Saturday, 31 May 2014

Plate feathers tutorial

The feathered border is finished, now here's a bit of a tutorial on how I did the feathers. This method will work for borders from around 8in wide, up to 12in. I used it previously on two borders combined.

You'll need a circular template which is about half the width of the border, perhaps a little more, and an erasable marker. I use a Sewline air-erasable marker, as it goes on really easily, is nice and visible, and I trust it to come out. For round templates, I search through my crockery cupboards for a bowl or plate which is the right size!

Then it's just a case of tracing 3/4 around the template. It's a bit hard to see in the photo of the fabric above, so I moved to a pencil and paper diagram:

Start at the end of the quilting area, shown at the top. The 3/4 circles always start in the middle of the border, and alternate directions. I like to place a small cross at roughly the centre of each circle. This helps me judge better when filling the circle with feathers. There's no need to quilt the spines first.

Start quilting where you started drawing. Quilt feather plumes around the outside of the first circle, and follow along the spine as it turns into the inside of the second circle. Fill the circle.

Backtrack along the spine to where the second circle meets the third, and quilt a teardrop shape between them.

Then work back up from the teardrop. This step plus the teardrop above form part A of the repeating pattern once you get going.

Bactrack along the spine again, this time all the way to where the first circle meets the second, and quilt another teardrop shape between them.

Then work up from the teardrop, feathering up to the starting edge.


Backtrack to the teardrop and quilt feathers around the outside of the second circle and into the third circle. Combined with the teardrop, this forms part B of the repeating pattern.

At this point I went back to the earliest point which needed feathers adding, so I could mark some more circles without having to move my quilt from the machine. Because I use the air-erasable pen, I can only mark 3-5 circles at a time, so they don't vanish before I get to them!

Continue along the borders, alternating A and B.

When you get to a corner, be sure to place the corner 3/4 circle centrally in the corner.

You may find that the circle doesn't fit neatly into the length of the border. The simplest way to check is to measure across the circle (its diameter). Add 1/8in to this to allow for a gap when you trace. Then mark this interval all along the very edge of the border. If you get to the end and it perfectly meets the centred corner circle, then all's well. If there's a gap or overlap, the easiest thing is to squash or stretch each circle (or just a few if needed) a little bit as you trace. My bowl was 5in across, so I marked out 5 1/8in increments along the edge of the quilt, right at the very edge of the fabric. In a few places I stretched my 'circle' out by as much as 1/4in, and it's not noticeable. Another option is to allow a gap between the circles at the corners and to draw in a smooth connecting line. Does that make any sense at all?




20 comments:

celkalee said...

Dear Emma, thank you so much for sharing this process, it is amazing and it suits my though process! Your work is absolutely amazing. Each project is more beautiful than the one before. You are very generous to show us how to do this. Now, I need lots and lots of practice!!!

battynurse said...

Very cool! Yet another technique I want to learn!

Elena Shamgunova said...

This is a great tutorial!

tomomi mcelwee said...

Thank you for your great tutorial. I am finally dip my toes to feather quilting. Definitely try this one!

Rebecca said...

Hi. Just found this tutorial from Pinterest. The feather border is gorgeous and I can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing your talents!

Terry said...

Great step by step tutorial Thank-you for sharing

I am Just One Mom said...

So helpful to see your drawings evolve and read along with your instructions. Very nicely done and very helpful!
Thank you!

iquilts said...

Any chance of a video?

Garden on the Ridge said...

This is beautifully explained! Thank you, I'll try it very soon.

Wine Bottle Art said...

I followed your tutorial as best I could. It was easy to follow and I was really pleased with the results. I was trying to post a photo but with no luck. Thanks again

Wine Bottle Art said...

Thank you so much for your tutorial. I was very pleased with the results. I tried to post a picture but was not successful. Again, thank you.

SewCalGal said...

Excellent tutorial. Thank you. I look forward to practicing this. #FMQLove

SewCalGal
www.sewcalgal.blogspot.com

Robin Devellen said...

What a great idea. Thank you.

k8 said...

Your tutorial doesn't actually state when to fill the first circle. Seems like it should be done first?

Joan said...

Great tutorial Emma.. Really well done

Lynn said...

Thank you so much for this great tutorial. I tried this technique for the first time, and I love how it looked when I was finished. I'm anxious to try it on a wider border next time.
--Lynn
http://sewnwildoaks.blogspot.com

Razzle Dazzle Quilter said...

Thank you, amazing tutorial

Helen L said...

I found your tutorial from Lynn's blog (Sewn Wild Oats blog). This is a beautiful pattern: Thanks for sharing it!! I've got it pinned and hope to use it soon. Hugs, H in Healdsburg, Ca

Annie of Blue Gables said...

Dear Emma,
What a beautiful tutorial! You always inspire me. Thank you for generously sharing your methods and talent. You constantly amaze me.
~a

Brenda said...

I am so new to quilting my own. .I also cannot figure how you got to first circle. . I just love your work. . so pretty. . Thanks for sharing!