I’ve been working on a new feather quilting design group I’m calling First Feathers. As with most of my designs, I started with a pantograph design (also called Edge-to-Edge (E2E for short) or Overall). Last year I created Wandering Feathers, which, if I may say so myself, is a beautiful design.
Doesn’t it look great on this quilt?
However, I was afraid that a beginning longarm quilter might find this feather quilting design a bit intimidating. It’s a fairly dense pattern, there is a long undulating spine which can be difficult to keep smooth, and if you stray from the line you may end up crossing over the base of some of the feathers.
So I decided to create a simpler feather design suitable for newer LA quilters. After all, feathers are one of the most common quilting designs, and something that every quilter should try and master.
Feather Quilting Design for Newer Longarm Quilters
The name First Feathers came from the idea that this is the PERFECT design to learn to do feathers. While these are not symmetrical, traditional feathers, it is a VERY pretty design. If you learn to do this design well, it will help you in your journey to create more difficult feather quilting designs down the road.
Here is what the pantograph will look like:
What makes this perfect for beginners is there is no long spine to keep smooth – the spine is ‘suggested’ by the points at the base of the feathers. Also, there is just one motif to practice which should help with muscle memory. (Here’s a great post on muscle memory in longarm quilting). And, the feathers are all quilted from the bottom up. I’ve found that it’s easier to make the individual fronds have a more pleasing shape if you start at the bottom, rather than at the top. (Don’t believe me? Try it with paper and pencil.)
I can’t wait to see this design on a quilt – I think it’s going to give great texture, and I love how the feathers undulate across the length of the design.
Variations on a Theme
Once I’m done creating a pantograph, I like to play with a design to create other coordinating motifs. – These often include borders and corners, blocks, wreaths, triangles, etc. I LOVE using my Art & Stitch software to do this, but sometimes there are SOOOO many variations that I really need to narrow down the choices. So today I’d like to find out which wreaths you find most useful. I’ve created two different wreath designs, each of which can have either six sides (hexagon-shaped) or eight sides (octagon-shaped).
While I kind of like how the hexy-shaped ones look, I’m wondering if the octagon-shaped ones would be more versatile and fit more quilts. What do you think? Should I limit it to two wreaths, or include all four? At this point, I also have a border & corner, four or five square blocks, a frame, and one other wreath-type design. Are there other design elements you find useful?
Leave your comments below to vote for which wreaths to include in this design group.
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