Feathered Lullaby Quilt

Last year, I showed the Hungry Animal Alphabet panel in a quilt, the ABC Quilt.  Showing just a couple of the lettered squares, readers had a great time looking at them.  Each one has an animal with food and other items all beginning with the same letter designed by J. Wecker Frisch.  This idea is just so stinkin’ cute, why the manufacturer, Quilting Treasures, wouldn’t keep this in stock forever is beyond me.  Anyway, after I posted about the panel quilt, I received the companion fabric from a very nice reader, Ila M, so I could make more kid quilts.  I have some left, and decided to make a quilt for a kid where I could do some freehand practice.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I wanted to spread the print over a couple of quilts, rather than using it as backing as it is just too cute.  So, a complete alphabet was fussy cut, then bordered with blue to add to the size.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Borders were added to the sides as well to frame three fussy cut panels.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

This was a great opportunity to do some quilted feathers as I haven’t done them in a very long time.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

To begin, mark a stem line all the way around the quilt, deciding where to branch off for the interior sections.  I use a heat erasable gel pen for marking, this time in a dark blue.  I have a set of colors, like this one – Five Pen Assortment.  You can order individual colors too if you’d rather have another color.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

The marking is done freehand, with just the stem marked.  I do a wavy line making sure the corners curve nicely.  Starting in the middle of the left side, I feather up to the corner, around the corner and along the top.  I did bump-back feathers this time, two on one side, then two on the other side of the stem.  Some quilters call these ‘over the top’ feathers.  A bump-back feather is one where the stitching comes up from the stem, curves around the top to touch the feather before it, backtracks over the top, and then makes a second feather bringing the line back down to the stem.  I am not really good at this, so I need the practice.  You can see where I totally got off the backtrack line on the feather below the hopping foot.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

On the inside line nearer the center, the feathers can just continue around the curve for the sashing, placing one at the point where the two feather lines diverge.  Then, I backtrack along the stem line to fill in the feathers on the outside.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

On the panel part, I just quilted outlines around the animals so the pictures would stay clear for finding the items by letter.  See the P block?  A pig wearing pajamas has pancakes and a pumpkin and through the window panes there is a pine tree.  Fun isn’t it!!  Look! I see a hippo in a housedress with a hen eating a hamburger next to a hurricane lamp… oh, OK, I’ll stop playing the game and get back to quilting.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

So, both interior sashings and end borders were quilted about halfway down, then backtracking along the stem line to get back to the upper border.  I needed to advance the quilt on the longarm at this point.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Continuing, the next thing was to stabilize the other half of the quilt by stitching down the edge.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Then, continuing the feathers in the border beginning on the right side, I quilted feathers down to the bottom right corner.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Turning the corner, I put a small feather, then curve the next one around it.  The outside edge has a larger one in the corner to take up the space.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Continue the feathers, now quilting right to left.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Then the harder part, joining the feather lines coming down the sashings.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I quilted up to the sashing on the inside edge, and past it on the outside edge.  When I got to my mark for the joining lines, I tracked down the marked stem line to the point in the sashing where I had stopped before.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Then I began making feathers up to the border.  I miscalculated what I would need, and put some really small feathers at the joining point.  I wasn’t really happy with this, but I left it in.  A child won’t care.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I worked my way around the curve, and once again made a bad feather here, too long and skinny.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

But, then I got back in my rhythm, and the next ones were more consistent.  I continued doing two on one side, then two on the other as before.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

This time, I place a feather closer to the stem line, and will omit the tiny ones.  I put two more feathers on the outside of the stem line to get to my marked joining line.  Then, I stitched on the marked stem line back down the sashing to the second area to join up.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Sewing more feathers, I approach the border again, this time just making normal size feathers.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I ignore the little bit unquilted, and continue the feathers around the curve.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Then again doing two on one side then two on the other, I work my way around the last corner.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

When I began the feather line, I didn’t do full feathers to start, I did a bump-back as if there was a feather there to touch, leaving the end hanging.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Here you can see the feathers approaching the starting point.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I just eyeball the distance.  On the left side, one more feather will fill the space.  On the right side, I’ll probably need three or four more.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

As I make the last one, I make sure to put the edge of the feather on the end of the starting line, so it isn’t obvious where the starting line begins.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I backtrack just a little on the stem line, then tie off and clip the threads.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I went back to the panel areas and finished the quilting between the animals.  This took about an hour to do.  Freehand goes really fast!

