10. August 2015 · Comments Off on Easy Selvages Feather · Categories: Quilting, Selvage Along, Sewing · Tags:

I’ve made two feather blocks so far for the Selvage Along.  I’m saving my Carolyn Friedlander Botanics selvages from my paper pieced BOM project for a third feather block, the AMH feather that Renee of Quilts of a Feather posted a tutorial for.  In all likelihood this third feather will not be done (or even started) by the time the selvage along concludes in September.  I need to realize my limitations and I just don’t have the time for too many projects right now.  But I have printed the template and I have enough selvages for at least three feathers so I plan for it someday to be a mini quilt for my sewing room (aka the guestroom).  I believe this is exactly what Renee is doing as well so stop over to her blog next month to see the finished project.

The first feather block I created is for my daughter.

Feathers C 1 RW

I used short selvages from a plus sign toddler bed quilt I started last year.  It was one of my earlier projects and the fabric isn’t designer or anything, but the colors are so pretty together.  The selvages don’t really read as selvages from a distance, but all the fabric was purchased as a fat quarter pack and that’s the selvage end I was given.

If you look really closely you can tell.

Feathers C 2 RW

But far away?  It just looks like a feather.

Feathers C 3 RW

This was pretty easy and if you want to make your own, here’s how I did it.  I don’t have in process photos (sorry I’m not sorry but I was too busy simply ENJOYING the process) but you are all smart so you can figure it out without visual aids.

I first started with a paper template to make sure my plan would work.  Special thanks to my kids for allowing me to borrow their crayons.

My plan is based on fairly short selvages sewn into rows.

Cut a V shape.

Feathers C 4 RW

Remove the center section and what do you get?  A feather!

Feathers C 5 RW

Then I sewed it up with scrap fabrics to see what it looked like.

Feathers C 6 RW

Hmmmmmm.  Yeah, that wasn’t quite right.  Looks more tree-like.  Feathers really need that angled top to read as feathers.  Not to worry, that’s an easy fix!

STEP 1: Sew your selvages together in rows.  (Oh hey, I found a picture of this! Go me.)  I used a small seam allowance since my selvages weren’t very tall.  About an eighth of an inch.  Add an extra big piece of your background fabric to the bottom edge.

Selvage Fabric RW

STEP 2: Cut an even V shape, measuring exactly the same distance from each side.  Unless you want wonky feathers.  Which, hey, you might.  Wonk is popular in the quilting world.

STEP 3:  Sew an inch wide strip to the left side of your right feather half.  Sew that to the right side of the left feather half.  It’s really not confusing even though it sounds like it.

STEP 4:  Trim the top and bottom so they are straight across and parallel to one another.

STEP 5:  Fold your feather in half with the stem you created running down the middle and trim an angle into the top.

STEP 5:  Open up your feather and sew a square of your background fabric to each angle you just made.

STEP 6: Trim the squares you just added to be level across the top and to match the angle of the feather sides.

STEP 7: Sew triangular shaped background pieces to each side (you’re going for a square-ish block here) and trim at the top and bottom to create even parallel lines again.  

STEP 8:  Add a long background piece to the top and bottom.  I haven’t gotten to the bottom yet.

STEP 9:  Square up your new feather block!  Clearly I haven’t done step 9 yet.  Do as I say, not as I do.

I didn’t measure anything and this project was completely improvisational.  Which is probably why I enjoyed it so much!  The white background pieces all came from my scrap bin, although I do have yardage to complete the project in the future.  It’s just a simple Kona white I stocked up on at JoAnn’s with a coupon.

This is as far as I plan on going for now.  I have yet to back, quilt and bind the plus sign toddler bed quilt I originally made from this fabric (I cannot decide on a backing fabric for the freaking life of me) and I’m not doing anything with this block until I tackle that project.  Maybe the block will go into a pieced backing.  Maybe it’ll be a pillowcase.  Maybe a decorative pillow.  Maybe a stuffed animal.  Maybe a wall hanging.  I just don’t know yet.

As for my second feather I made?  Here’s a sneak peek:

Feathers P 1 RW

I’m hoping to create one or two more and quilt as a mini art quilt for my son’s room.  In a perfect world I’d have that done as a reveal for the last link up for the Selvage along, but these days, it’s far from a perfect world.

Have a great day all!

– Joanna

P.S.  If you are new here, thanks for visiting!  I currently keeps comments closed (here’s why) but I might turn them back on someday.  I have no idea when.  In the meantime, I am happy you are here!

P.P.S.  Linking up with Renee at Quilts of a Feather and Jessica at Quilty Habit as well as Night Quilter for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.  Oh and Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesdays.  And while we are at it, Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.

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