Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers

6:15 PM

Lucky girl right here (I'm talking about me)!  I got a chance to review this book for Natalia.  But I am not the only lucky one because Natalia is too.  She wrote a fantastic book about feathers that every quilter should add to their library.  This is of course available at your local quilt shop ;)

I am going to highlight little points that I appreciated through out her book and give you a million reasons why you will too feel the same way.

To start, I have felt much like Natalia when it came to feathers.  I will give history about my start in quilting to give a little back story.  I bought my machine to build my career in quilting and provide for our little family.  Being younger with little kids money and time is in short supply.  I started quilting with only the few skills I encompassed and not a lot of resources.  The funny thing is that having a simple resource like this book can make all the difference and it is small investment to add a huge punch to build those skills.  Long story short I would have loved to educate myself with the finest teachers and practice all that I could on blank canvas' but the reality was that I had limited funds and customer quilts to work on.  Therefore trying new skills and messing up customer quilts isn't always the best option.  But as time went on I was able to sneak a couple of my own quilts and attempt feather's on them.  They were not the cutest!!!  I will tell you!!!  I wish I had this book to help me along the way.  If only to be encouraging but really to teach the basics of feather construction and to realize there are many options to try and absorb.

Fast forward to present day, I am comfortable in a few feather compilations and that is a good thing.  In addition I am SO EXCITED to try out some new styles that I have not attempted that Natalia included!!  I simply can not wait!!!  I just need to get quilt making :)

Natalia shared that she felt feather's are modern.  I completely agree.  I find myself being a traditionalist modern quilter.  I think that identifying as such means that I appreciate the traditional quilt block designs while at the same time feel that the rules are meant to be broken.  Natalia includes different block combinations using feathers twisting and turning in fun directions and split and mixed with other geometric designs that do just that - break past traditions to be modern.  They are so stunning!  It really peaked my interest to think of new ways I can fit half of a feather in a block.  I really enjoy quilting samplers and these examples brought up my feeling that samplers are the perfect place to practice quilting techniques in small spaces with less pressure to perhaps spoil an entire quilt with your inexperience.  This theory could be applied when using Natalia's feather block designs.  They can be used in a small amount to expand those skills and in fun combinations.  I have just the quilt that is almost finished to try just this (enter: FARM GIRL VINTAGE - we are making this quilt for our BOM in our guild this year and I have a huge head start so I am tickled that I got a chance to see this book before I get to quilting, it is going to be a treat to use some of Natalia's ingenious ideas - seriously)!  For instance I would take a simple churn dash block and add one of the block's Natalia designed with feather quilting and I am going to tell ya it is going to just pop!!!  Anyway, that will be a treat.

Often times I consider borders as a border potential and fillers and I forget that they can be secondary designs to the piecing.  The next to last thing I will highlight is that Natalia used the idea of feathers fitting in all kinds of ways working with piecing.  I have to say that my favorite works of Natalia even in her everyday quilting for her customer's is how she is able to incorporate straight line ruler work with feathers.  She has included variations to do just that in this book.  The most sunning I would say were the setting triangles and flying geese.  Visually for the eye to see a quilting design that pulls the eye into the center of the quilt or alternatively to the outside border it is just so exciting and daring and awesome!!  I love it!!  By adding the straight lines in contrast to a soft feather is fascinating.  I have always loved it when she quilts this way and to have a visual guide in my little hot hands when I am quilting is just the best.  I can't say how packed this book is for inspiration.

I bet you didn't know that no two feathers are alike and the type of feathers are endless.  The last thing that I will touch on is the variety of feather types that are included in this book.  Natalia used hook feathers and fern feathers and lateral feathers and feathered flowers and feather medallions and would you believe a lot more.  The thing that I have learned about long arm quilting (and the two years prior domestic quilting) in these past six years is that practice makes perfect.  Don't be scared to try something and just keep practicing.  You absolutely "WILL" get better!! You will!!  And while you will continue to critique yourself you will notice when you see your quilting as a whole that it actually looks pretty dang good and you can see that progress.  I am excited to keep stretching this with Natalia's book and I appreciate her work and dedication to this quilting world.  Because of her hard work we get to reap the crops that she grew.  Kudos to her!!

Five Stars for Visual Guide to Free-Motion Quilting Feathers by Natalia Bonner

Thank you Natalia, Michelle :)

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