Free Motion Feathers - Hands-On Machine Quilting Guide
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Free Motion Feathers - Hands-On Machine Quilting Guide

At-Your-Machine Course Instruction. For all levels from short arm to long arm. View on mobile devices.
5.0 (4 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
88 students enrolled
Created by Sally Terry
Last updated 6/2016
Price: $75
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 16 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Stitch beautiful feather designs "as you go".
  • Have dozens of coordinated feathered block, sashing, border and fill designs.
  • Stitch detailed feathering designs without marking.
  • In this course you will be able to stitch detailed feathering designs without marking.
View Curriculum
  • Have a good knowledge of your quilting machine and general knowledge of terms.
  • Students should have a smooth running thread for the top and bobbin thread.

Sally's Full 2 Day Workshop right at your machine! 

Close-up Video Instruction in small step-by-step manageable segments. 

There is a misconception that feathers take a lot of time to quilt. So NOT true!

There have been many a quilt top I wished I could cover in feathers because they are FAST and could be machine quilted efficiently with the time spent. Because they are no-mark with continuous-line stitching you can really make them fly.

So are you ready to add fabulous feathers to your quilts without a lot of drafting, marking and extensive pattern layout?


See Free Motion Feathering techniques and patterns for all areas of the quilt top while right at your machine. Here is what students are saying about just one of the techniques taught in this amazing course:

“Thanks Sally. I am so crazy about Hooked on Feathers. I have only had my machine about 6 months. Lately I have been doing HOF on pre-printed holiday panels to practice and they look wonderful. Our president of the guild just bought a machine and was having some problems so she came over. I set up a sample for her and showed her how to do Hooked on Feathers. She stopped on the way home and bought the book and was very very excited. Her very first feather set looked fabulous!”

“These feathers are so much nicer looking than traditional feathers plus I have freedom to do ANYTHING I want to do with them! When I return from England I have a twin sized quilt that I plan to do since I now have my confidence in my ability to make wonderful Hooked on Feathers. Can’t wait for the compliments.”


Now you will be able to create your own designs and patterns immediately, on-the-go when you need them for fills, blocks, borders and sashing.

Besides the normal desk top computer and laptop, this course is especially formatted to view on mobile devices like your tablet and you can watch and learn and stitch right at your machine. Which is even better than a classroom setting at a show and trying to see the instructors work on a large screen. Here you can pause, rewind, and relax knowing you can hear, see and do, on your schedule.

Through a series of carefully designed hands-on 10 minute step-by-step exercises you will gain a high degree of skill more quickly and more easily than you ever thought possible, whether you are a beginner, competent beginner and want to rekindle your feathering talents or advanced and want some great creative ideas.

  • Overcome Bobble and Wobbles So They Disappear
  • Get No-Mark and Minimal Marking Techniques For Faster Quilting
  • Understand Ways To Look At The Quilt For Easy Pattern Placement
  • Apply "As You Go" Machine Quilting With Fast Free Motion Freedom Ideas
  • Learn New Ways With Tools and Equipment for Endless Design Possibilities
  • Advance quicker with specifically designed practice patterns and downloadable PDF's

" Feathers not only define the quilt, they also define the machine quilter. "

Free Motion FREEDOM Feathering provides you a strong and solid foundation for other machine quilt skills as well.


Content and Overview
(Filmed on a Long Arm-Concepts will apply to Traditional Sit Down Machine)

Carefully created, with over 52 segments and 6 hours of content, in small bite-size chunks. with dozens of fundamentals and "how-to" techniques.

  • Segments include exercises, putting your new learned skill into practiced use. Each chapter concludes with a review of the most important concepts. Get bonus Free Motion Feathers Tips From A Professional Machine Quilter to print out and save, with new designs and pattern ideas to strive for as your skills increase and develop.


AND, if you are rekindling your ability and hand-eye coordination after taking time off from machine quilting for a while, this hands-on course will get you there quickly and bring you up-to-date with the latest trends.

PLUS, if you are an Intermediate or Advanced Machine Quilter, you will appreciate all the new ideas and techniques to get your creativity going again.

