When I started machine quilting, I told my mom more than once that I'd never machine quilt a feather. Actually, I said this for a few years. Feathers to me had to be perfect and heirloom-looking, and I was pretty sure that I'd never quilt that style of quilt. After quilting full-time for customers for about three years, I had a friend bring me one of her quilts. She wanted custom feathers all the way around the outside of her quilt. Because she was a friend, I couldn't say no, so I knew that I had to learn how to quilt them. I got a stencil and my blue Mark-B-Gone marker and started marking every single feather on that quilt. It was the perfect way for me to teach myself how to quilt feathers.
(Machine quilting by Natalia Bonner on the Butterfly quilt; check out Natalia's blog for more eye candy.)
By the time I was done with that quilt I was obsessed, and I wanted to quilt them on every quilt that I could ... where appropriate, of course.
It took me a while to realize that the way I was quilting them was not the way that most people were quilting feathers at that time. I had come up with a method that made sense in my head. After I mastered that technique, I then moved on to the traditional style of bump-back feathers and have continued to quilt feathers ever since.
(Machine quilting on this beautiful pineapple quilt by Natalia Bonner; visit Natalia's blog for more eye candy.)
So, of course, when the time felt right, I knew that I really wanted to share the information and ideas that I had about machine quilting feathers in a book. That's where my book, Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers, came from.
In this book, I walk you step-by-step through several—68 to be exact—machine-quilting designs. I give you ideas for blocks and borders and hopefully inspire you to have fun with feathers. Let go of perfection and fall in love. :)
I'm now traveling around the country teaching at shows, shops, and guilds and sharing my love of feathers. You can check out my teaching schedule on my blog.
Also, to inspire you even more, make sure to check out my YouTube channel.