bernina, machine quilting, quilting, Teri Lucas

Feather tutorial practice session: the distracted domestic

Regena sent me this the other day and I thought I’d share her blog as she sent it to me. Every quilter struggles with feathers at first. After a while stitching feathers becomes intuitive.  Natural. We develop our own feather shapes as we develop our own style as quilters.
You may remember the Quilting Arts TV experience with the BERNINA Stitch Regulator where a little information went a long way. While I tend to reduce the stitch length when I quilt with the BSR, other quilters may need to increase the stitch length. Find the stitch length that work best for you. And try this in both modes with and without the foot pedal. This will take some experimenting but it will be worth it in the end.

Oh Feathers!

And I mostly mean that in a good way.

An online buddy of mine is a quilter extraordinaire..Teri Lucas

She has been trying to demystify machine quilting for those of us that find it a bit intimidating. I guess the biggest mystery is that, like any skill, it requires *gasp* practice. I know, I know, not a real mystery.

Well, here is one of her tips and some of my practice. FYI… ain’t so pretty, just sayin….

First, you practice with pen and paper. Try to keep a continuous line and keep at it until it looks like you want. This is something that you should do with any new design. It helps your brain and hands know what to do. Muscle Memory, so to speak.

regena 6
regena 5







Then you get crackin……

my first feather. open toe foot on, bsr not connected. Who knew you could do that? Well, Teri did. 

regena 4

I made the center line first then I feathered from the bottom up, then the top down. the feathers look a lot better from the bottom up.

Left is b to t…right is t to b
regena 3

Changed to my regular darning foot. closed toe.
One feather is from the top down with the spine filled in
the other, bottom to top


Regena 2

All together.

Regena 1
What did I learn?
·    Practice does make a difference. I hate when an old adage is right. lol
·    Tips from a pro can make a difference if you use them
·    I do prefer an open toe foot
·    I do prefer controlling my machine instead of using the stitch regulator
·    If your tension isn’t dead on perfect, you can really see when your threads do not match.
·    Yes, Bernina is great, but a sweet 16 handi quilter would so rock this
·    I still got a lot of practice to do.

What new technique are you trying to make an old habit?


Thanks Regena for sharing this with us!

Happy Quilting!


1 thought on “Feather tutorial practice session: the distracted domestic”

  1. I can so appreciate all that is posted!!! “Practice” is the word!!!!! Repetition until the “light bulb” moment is achieved. Along the way….search the ‘net for input. ‘YouTube’ is an awesome source!!! But NOTHING takes the place of hands on practice. I have a Sweet Sixteen (bought Nov. of ’12) and will say that quilting larger quilts is easier BUT I can achieve the same results on my most fave ‘other’ machine…..a Juki TL2010Q or my Bernina 440QE (which I bought cuz the “sales pitch” for the BSR reeled me in!! Once purchased, I quickly discovered that the regulated stitching was a huge hindrance and haven’t used it since! The ‘lag’ time from when the laser “reads” the movement of the fabric til the needle responds is just a fraction of a second BUT our wonderful human minds work faster, so I disconnected it and……success!! I love the ‘feather’ process and come to terms/developed my own style (which is still being modified each time I do a project!). Thanks for another great post!!!! Hugs……………….

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