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

On the back, I used this adorable Mother Goose print, also from Ila.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

I want you to know that I show you all my foibles and mistakes for a reason.  Now, look at the quilt from a bit of a distance.  It is the overall impression that is remembered, not the individual mistakes.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

When viewed as a whole, most people will not notice the mistakes.  Don’t be afraid to practice, and don’t worry so much about being perfect.  Some sections will look great, while others not so much.  A child only cares about the quilt, and will probably be too busy looking at the alligator wearing an argyle sweater and an ascot eating apples and asparagus… dang, I am at it again!

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Now, to deal with the marking lines.  Note that I didn’t worry too much about getting the stitching perfectly on the line.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Pressing with my iron set on cotton, the marks disappear with little effort.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Quilting done, I’ll bind this and give it to a charity.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

There are lots of ways to do feathers.  I think the one I use most is called a touch and go feather, where the point touches the feather before, then arcs over the the top without backtracking.  I’ll show you those on another day.

Amazon has some great books on quilting feathers – HERE – check them out with my affiliate link.  Thank you for using my links when you can!

PrimeDayBannerDon’t forget about Prime Day, coming July 16th. with a deal on Kindle Unlimited 3 Months Free!
Check out today’s Flash Sale at Fat Quarter Shop.

Feather Quilting at From My Carolina Home

Do you ever do freehand quilting, either on your domestic machine or a longarm?

Sharing

Freemotion on the River

15 thoughts on “Feathered Lullaby Quilt

  1. I really love doing freehand quilting, but I have yet to put much time or energy into learning feathers. I like the way you joined the feathers running down the columns along the bottom and appreciate all the detailed photos and explanation.

  2. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole; Your quilted free quilted feathers turned out so beautifully! I instantly wanted to be able to have you quilting my quilts for me once again!! I knew that your small mistakes would not be noticed by anyone but you when it was all finished. I am so glad that you showed the whole process as you went along, Carole. It is truly inspiring watching the process from start to finish. As you know, I quilt on my domestic machines usually just straight line quilting, but every so often I will attempt free motion. This is an amazing quilt that will keep some child warm but also busy either finding treasures in the letters and pictures or by tracing fingers along the feathers. Thank you for sharing and have a great day!

  3. Love the quilt, those panels are just gorgeous…I had one with a red backing, it is so easy to be distracted by the animals and blocks isn’t it! ! Your feathers look great, thank you for explaining as you go and the photos. I have never tried feathers but I might one day. I do some free motion quiting, but it is a bit more free range…not always under control!!!

  4. Ah feathers! I need to practice them again, mine are pretty terrible, and Doreen over at treadlemusic keeps telling me to practice every day and I’ll get there. Yours look darn good, Carole! Love that alphabet panel!

  5. …but isn’t quilting sooo forgiving. I sometimes free hand quilt….but not a lot. Your practice made an adorable little quilt. 🙂

  6. Connie Kresin Campbell

    Beautiful quilt and your feathers look wonderful! It has been a long time since I did some feathers, need to do it again.

  7. Very pretty quilt. I actually love doing free-motion machine quilting. Lately loving walking foot quilting as well. Hand quilting? I so admire those who do, but very seldom I do it as mine isn’t very neat.

  8. manasotavacation

    Loved it so much I went online and bought a panel for a new baby due in Jan.!!!!! Your quilting is great and the tiny “stuff” will never be noticed. You are so generous to share the details so that others may learn!

  9. Pingback: Saturday Quilting Bring & Share (25) |

I respond to comments via email if I have a valid email address. Thank you for reading my blog!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.