Never! I was convinced I would never, ever, quilt feathers. I'd tried. They were always warped looking. Besides, with so many other options for quilting designs, who needs feathers?
But then I took Angela Walter's great course Machine Quilting--Small Changes on Craftsy. Angela explain that feathers really are just heart shapes...and they don't have to be perfect to look great. Thanks Angela!! I still wasn't planning to use this information. But I'm working on my Bird Economy Block quilt with alternating chain blocks with lots of negative space. Birds--they need feathers! And you know, Angela is absolutely correct. Feathers aren't that hard to quilt and they do look great even when they aren't perfect.
One of my great quilting tools is my Fisher-Price Doodle Pro. Using this erasable tablet you can practice your quilting designs before you start to sew. If you hold the stylus with a closed fist, rather than your fingers, your brain will develop muscle memory that is similar to the way hands move fabric under the needle for free motion quilting. It really does work.
The photo on the Doodle Pro above illustrates how I stitched out my feathers.
Here is a feather being stitched on the machine.
On the left side of the photo at the top of this post, note that my stitching moved from the top of a feather into a meander stitch in the adjacent 4 patch block. I was able to quilt about 1/3 of the blocks without having stop.
This was my first attempt to quilt feathers. Do my feathers all have perfect heart shapes? No. But The overall effect is great. I'm really happy with the results!