Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Long Arm Tradition: Feathers

Early calimanco wool quilt with a shiny surface

People have questions about how to quilt their traditional applique.
Perhaps the best answer is:

I took this picture at the Winterthur Museum of their early Quaker silk strip quilt:
Three fancy patterns and a diamond grid. The filler quilting pattern behind the feather on the
right is diagonal straight lines.

A feather quilted border is a classic from 1800 through the 1930s....

An important style in quilted petticoats of about 1800.
The filler pattern here is diagonal lines meeting in chevrons.

Filler quilting---a diamond grid

Mid-19th century
Filler straight lines

About 1830

Filler grid on the left of one inch squares

Dated 1904

Filler squares both on point and on the straight.
Do note how the feather covers three borders.
If you've left some plain areas for fancy quilting do consider feathers.

There are plenty of templates out there to
buy for hand quilting.

Turning corners is the hard part. Here's an old Mountain Mist
pattern with a good solution.

Just remember you have to decide upon a filler pattern;
you can't just quilt a feather and leave it floating by itself.

Many of you will hire the quilting done by a long arm quilter,
a very traditional solution (well, not the long arm, but the hiring the quilting.)

Barter not much done anymore though.

The hardest part about hiring the quilting is communicating what you
want done. It might help to have some pictures.


Do a web search for long arm feather quilting to see some style.

Feather quilting is quite fashionable now with prize-winning
long-armers like Jane Hauprich. But this remarkable trend often doesn't
replicate the old-fashioned look. The quilting dominates and you are
probably looking for something that plays supporting role to your patchwork.


Find a couple of pictures you like.

Trotting Stitches

Or hire these guys.


Angela Walters at QuiltingIsMyTherapy

Look at the filler behind the feathers too. I have heard it is easier for long arm designs to echo the curves rather than use the traditional straight line fillers.

Joy Voltenburg
Next week: Other traditional looks.                       


Kerry said...

Feathers are my favourite - and first thing that I quilted. OK, they were lollipop sticky out things at first but by the time I'd finished, I had improved. When I look at a quilt now I see if it will work with feathering first. Lots of lovely inspiration from your post. We recently moved and the carpets in the house are a little um, awful, but looking at them in more depth they have feather designs! I think I need to get down on all fours to trace them, shrink them and adapt them! Thank you Barbara!

QuiltGranma said...

Wonderful post. Thank you! I have found it difficult to get a new long-armer to understand what it is I wish done to one of my quilts. Having pictures is a great idea!