  • Starting with your first moves we take you through the distinctive thread paths of the 5 different feather styles with video showing you how to use them on spines, within defined areas. Then how to apply them to sashings, blocks, borders and fills.
  • Learn what feather works the best for you and what area on the quilt top to stitch them. A really advanced concept you can apply right away.
  • Completing the course provides you with a lifetime of beautiful and luscious feathers.
  • Extensive program includes downloadable PDF feather patterns, and Tips From A Professional Machine Quilter to print out and keep in your notebook.
  • Pencil quilt along with Sally, stand or sit at your machine as you work through each technique enjoying every minute of your new found skills. And be sure to frame your a valuable certificate of completion upon finishing the course.

Join us there, increase your skill level and get your spectacular quilts done faster.

Let the feathering begin!

Quilt Happy, Sally Terry

Who is the target audience?
  • For beginners that are just mastering their moves.
  • For competent beginners that are familiar with feathering and want to add more luscious detail to their quilts.
  • This will add even more decision making concepts to intermediate machine quilters.
  • This course is filmed using a stand-up long arm quilting machine. This course is ideal for those who move their machine over the fabric.
  • If you are looking to move up to a quilting machine on a frame that passes over the fabric then you will find this course valuable.
  • For those who have a traditional sewing machine the designs and concepts will generally apply. All though the techniques are filmed using a long arm quilting machine.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
59 Lectures
Let The Feathering Begin
7 Lectures 27:41

I am so happy you are part of this course, and here is a short personal message to you from me and SibbyNell.

Preview 03:00

Feathering truly defines the quilt. Imagine a beautiful feather cable running top to bottom on a modern quilt. What would a Baltimore Album be without feathers? Feathers make you linger, they pull you in. To master Feathers is the goal of every quilter and this Free Motion Freedom Machine Quilting Feather Class will get you where you want to go with your skills using techniques that make it easy, with incredible results.

Since 1999 as a Professional Machine Quilter and Instructor teaching hundreds of feather classes and several books later, I am sharing all I know on how to machine quilt feathers so you can feel confident and truly experience a lifetime of feathering joy.

A Lifetime Of Feathering Joy

If you are a true beginner the skill will come. If you stand at your machine for 8 hours a day, 5 days in a row you would be ready for customers. This takes about 1 large cone of thread. And if you don't quilt for others, be ready to show off your work proudly to friends and relatives. And think of the quilts you can give to others.

You will develop your own unique style quickly. And get the secret behind why Sally's unique and original system works for thousands of quilters. It will work for you, as you understand that this feather method creates great results quick with simple practicing ways to gain wonderful feathering skills.

From Beginner To Advanced-Free Motion Feathers

It's simple...and basic. Once you master your moves, you will have them forever. If you think that feathers are hard to do, after this section you will know YOU CAN DO IT! Here I will share a little concept that will make the biggest difference in your feathering. In fact, it will make a big difference in all your machine quilting.

Prettier Feathers Faster!!!

Let not your heart be troubled. Beautiful feathers are in your future. You will be able to plan and design and stitch feathers that will truly enhance the quilt top and in less time than you ever thought possible.

Even planning computerized designs you will find this course not only gives you the tools, but gives you layout suggestions for even faster planning.

Use a fancy basket or project box to keep every thing handy when you want to continue the course...notebook, whiteboard, markers etc. That way you can keep track of your progress. To your feathering success!!!!

Grab Drawing Paper and Your Favorite Pencil

Here are some wonderful practice ideas...and some great ways to make your creative ideas become fabulous stitches on any quilting project no matter how practiced you are. As you may have figured out, each lectures has some hidden gem in it, that you may not have thought of before that can really help you on your way to FREE MOTION Machine Quilting FEATHERING FREEDOM.

HINTS For The BEST Machine Quilting Feathers Ever

One of The Best Ways to Practice is...
1 question

Making Your Learning Easy And Without Stress
1 page
Working With Threads
2 Lectures 11:58

We all wonder about which thread will make feathering easier and feature the feathering. This will help you make better thread choices. Of course you probably have drawers of thread and walls of cones in fabulous colors and if it runs well then use it. If your top thread starts breaking, then use it in the bobbin, grab a larger needle and heavier fresher thread.

Thread Advice for Practicing & The Real Thing

Your starts and stops can be very obvious and sometimes are so visible that they can overpower the beauty of your great machine quilting. You will learn to bury your threads, start up again after running out of bobbin and keep the quilt top focused on your fabulous feathers.

Preview 09:13

It is important to be able to know when you need to use certain thread types.

