The Free Motion Quilting Project: Day 320 - Echo Feathers

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 320 - Echo Feathers

Whoo Hoo! I'm back, unpacked, and already working on a quilt top using some of the techniques from the seminar.

But more than anything else, I really want to get back to designs! Many people liked Moon Feathers, but somehow I think this more traditional, formal version will still be the most popular. Here’s what happens when you take that simple Feather Filler design and surround it with connecting echoes so it stands out that much better:

free motion quilting | Leah DayEchoing really works in two ways: connecting and non-connecting echoes. I’ve chosen to stitch connecting echoes for this design so each echo arch comes down and connects with the space between the feathers, then bounces up and around the feather, then connects again with the other side.

This creates a bit more texture in these areas, a bit more drama and elegance that will stand out on the surface of your quilts. Play with both forms of echoing to discover which you like the best.

Difficulty Level - Intermediate. Feathers require practice. It really is as simple as that! When I started this project 2 years ago, I could NOT stitch a feather to save my life. Don’t believe me? Check out the original photo for feather filler!

free motion quilting | Leah DayI think I should have named this Deranged Feathers since that's really what it looked like at the time!

The more you free motion, the more you draw or stitch this curvy shape, the better you will get at it. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that feathers work differently for everyone. Play with stitching this lots of different ways to discover which way works the best for you.

Filler Design Type - Stem Centered. Feathers start with a single stem, then branch off to fill your quilting space. You can even fill the stem with other designs like Chain of Pearls to add even more texture and beauty to the design.

Directional Texture - All Directions. Your texture in this design really depends on your starting stem. The stem will also always be very visible so keep that in mind as you stitch it.

Suggestions for Use - Over the top feathers like these can really go anywhere on your quilts, but they will look best when you give them space to stand out and show off. Consider trying a simple whole cloth quilt this winter and see just how amazing your feathers can become!

Back of Echo Feathers
free motion quilting | Leah DayFeel free to use this free motion quilting design in your quilts
and send in a picture to show it off!

Let's go Quilt!

Leah Day


  1. I think your deranged feathers look sort of cute :) We all have to start somewhere. The echo feathers are a great idea!

  2. I really like this one. The feather shows up so pretty on the purple fabric!

  3. You amaze me, woman! everytime you post a new design, I am astounded at your creativity. Thanks for sharing these with us. You are such a key contributor to the quilting community. You really bring back the spirit of quilting, that started with ladies gathering around a frame and sharing, for free, their knowledge, with others. LOVE LOVE LOVE your work.

    Daisy of Lazy Daisy Quilting Podcast


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