Free Machine Quilting Tip #3:How To Fill a Tight Space With Free Form Feathers

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Hi I’m Cindy Needham. I’m an online quilting instructor with and I’ve got some great tips on how to fill an odd space, or a tight space, with free-form feathers.

I started with a diamond shape. Kind of an odd shape, it might be a little difficult to fill with a feather. I always like to divide and conquer a space, it makes it much easier. So to make this diamond a little easier to quilt I simply added an S-curve spine and then I came back down. It’s much easier to fill each half with the feather. I’ve already started this. We’ve done our free-form feather, you can see I started at the spine and I’ve gone all the way to the edge of my design. Now I would like to finish the edge and then I’ll fill in the other side for you. When you do a free-form feather, at least when I do a free-form feather, I like to snug right up to the previous one. You want kind of a fat head and a skinny bottom to this, that makes your feathers beautiful. Feathers are pretty when they’re fat, you want to give them a lot of nice space in there. So we’ve come to the end.

I’m simply going to travel to the end of my spine, because we need to start from the bottom and work our way back up. So now we’re at the bottom. The little words that I like to use to get my feather shape are scoop, swirl, and spoon. So my very first movement is going to be my scoop. It’s almost like dipping into an ice cream bucket, and you’re scooping out. We’re going to swirl and then we’re going to come back and this is the spoon part. It’s just like spoons stacked up on top of each other, we’re duplicating that shape. So here’s our scoop, we’re going to swirl, and then we’re going to spoon. We’re going to duplicate that shape. And don’t be afraid if you have some odd looking feathers. Feathers are more beautiful when they’re different. It gives them a nice pretty shape, it gives you movement.

Now this is going to be a long area for me to reach up. Now see how nice this turned out? We’ve got a lot of variety in the shapes of our feathers. We’ve got little ones, we have really full ones. I even have some open space – that’s not a big deal. I could leave it just like that and I would be very happy with the end product. If you want to fill it in with something you can fill it in with some echo, a little bit of scribbling, a few pearls, that would add a beautiful detail to that background.


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