Using The Right Threads for Feathering Designs
3 questions
Basic Feather Stylings
6 Lectures 28:32

Traditional Feathers may be the easiest to stitch with basically one stroke and a bit of backtracking. We explain why the angles can get off in the live stitching video. Get ready to pencil quilt and then turn on your machine and start machine quilting your feathers.

You may want to mark a stencil or just go for it....either way you will get great feathers fast.

Traditional Feathers

Heirloom Feathers are like the Cadillac of Feathers because they disappear behind the previous feather. They are stitched a specific way which makes them a little more challenging to keep consistent. It may take you longer to master, but just like riding a bicycle, once you have the thread path and the rhythm it will be one of your favorites. Shall we begin our beautiful Heirloom Feather journey?

Heirloom Feathers

This versatile feather technique is a favorite of machine quilters everywhere. It is easy to master once you learn how and when to bounce off the spine. Because is covers large areas effortlessly Hooked On Feathers is fast to stitch with little or NO MARKING.

Layouts are a snap, texture is endless, and turns corners without even trying.You will love the possibilities.

Be sure to check out the Turning Corners Segment for more ways to use Hooked On Feathers in your quilt tops.

Hooked On Feathers

This is your fourth feather style. Now you will have 4 beautiful feathering techniques that you will use throughout your quilt tops. I congratulate you for your persistence as you are going through the classes. May every feather be gorgeous for a lifetime of feathering joy.

You may find the Chandelier Feather to be one of your favorites because it is so versatile and not so commonly used by machine quilters. Your work will really stand out!

Chandelier Feathers

This is a great feather that can help you stay consistent. Plus it forms it's own spine... Use it when you need large fill areas or lots of textured detail.

Chandelier Feather Pattern
1 page

Quiz Description
Discovering Your Feathering Style
2 questions

Here are some useful hints that should always be in the back of your mind as you master Free Motion Freedom Feathers.

Summary of Feathering Styles
1 page
Let The Feathering Begin
3 Lectures 17:43

Not every feather is perfect, especially when starting out. If you happen to have a wonky feather this video will help you correct the thread path. It is full of great techniques to perfection while you learn...and some great "wiggle room" ideas for you to use.

Remember to repeat an acceptable feather that does not look like the others two more times and it will look planned.

Wonky Feathers & How To Fix Them

This is one of the most useful methods of Feathering with Free Motion Freedom. It will add an element of spontaneous design and playful creativity you may have never experienced before. You will find your own favorite fabulous designs and sprinkle them throughout your feather motifs, borders, blocks and more.

Let me know what you think of this by leaving a comment....

Happy Machine Quilting!!!

Starting and Stopping Your Feather Designs

Feathers make the quilt.

Making the Perfect Feather
4 questions

Now you are really feathering with Free Motion Freedom! As you stretch your techniques and develop skills you will find that there may be one thing you are doing that you want to change. Use this section to refine your moves. This may be a section you will want to revisit several times. You can do this!

Perfecting the Process For Fabulous Machine Quilted Feathers
1 page
To Mark Or Not To Mark
3 Lectures 14:06

Being exact with your feathering is not easy, especially if you a perfectionist like so many of us are. And if you are used to following a marked machine quilting design, it can be a scary to make it up as you go and be spontaneous. Yet, it could be some of your best work. So don't worry. You will find what works best for you in certain design situations. Trust your creative inner voice!

To Mark or Not To Mark

Love, love, love a certain feather you stitched, and want to copy it and use it other places on the quilt top? Now you can in a matter of minutes. Learn how to flip it, flop it and multiply it. No longer will your prettiest designs remain on one quilt top. You will now be able to save them and use them again and again.

Create Paper Patterns of Your Own Designs

Marking Your Quilt Tops
3 questions

By now you have some incredible designs of your own creation. Be sure to hang on to them. Create a special place to muse over...and let them inspire you.

Also keep you stretching yourself, and try to mark less which would call on you to be a bit more spontaneous. And "as long as the shapes are pretty, you don't have to rip out".

Keep creating, your skills are getting better and better.
1 page
Feathering Spines
5 Lectures 30:05

We are going to determine the outer margins of the area, divide up the space and determine the spine. There several things to consider to make your feathering easier and we will consider them in this segment. Since the spines are the basis of all we do feather-wise, we will make our spines as Free Motion Friendly as possible.

