Free-motion Quilting Feathers: Tips & Tricks

Here Ana subdivides the circle and fits feathers inside the new shapes.

There is something about free-motion quilted feathers that makes a quilt stand out in a crowd.

This machine quilting motif is one of the most difficult to master, but with patience and practice, along with a few tips and tricks, any quilter can quilt them!

Just like a fingerprint, no two feathers are alike; each quilter develops their own style of quilting this motif. Plus, there’s a wide array of styles, from traditional to organic and everything in between.

Fiber artist and quilt instructor Ana Buzzalino has spent time looking at and learning about free-motion quilted feathers. She is sharing what she’s learned in a series of articles on the subject published in Quilting Arts Magazine.

A few of Ana’s samples of free-motion quilted feathers inside varous shapes.

Here are just a few of Ana’s tips for quilting feathers:

– Sketch feather designs on paper within shaped boundaries–circles, triangles, squares. Use your finger or a stylus to trace the stitching lines–this “practice” helps with muscle memory.

– Slow down–your quilting speed, that is–until you are comfortable at a faster pace. Different designs require different speeds to be quilted smoothly.

– Clearly mark the feather spine as a guideline.

– If you are using pins to hold the layers together, avoid placing pins along the spine line. Plan the placement of pins to minimize the amount of time you spend stopping and starting to remove them. If at all possible, place the pins around the feather, or use basting spray.

Here Ana free-motion quilted circles then added feathers around them.

In the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Quilting Arts Magazine, Ana shows us how to free-motion quilt feathers in specific shapes, including squares, triangles, and circles. Download your copy today to start practicing your feather motifs.

Or better yet subscribe to Quilting Arts Magazine to learn from Ana’s articles to come and to be inspired by the projects, techniques, and artists featured in the magazine.

Happy quilting!

Brenna's Signature

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Free-Motion Quilting, Quilting Daily Blog