The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 26 - Feather Filler

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Day 26 - Feather Filler

Okay, today I'm cheaping out a bit, I'll admit it! Today's filler design is Feathers!

Of course, for many of you, producing beautiful free motion feathers is probably no problem at all, but for me, this is actually quite a challenge. So I've decided to improve my skills at producing beautiful free form feathers by creating a fill pattern with them:

free motion quilting | Leah Day
New version of Feather Filler added in 2012
free motion quilting | Leah Day
If you've been following along to the blog and trying some of these designs out on your own, you've probably noticed by now that some designs are easier to quilt than others.

A lot of this has to do with muscle memory, and my muscles seem to HATE feathers!

But when you repeat the same shape over and over, those movements magically start connecting with your brain and it becomes easier to stitch. I imagine if I sat down and stitched this 4" square again it would come out 100 times better.

But I decided to show you the not-so-perfect example just so you know that I'm not the best at everything free motion ;-)

Feathers look terrific as the focal motifs of a quilt, but what if instead we used them as fillers, to simply take up space in the background of a quilt.

Difficulty Level: Easy for Some, Hard for Others, so I guess that means Intermediate! If feathers are something you have ingrained into your body and you can quilt beautifully with your eyes closed, then this fill will be no trouble at all.

But if you're like me and hate this shape and wish it was never invented, you may need some practice (and anger management classes) in order to master it!

Design Family - Edge to Edge.

Directional Texture: All directions. These feathers really are limitless with what you can do with them. Placed on a smaller scale, this fill may be as useful as Stippling, especially around tight areas that can be tricky to fill with 2 direction designs.

Suggestions for Use: Hmmm...the feather filler would look great placed around both geometric boxy shapes and the smoother, curvy lines of applique. Try using this in tight areas and see what kind of effect you get!

Back of Feather Filler
free motion quilting | Leah Day
Feel free to use this free motion filler designs in your quilts,

Happy Quilting!

Leah Day


  1. I'm just now working on feathers and your right - they do take practice. Luckily for me I really like them so I like practicing!
    Laura T

  2. Thank you very much for all you share! Great inspirations!
    I love it!

  3. ROFL you are funny, Leah! Me at my best is still nowhere near you at your worst!!! Keep in mind those of us who are avidly watching this channel love all the different ideas... and think they all look awesome in their own way! We are always so much harder on ourselves than we are on others! :)

  4. Yvonne aka sommeke wrote about your blog! I like machinequilting but I'm not that good. I still need a lot of practice. I like your feather motifs, they are stunning. Thanks for sharing this!

  5. Thanks for the blog and all inspiration.
    I have link your blog.


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