Creating Spine Shapes & Designs for Feathering

You probably have templates that you have felt have a single more! We will take these design tools and quickly adapt them for spines, divisions, and more. Grab your favorites and a few that you have tucked away and maybe have forgotten about. Plus, consider your piecing templates as well. The more the merrier.

Templates keep the designs "regular" across your quilt top. They give us more control of the overall look of the quilt top and make patterns easier to stitch. Plus we look PERFECT without perfection and make Free Motion machine quilting more fun. We will explore many of the ways you can put these handy little tools to work for you.

Make Your Templates for Feathering Spines More Useful

More Creative Ways With Templates

You will never look at a stencil the same way again. There are many ways to use a simple stencil from turning it into a block, setting triangle, corner turn, plus multiple spine configurations, it is all in the way you see the stencil design and use its thread path. You can even use patterns in the stencil such as flower to fill with will love this! Go grab your stencils.

Creating Spines With Stencils You Already Have

Feathering Spines for Perfect Mastery
2 questions

Spines keep getting more and more intricate. Once you master the how and why of spines your feathering will improve beyond measure. Trust your instincts, and enjoy your creative journey.

Feathers define the quilt and spines define the feathers.
1 page
Feather Fills
11 Lectures 01:04:01

The Ribbon Meander is perfect for feathering. It is based on the stipple pattern, which by the way is defined as 1/4" less thread path. When we make the stipple pattern larger than 1/4" it becomes a meander. When we double back on the meander, then it becomes a ribbon which we can fill with loops, arcs, even more feathers. It works in blocks, borders and for general let's start feathering away!

How To Feather A Ribbon Meander

Use the ribbon spine in awkward areas, fill borders and more. Machine quilt a smaller ribbon inside the larger ribbon areas. If you want to fill the inside of your ribbon spine do it before adding feathers. It works with so many styles of quilts from frilly to modern.

Ribbon Spine Pattern
1 page

This segment might be your quickest "bread & butter" quilting for those last minute projects, baby quilts, and quilts that need to look custom without spending a lot of time marking and stitching. You will get beautiful feathers in a short amount of time with really forgiving ways to complete the quilt top. Even utility quilt will look wonderful.

Feathering Edge-to-Edge

There is nothing more frustrating than having to stop stitching and knot your thread because you got caught in an area that you cannot travel out of without it being really obvious. Use the Sally's "half way back" and travel your spines so you can complete areas with wonderful feather fill designs quickly and easily.

Feather Fills That Travel

Here is Part 2 of Feather Fills that will travel well for you. Don't forget to try Feather Brook as an edge-to-edge meander. This works great as a small, medium and large machine quilting pattern.

Feather Fills That Travel Continued

NEW NEW NEW...this will take your feathering to a NEW level. The Carousel Feather is easy to mark and simply stunning as a large fill or small detailed fill. This is one you will love to try and use when the quilt top needs something special.

NEW Carousel Feathering Fill & Edge-To-Edge When You Need Something Special

Now that you understand the basic of the Carousel Feather, this video will help you plan your layout and choose which pattern you want repeated throughout the area to be machine quilted.

Carousel Feathers Chalk Layout Extended Guide

In this video you will be able to really shine using two of your favorite feather styles. Use one to fill and one on the meandered spine...the combination of texture will be fabulous. Let get quilting!

Carousel Feathers Two Feather Style Fill Extended Guide

Now that you have mastered the Carousel Feather layouts and know how to insert the designs, now you can start altering the shapes. There is a trick to this so be sure to watch closely and happy quilting.

Carousel Feathers Oval Fill Extended Guide

Sometimes there are happy accidents. Your quilting creates something new, exciting and unexpected. And you want to use it again and again. Take a picture of it, print it out and pin it up so to remind you to use it.

Giving Feathers A 3-D Look

Here is where your machine quilted feathers will really shine. And as your hand-eye coordination keep getting better you will be able to add more and more luscious texture to your quilt tops. Have fun with this section.

Meandering & Edge-to-Edge Can Still Make The Look Custom
1 page
Free Motion Freedom With Your Feathers
4 Lectures 31:02

In this section you will find lots of different feather styles and the easiest way to create them...just by picking shapes and keeping them regular within the motif. You will love this and return to it time and time again.

Easy Free Motion Feather Styles

There are times when you will feel the urge to "quilt to cardboard". So here are some fill designs that you can add to your feathers as you quilt along. Or, go back in later to embellish with even more luscious thread detail, pattern and texture. You may have been doing this naturally as you go along, or felt that it requires more precision than you feel you have at this particular time in your feathering journey. Try these simple yet elegant little design techniques.

