Thursday, September 10, 2015

Feather in my cap...uhm, quilt!

Last weekend I had an irresistible urge to make a feather block for fun.  It was one of those have-to urges.  As in, I have to make a feather block because I've been thinking about it for some time. 
(I know there should be hyphens between all of those words, but... no.)
feather bed quilt pattern by Anna Maria Horner (This is a free pattern in the make section at
I did a quick Pinterest search and found the Anna Maria Horner "Feather Bed Quilt," which I love!  I wanted very much to make something using this feather design.

Feather Sewing and Cutting Tutorial - a minimal waste version. Awesome!! | Olivia Jane: A little more looking and in no time I found this tutorial on Olivia Jane Handcrafted.

Of course, there are many other great tutorials on Pinterest and other blogs, so if these don't work for you, there should be no trouble finding something that does.  Just search for "feather quilts."

Of course, I just wanted a jump-off and got going on my own in little time.  I started by sewing together some 2 1/2 inch strips that I'd bought some time ago and then supplemented with more cuts from the stash.  To add interest, I cut a few of the strips in half before sewing.  

my three-feather block

I made a quick pattern from scrap paper and figured out how to cut each half.  That was a little confusing at first.  It's one of those things that I needed to visualize.  After making the first 45 degree cut, it was much easier.

I also made a pattern for applique feathers. These have more rounded edges and look more realistic except for the fabric and colors.  To achieve the rounded tip, I added two small darts on the right side.  Then I cut some deep, narrow notches.

Richard came into the studio and saw my feathers.  A few minutes later he returned with these beauties.  Little did we realize at the time that they were on the ground because the nuisance alligator had already come for a visit.  The alligator may have eaten the chickens, but it didn't devour all of the feathers.  They were very helpful in giving me a visual guide for the applique feathers.

The result of my little play session.  The colors, however, are not true.  I think the bright yellow is really between these two tones. One photo was taken under the florescent light and the other in partial natural light.  The difference is amazing.

My plan for these two pieces is to quilt them and then make a tote bag for carrying school stuff.  

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