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OK, I am speechless at all the beautiful feathering you guys do - especially in large areas like the Lone Star posted on the other thread.

Question: Do you mark your feathers first and then follow the line or do you just "go for it"?

My winter time goal is to work on feathers and maybe be able to do some as beautiful as all of you can do.

I got brave the other day and did feathers around an outside border of a small quilt using matching thread, so my "oops" didn't show up much. My lady was thrilled with it, so guess I am gaining on them. ;)

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Linda, like you I am always in awe of all the great Feather I see on the forum.

I seem to get a passable feather when I have a practice piece on the frame, but when it come to a real quilt top i freeze. I so want to learn how to quilt feathers out in a set space like half square triangles. So bring on those tips pretty please:D

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PPP! No kidding. Just put on a practice piece (I use either muslin or cheap sheets, batting, and again muslin backing or cheap sheet) and practice practice practice. I have done it all sorts of ways....marking out a block or a border and going for it, or just free wheeling those feathers all over the place. I really like marking out a practice block or border because it gives me some boundaries. Get out your drawing pad (I know, I know ... sigh) and practice those feathers. That's all it takes, believe me. AMHIK!!!! Have fun! My first success was on a real quilt of my own. Once I knew I could do it, wow!! Customer quilts don't scare me anymore.

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I am in awe also. I know PPP is what's needed, but I am so short of time and money right now...and I can't stand to waste batting (no, I'm not a survivor of the great depression, just a product of the current one :P )

He's my solution. I'm pulling "what was I thinking?" fabric from my stash and leftovers and making quickie quilts that will lend themselves to practice and will hide the practice quilting. I've made two from the book "Quilting Makes the Quilt", one with 7 wide vertical strips to PPP feathers. Next up will be just squares to practice whatever.

Now, if I could only "make" time to get them on the machine. Its easier right now to steal 15 - 30 mins a day to make a quick top.

Anita

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I echo all the advice above to PPP - it's the only way.Start with paper and pen, or use a piece of clear plastic over a feather design, and trace over it using a white board marker. The latter method means you can erase and re-trace as many times as you want to.

I was determined to do formal feathers on a customer quilt. So I traced out on a large piece of paper the large triangle section I wanted to fill with feather,s and then overlaid it with clear plastic tablecloth. Then every time I passed the table, I used my whiteboard marker and drew a spine and the feathers freehand to fill the space. Then I rubbed it out and did it again! I also turned the triangle around to face four different directions, so I practised the feathers in different directions. I must have done this 50 times in each orientation! But it worked - I was able to go to the quilt and quilt out the feathers freehand. I will see if I can find a photo - I can't remember if I've put it on the forum or not!

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Like Jamie Wallen says.... draw, draw draw....then draw some more!! You can get doodle pads for a buck at Dollar Tree. Use a pen and go for it!! It is amazing how that helps! Not only for feathers, but for almost any backround filler and all over too!! Go to Dollar Tree, get a couple of doodle pads and start doodling!! :)

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drawing really does help alot, although that is all i have done so far is the drawing, I am getting pretty good at it they just kind of flow after awhile. I just traced my angel baby whole cloth and by the time I was done tracing it seems it was almost automatic. Now to try to translate that the the quilting. Hopefully I will get to try that over the weekend!!

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Can't wait to see it, Jeanne! I'm just pulling my second one off the frame this morning. I "dolled" it up some like Heidi did her's.. I really like it! It is for an auction at church for one of our pastors and his wife are adopting. It is to help for the cost of the adoption. I never knew adoption was soooo expensive! I'll post a picture later today!

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Linda, I can't remember how many classes I've taken on feathers and I think I've bought just about every book out there.

On Wednesday (and again tomorrow) I was lucky enough to be able to take a class from Sharon Schamber on drawing feathers and incorporating them into your quilt - both in a block and on the borders.

We spent the whole day drawing - didn't touch our machines, just drew on freezer paper and you would not believe the beautiful feathers I was able to do. Of course, drawing them on paper and doing them on my Millie are two different things, but I now have the confidence I never had before to try it.

She taught us to mark the spine and also to mark your feather boundaries, all along the spine so you had something to extend to. If I knew how to post pictures, I would post the drawings I did - they just blew me away!

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I generally mark my spine when I'm going to feather. From there on out, it's freehand. I also have a small feather border I do without any marking. On my sister's 60th birthday quilt, IQ did the feathers. That's the easiest way! ;)

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looking forward to you angel quilt Linda please do post I would love to see what you do to doll it up. Mine is going to be as the pattern for this one at least. Might just add the babys name though. I sure hope it comes out for me. If not I can do another and another until I get it right! It is true we all just need to keep up the PPP

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I started learning the longarm style feathers by watching Sharon Schamber's free videos on her web site. The trick is to keep the feathers no longer than 4 inches or they start to look like hot dogs. Try to focus on the shape (tear drop) of the feather by going back down into the spine and back out again to form the feather.

Step 1) start the feather spine (top)

Step 2) spine down to the bottom of feather

Step 3) start on right (or left) side to begin feathers. Try to imagine a little frog or rock to form the "hump" of the feather at the bottom. This will start your shape.