Creating Shapes Inside Your Feathers

Have been thinking about how to choose the right feather to quilt for specific areas of the quilt top. There are always added considerations when choosing feather styles besides the shape. Here are some feather choices you can make to help you make machine quilting feathers easier, like making long elegant feathers, or tiny fills go quicker, and reach awkward areas, etc.

You will have your own thoughts on let know what you think would work best in the comments. Hope this helps.

Musings About Different Feather Styles for Different Designs

We are thinking about using a specific style of feather for some very different purposes. Which ones may work best.

Different Styles for Your Feathering Designs
1 question

This where the fun is...using an easy Free Motion style that is compatible with other shapes on your quilt top. Pick 3 and repeat in borders, meanders, fills, blocks...etc. The more you restrict the choices the more creative your results.

Easy Breezy Feathering
1 page
Turning Corners With Fabulous Corner Designs
5 Lectures 12:09

Where is the first place you look on a quilt top? For many it is the corner. They are frames that can make or break the overall design. Are they of the right thread path density? Do the corners look symmetrical and pains takingly perfect? What is the look you need yet stitch it with Free Motion Feather Freedom? We will explore the possibilities.

Feathering Your Corners With Free Motion Freedom

Download these corner turn layout designs and keep them handy in your notebook or by your quilting machine.

Corner Turn Layouts
2 pages

Download this valuable Feather Border design layout sheet. It is a great way to plan ahead, especially when you get to the bottom of the quilt. You can always take a picture of the border and corner turns you quilted at the top of the quilt so you can refer to it when you get to the bottom.

Border Layouts
1 page

This is what Free Motion Feather Freedom is all about. Warm up your machine! This is going to be fun!

How To Stitch Feathers Without Stitching The Spine

Borders and corners really set the overall tone of the quilt. This is where your work will shine, since it is viewed more than other areas of the quilt. Besides framing the quilt it frames your creative inspirations too.

Make Your Work Shine In The Corners
1 page

Corner Turns can be beautiful without a lot of planning.
2 questions
Feathers In Blocks
3 Lectures 21:30

Blocks are easy to pick designs for because they are usually configured in squares. Yet there are so many ways to take a square and change up the designs and do the unexpected. We will take a look at what we can do to make things more fun for you with a more interesting configuration for the quilting patterns.

Feather Block Designs

Feather Medallions Make Quilts Look Custom

Feather Designs For Blocks
2 questions

Blocks Are A Great Place To Show Off Your Feathers
1 page
4 More Sections
About the Instructor
Sally Terry
4.8 Average rating
10 Reviews
261 Students
3 Courses
Machine Quilting Author & Educator for Long Arm & Domestic

Sally is an innovator and award winning machine quilter, Honored as Teacher of the Year by International Machine Quilters Association. Her "ah ha" techniques are industry standards. Sally's top selling books, Pathways To Better Quilting, Hooked On Feathers, and Pathways From Quilt Top To Quilted published by AQS echo her philosophy "you don't have to copy me to be successful, it's within you, we will show you where to find it within yourself and give you the tools."

Most students feel she has a relaxed way of teaching machine quilting which encourages confidence and a joy of learning. Sally approaches the information in her classes from the student's point-of-view with in-depth knowledge that is creative and inspirational.

Take heart, her machine quilting techniques work for sit down and stand up machine quilters everywhere.

She specializes in “wiggle room" patterns and designs that appear intricate, yet are simple to execute without a lot of marking. “I feel that we could spend hours quilting to cardboard and never be rewarded for the time and effort. With my techniques you can quilt small closely spaced beautiful designs without a lot of planning and the outcome is spectacular, as if you used lots of ruler work and tiny time consuming fills."

Sewing since the age of three and machine quilting and instructing over 14 years with numerous TV appearances, she has quilted for Better Homes & Gardens, and published articles and how-to's in many books and magazines, plus offers her own line of patterns, stencils and templates and instructional videos for all machine quilters from traditional sitdown machine to standup. She has attended 100's of quilt shows and taught thousands of passionate machine quilters. After experiencing one of Sally's classes, every class after that the student takes is so much more meaningful, no matter who the instructor. An expert in marketing strategies her business classes are never boring.