quilting & sewing,

How to machine quilt feathers - Feathers That Fly by Lee Cleland

Machine quilting a straight line is pretty simple. That’s why so many of us love to stitch in the ditches of our seams.

When we go beyond straight lines and try free-motion machine quilting, we might attempt a looping allover fill. Again, fairly simple.

But what if your lovely patchwork demands an equally elegant quilt pattern? What if wide-open background squares and bare borders cry out for the contrast of swooping curves? Something fluid yet formal? Something like a traditional feather pattern?

Machine quilting feathers sounds great—in theory. But if you can’t find a feather design that fits your quilt, you’re out of luck. Aren’t you?

Not at all. As it turns out, making your own feather quilting designs is easier than you might think.

If you can draw a heart, you can make your own feather quilting designs

How to quilt feathers - start with half a heart - from Feathers That Fly

“Drawing traditional feathers is easy,” says master quilter Lee Cleland. “Think about it. A feather is really just half of a simple heart shape. If you draw half a heart, you have one feather.”

Now that does sound doable!

Lee shares her quilting expertise in the book Feathers That Fly: How to Design, Mark, and Machine Quilt Feather Motifs. “In step-by-step lessons,” Lee says, “you’ll learn how to draw your own feathered quilting designs to fit any shape or border, including how to turn corners so that your feather design forms a continuous pattern. You’ll begin with the simplest feathers, progressing to more complex shapes as you gain skill and confidence.”

Contemporary quilted feather from Feathers That Fly

Feathers That Fly

  • Choose from 14 step-by-step feathered-quilt projects, from simple to elaborate
  • Learn how to make your own perfect-fit feathered quilting patterns, in both classic and contemporary styles
  • Discover the secret to making feathers fluid rather than stiff
  • Find expert tips and tricks for quilting feathered rows, wreaths, curves, hearts, swirls, intertwining cables, and continuous border designs

Feather quilt pattern - from Feathers That Fly by Lee Cleland
Learning how to quilt feathers: “Rows of straight-spine feathers create a highly textured surface on this small wall hanging. Placing quilted hearts on point at each corner is an easy alternative to “turning the corner,” making this quilt a good choice for beginning feather-quilters.” —from Feathers That Fly

Learn more about Feathers That Fly here


Feathers That Fly - How to Design, Mark, and Machine Quilt Feather Motifs
How do you like your feather quilting designs: traditional or contemporary? Let us know in the comments and you could win a copy of the Feathers That Fly eBook! We’ll choose a random winner one week from today and let you know by email if you win.

Comments are closed for this post.

Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The winner is Diane, who says:

“Either way! I love feathers! I am trying to get the hang of sewing them myself!”

Diane, we’ll email you about your prize. Congratulations!


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