Feather fail

Free Motion Quilting with Features, Angela Walters, Craftsy

I gave feathers a try for the first time on the longarm, and as you can tell by the feathers going in two different directions above, it is safe to say it didn’t go so well.

I’ve been taking Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers by Angela Walters on Craftsy. I’ve taken other classes from Angela on Craftsy and she is a very good instructor. She makes feathers look so easy. I had practiced drawing my feathers for weeks and was finally ready to load my Christmas panel quilt on the longarm.


The idea was to practice feathers in the border of the lap quilt before tackling the maple leaf log cabin. On that quilt I want to quilt feathers in the blocks on the light and dark halves so the feathers swirl around the center of the quilt.

At Quilting by You, where I rent time on the longarm, there are three machines. The only one that has a frame large enough for the log cabin is one that I am not used to quilting on. So I figured I’d get used the machine at the same time I learned to quilt feathers. It is older, has a hoping foot and the entire quilt vibrates as you run the machine over it. I got through half of one pass before I decided this was not the machine to learn to quilt feathers on.

Free-motion quilting with feathers, Angela Walters, Craftsy

The hopping foot and vibrations made it next to impossible to track over my stitches or get back to the spine. So I switched back to one of the machines I was familiar with. The top pass went much better, but once I got to the sides the quilting was a mess again. The feathers going in opposite directions in the first photo of this blog are an example of one of my feathers that didn’t go so well.

I kept on trying, but gave up halfway through the border. I’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to pull out all the stitches and start over, or just the ones that look truly awful. Either way, the next time I try feathers it is going to be on a piece of muslin. I need a lot more practice before I try on a quilt again.

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