***** Try to go down into the spine and back out of the spine to get the angle of your feather. Going down into the spine and back out again gets your pretty narrow start and your big fat round edge at the top of the feather.

***** Repeat and feather all of the way to the top.

Step 4) echo all the way down to the bottom and repeat steps 3 and 4

Step 5) repeat steps 3 and 4

Step 6) PPP

Step 7) PPP

Step 8) PPP

Step 9) PPP

:)

post--134619069848_thumb.jpg

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I understand the PPP directions and the doodling, so I can make the actual feather shape. My frustration come in at knowing how to wrap my mind and design around to fit the different shapes and how to fill a shape with feathers that aren't long skinny or fat huge to get to edges or for the spine to curve through the block/triangle so the feather sizes fit.

Thanks for the drawing Shana, do you not have the feathers touching for your long-arm feathers?

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Originally posted by Neher-in-law5

Thanks for the drawing Shana, do you not have the feathers touching for your long-arm feathers?

Yes, normally my feathers are touching along the edges (but it is not necessary to do that!!) for learning, I would focus not on touching lines, but getting the form and shape. For this example I have spaces in between so I could explain the process.

Over time as skill increases, you can put more focus on getting tighter with touching the feathers together. But like I said, this is not necessary to touch them. They look great not touching together, too.

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I have taken several classes from Irena Bluhm - her feathering is to "die" for!!! (if you get a chance, google her). Her best tip - drive into the spine. B4 when I drew or quilted out feathers they looked like fat fingers or mini-hotdogs. If you look at Shana's drawing (Shana, you are the feather-sharing queen!), notice that the base of the feather is driven into to the previous feather.

Like Linda, I chalk in my spine and then feather "fun" the rest. As I sit here at the computer, you should see my desk calendar - feather grafitti - practice where you can!!!:)

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Shana.......THANK YOU ! I will practice that. I have Kimmy Brunner's book of Twirly, Swirly Feathers and have been practicing her technique. That bump over and back can be tricky, but I can do it ---- SOMETIMES. haha I actually like the feathers not touching and then the echo.

I would love to take a class from someone. I have Kimmy's DVD, Myrna's DVDs and Jamie Fallen's too..........also Claudia's.............they all have a different technique. The closest class I would have access to would be with Dawn at the Des Moines Showroom. Maybe that is on my "to do" list in the coming months !!!!

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I'm a combination girl - some feathers I just mark the spine, others I will mark everything - it totally depends on the situation. I know that for me, feathers are easier in some directions and honestly the larger the feather, the harder they are so I do mark all large feather designs. Drawing the feathers has become pretty easy since I have spent so much time with the sketch pad, so marking on the quilt makes sense to me. I sometimes am very careful about following my marking lines and some times I use the markings as great guide lines. I really love doing feathers but when I see something I don't think I can do well - I let the computer do them and then go back to the drawing pad. I have kept my first quilt with feathers for reference and each year under my belt, they get better ............... I like seeing progress.

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I have been PPPPPP this afternoon and found that using my whole arm - not just my hand - to draw the feathers is more like I would be doing using the machine. So, I hold the pen upright and move from the shoulder. Meg, as you said, some directions are very good and others not so good. So, I will continue to PPPPPPPP.

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Everyone has given all the same advice I would give! What a great and generous group of quilters!

Drawing is what made me comfortable with feathers. On a white dry-erase board. I would draw a shape and fill it with feathers. Or start on one corner, draw the spine and feather the whole board. Only problem is when you sketch a really good feather you don't want to erase it!;) Sometimes I would take a picture of it! Draw boundaries and feather inside. Draw a big HST block and feather both side--either symmetrically or mirror-image. Linda's advice about keeping your wrist locked as you draw is the best advice I used when drawing. It will train the muscles and translate to the machine almost effortlessly.

After you "get" one type of feathers, try another. There are the heirloom feathers with a backtrack, longarm feathers--like Shana's, hooked feathers, feathers with a flourish like a curl or overlap, molar feathers, on and on. And once you get the feather down, especially how the base of the feather meets the spine, they can be translated into leaves, geometrics, ferns, etc. Really cool!

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What a great thread...we all love feathers! I'm with Irene & Shana...it was Sharon Schamber who got me feeling OK about feathers and I always do them in the same order she does. You can watch her video at warp speed on UTube and get the gist.

There's one more thing for successful feathers & I don't think it has been mentioned yet. Choose your thread wisely. Matching thread will blend in better...contrasting thread will call attention to any little bobble. Use skinny thread so that your backtracking won't build up or show. And like everyone else said, draw it. If you can draw it, you can quilt it. Nancy in Tucson

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Great advise here...... I agree with everyone. The most important is PPPPPPPPP. In my classes I have my student use contruction paper and white gel pens to get a nice easy glide when drawing feathers or any other design. I still draw out feathers before I go to the machine to quilt.

I will draw my stems and feathers on my quilts at times to get a certain look, most of the time I mark registration marks then quilt my feathers. I started out watching Sharon create feathers, also Linda Taylor.

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