I promised you I would share how I stitched the floppy feather design on the bird quilt. I drew the design on drawing paper and also made a video for you. However, I’m having difficulty getting the video uploaded. Hopefully I can fix whatever the issue is (I’m thinking it’s my satellite internet and all this snowy weather), and you’ll be able to see it soon. Until then, I hope the following makes sense to you.
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Are you ready? Let’s go get our stitch on!
First, let me give some credit here. This is NOT my original design. I first saw it on Instagram. Rebecca (@rubybluequilts) uses these feathers on her quilts and I wanted to learn how to do them as soon as I saw them. She also has a short video on how she makes them. If you like to see inspirational quilting, I hope you’ll hop over to Instagram and follow Rebecca!
Okay, now we can get our stitch on! 🙂
Floppy feathers is an easy design, it fits in any space, it’s a good filler or edge to edge design, and it can be stitched in pretty much any size.
So the first thing to do is stitch your first feather. You won’t have a spine to work from, and it doesn’t matter which side you start on. You will want to work from the bottom up, as that is what makes this feather so easy to stitch.
Then, add a second feather on the opposite side:
The thing that makes these feathers ‘floppy’ is that they don’t connect. You’ll want to make sure to leave some space between the feathers where the spine would normally be. All you are doing is giving the suggestion of a spine.
Continue stitching until you are ready to change the direction you are traveling in. The feathers need to twist and turn in different directions. You don’t want them all running in a straight line – they will lose the floppy affect.
When you are ready to make a turn, stitch two or three (or more, if needed) feathers on the same side. In the picture below you can see the last three feathers I drew are all on the left side. That’s because I’m getting ready to turn to the right. Hang on, you’ll see where I’m going in a minute… 🙂
Now I’m ready to turn so I make another feather in the direction I want to turn (in this case, to the right.)
And now I can just keep going to the right..
When I’m ready to turn again, I just start stitching multiple feathers on the opposite side of the direction I want to go. In the pic below, I want to take the design up (or to the left), so I stitch several feathers on the right side.
As for the path that I followed, I worked with the throat space on my machine. I wanted to fill in the entire area, so I just loosely followed an imaginary wavy line. You can see what I mean in the picture below:
You can also see that the row of feathers on the farthest right side is taller than the first row. This design looks best if you let it be organic. You don’t want everything to be symmetrical – that will allow any mistakes to jump out. Just let it ride up and down and go where it wants. When you start the next row, you can fill in any spaces with feathers and it will look fabulous.
Stitch each row in opposite directions. This lets you have feathers running every which way, up, down, right, left.
In the above picture, you can see how I stitched three feathers on the bottom right, in order to make the turn to the left. Even though this design looks sloppy drawn on paper, it looks so good when stitched out and gives fantastic texture to a quilt. I hope you’ll try it and share your projects. I’d love to see your Floppy Feather projects!
I’ll let you know as soon as I can upload the video. I think seeing it stitched will be helpful. I know I’m a visual person, and I always enjoy watching FMQ videos.