The Easy Feather-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

easyfeathers-fmq-lorikennedy001Good Morning, (Focused and Organized) Quilters!

There are more than 100 tutorials in our FREE Library.  Everything from beginner motifs to advanced patterns and from modern to traditional.  There are whimsical motifs and classic borders…but up until now, there has not been The Most Popular Motif Ever–The Feather.

Why no feathers you ask???

Because I have really concentrated on original motifs and tutorials you can’t find else where. There are books and videos galore on fabulous feathers…

However, because so many of you have asked for a step-by-step photo tutorial… today I offer a very basic feather…


There are many, many ways to stitch a feather.  Often one side of the feather is stitched, then a center design is created and finally the opposite side is stitched.  (Three pass motif.)  The Easy Feather is stitched in one pass–stitching  a right petal then a left petal and back and forth up the center line.   Each petal nestles into the petal below it-by echo stitching.


Begin by drawing three vertical parallel lines to serve as guidelines.

Begin stitching on the center line.  Stitch up several stitches, then sweep to the right line.  The sweep from right to left is fairly shallow.


Sweep the right guideline and immediately curve around.

Stitch down to the center line.


Taper up along the center line and then sweep to left guideline.  Sweep the side one and curve around toward the center.easyfeathers-fmq-lorikennedy006

Continue to the center line just above the previous petal.
easyfeathers-fmq-lorikennedy007To form the next feather, echo stitch the right feather below it and curve around.

Echo stitching the previous “petal” gives the motif a very compact and neat look.

After stitching three or four petals that reach to the side lines, stitch a few smaller petals, then begin again with larger petals.

End the row of Easy Feathers with a vertical “petal”.


The Easy Feather is easier than other feathers, but it can be challenging to get the curve of the petal.  While this is not exactly a beginner motif, I think every quilter should learn Feathers as soon as possible in their machine quilting career.  Add them to your “doodle” list…be patient and doodle Feathers every day!!!

The GOOD NEWS–even imperfect feathers look nice!  Don’t wait to add this motif to your quilts...Add a feather to every quilt–you can never go wrong with feathers!!


Craftsy launched a new website over the weekend–all new look and all new functionality.  It’s rolling out this week so be sure to take a quick peek…Try the scavenger hunt to win 5 free classes HERE.

And if you notice any broken links to Craftsy, be patient and check in with their wonderful customer service tab…

For 50% off Divide and Conquer Quilting and my second video, Creative Machine Quilting…try this link

More quilting all week!



PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

21 thoughts on “The Easy Feather-A Machine Quilting Tutorial

  1. I love this kind of feather. I call it a spineless feather. They are so fun and easy to quilt. You can change the size of the feathers, add curls and really make them unique.

  2. Sadly at the end of the hunt, where you put contact info, they are requiring an answer to “Apartment or Unit” – many of us don’t have an answer for that. I contacted Customer Service (which is harder to find on the new platform.)

  3. Glad you can help other quilters… Am I only one in the world who is bOred with feathers after seeing them for years? But I love YOU, Lori. Your dedication is so amazing.

  4. Feathers have been the bane of my FMQ efforts, and I don’t really know why. I seem to have trouble maintaining the proper angle of the leaves and with consistently smooth curvatures. I’ll definitely try this approach. Thanks!

  5. I’ve been doodling your poinsettia motif to use on a Christmas wall hanging. While some of the individual lines seem a little bit wonky, the final whole motif amazingly looks like a flower. Going to doodle a few more and then maybe a practice sandwich. Can’t wait to try it, but don’t want to mess it up either. Feathers will have to wait.

  6. Thanks, Lori! I have been working to resolve my ‘Feather Phobia’, but haven’t been very satisfied with results so far…Can’t wait to try these!

  7. This is such a cute feather, I haven’t seen a “spineless” feather before, thank you for posting, I do struggle with feathers, and am apt to use a more freeform ferny type feather.

  8. This is just a fyi. I did go and check out Craftsy’s new look and did the scavenger hunt. Unfortunately I didn’t realize until I finished that you have to be US resident to be eligible for the contest. Oh well, I guess I learned a bit about the new site.

  9. Pingback: Jack-o-Lantern Machine Quilting Tutorial | The Inbox Jaunt

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