I have been looking at quilting feathers for about a year and a half now, trying to figure out exactly what I don’t like about them.
Are they too traditional? No, although I think they are sometimes overdone and a bit “expected.”
Are they too difficult to stitch? No, although I’ve drawn them more than quilted them. I’ve done them on practice pads only, I’ve never put them on a quilt.
After reading Lori Kennedy’s book last month, I’ve finally figured it out. In her book, she notes that overstitching can create an unwanted focal point. That’s it! Feathers typically have a heavily overstitched “spine” which draws the eye to it. That’s what I don’t like. I don’t want to look at the spine – I want to enjoy the feathers.
So, how do I make a feather without overstitching the spine? Well, there are plenty of ways to make a feather design, just Google “longarm quilting feathers” and you’ll see. So I did some research. I read a bunch of blogs, read books, and watched videos from several different sources. But none of their techniques suited me. So I started drawing.
Here’s what I came up with:
Draw a spine up, come back down on one side, echo stitch back up and over to the other side, go down and echo back up to the top. Whew! Glad I figured that out, it was bugging me. You should see all the feather doodles in my trash.
I haven’t quilted them yet, but that’s next! Stay tuned.