Feathers That Fly

Feathers on the Fly

Feathers that Fly
Gifted ByMartingale/That Patchwork Place
Reviewed by Mollyhall Seeley, Editor for FaveQuilts


Nothing is more intimidating or more rewarding than adding a touch of free-motion to a finished quilt. Free-motion designs are the perfect way to lend elegance and detail to projects, and none more so than the feather motif. Feathers are classic, gorgeous, and (best of all) surprisingly easy. The key, of course, is taking each step as it comes and understanding the relationship between lines and curves.


If that sounds scary, there's good news! Lee Cleland breaks down the process of adding beautiful free-motion feathers to any quilt in Feathers that Fly: How to Design, Mark, and Machine Quilt Feather Motifs. This book is perfect for the nerdy quilter, whose interest lies not only in creating beautiful quilts but also in understanding every step of the process. Cleland has created a kind of workbook which includes practice designs and detailed explanations alongside design patterns and graphs.


For example, Cleland outlines several common pitfalls that quilters experience when adding feathers to their quilts: feathers that don't look like feathers (Cleland advises you to double-check your initial design: is it a half-heart shape?), stiff feathers (Cleland suggests that you "make sure the drawn line continues the curve of the "coin top"), backward-curving feathers (an easy fix; as Cleland puts it, "keep the heart shape simple for fluid feathers"), and flat feathers (check to be sure your curve isn't too large).


Sew free-motion feathers like a pro with this amazing handbook. Don't let the fear of making a mistake keep you from making stunning quilts; with Cleland's clear, easy-to-follow advice, your quilts will take wing in no time.

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