Feathers QAL – The Schedule and Pre-Planning

I am super excited to make a new feathers quilt with everyone.  I am even more excited to see all of your ideas come to life.  I know a few of you that have some concerns about this quilt being paper pieced.  I assure you that this will  be a great intro to paper piecing. I swear its less fussy then you think it will be.  The most annoying part for me is peeling out the paper… and honestly the precise results I get from using this technique totally trump that annoyance. Also I cannot deny having my kids sit with me and peel away.  I also want to make it clear… that I am here, to walk you through every block style. Hold your hand… uh I guess remotely?  And help in any way I can.  I am pretty sure Karen feels the same way.  I want this to be helpful and for us to feel accomplished and maybe learn something new in the process.  Ok enough mushy stuff…  I have done this quilt both ways… going in order of the layout or sewing like blocks at once….  I find that sewing like blocks method is the fastest way, so we will focus on one block style each week.

The Schedule:

December 20, 2013 – General Tutorial on Paper Piecing

January 3, 2014 – Blocks A&B

January 10, 2014 – Blocks C&D

January 17, 2014 – Blocks E&F

January 24, 2014 – Blocks G&H

January 31, 2014 – Blocks I&J

February 7, 2014 – Blocks K&L

February 14, 2014 – Blocks M&N

February 21, 2014 – Sashing / Joining rows

February 28, 2014 – Finishing up

March 14, 2014 – Deadline for finished quilt top entry

March 15, 2014 – Winner Announced

Planning Process:

Today I want to talk a bit about how I plan my quilts.  Feathers looks awesome in scrappy prints, solids, rainbow, or single tone.  You pretty much can do anything… I even think it would be super cool to do a scrappy background in low volume prints… and bold colored feathers.  It may be on my list to try. OR one of you can do it!

Robert Kaufman one of our super dooper sponsors… Sent me an awesome Kona bundle and background fabric to use.  I am sure many of you have those coveted fabric bundles that you hesitate to cut into… #JUSTDOIT  The background of my photo is Kona Storm– which will be the background of my quilt and my feathers will be  The True Blue Bundle.  The Aurifil Thread comes from the new Alison Glass Thread Box… which should be in her shop soon.  I think these three work so well with my bundle.  (shhh…. but Aurifil donated a AGD thread box for one of our prizes)

Alison has a few quilt kits available in her shop if you want to take the guess-work out of this project and make the quilt on our pattern cover.  She also has Andover Chambray yardage in Navy… If you prefer to use your own scraps.



When I started to make my second quilt I realized that it would be helpful to have a coloring map.  So you guys are super lucky…



I would use this to color and plan out how I want to layout my colors…  I was being fancy today and decided to just use Photoshop to fill it… But I have just colored before…  Basically I just plotted a general idea of where i want to place my values… a color representation of how I want my finished quilt to look.  The colors are not precise but I will at least now know the look I want to achieve.



I then took my pile of fabric… (I had an easy job because it was a bundle and it was solid) and arranged it.




And now I am ready to prep!!!

I will now be printing all the A/B templates, that I need for the quilt.  And then cut my fabric according to the color map and the cutting guide.  It’s so much faster to do this in one shot.  But I totally can see wanting to do this one block at a time and that’s totally ok too.  Work in whatever way makes you comfortable.

I cut with the rotary right between the 2 templates. I am careful not to accidentally cut the template. But I don’t precise trim, until after I have sewn all the fabric on.

TIP: You will ruin your rotary blade when cutting through fabric and paper.  I recommend swapping your new blade for a dull one so you don’t feel like you wasted a blade.  Personally I have 2 rotary cutters. One that I label paper.  I usually move my dull blades to my paper rotary cutter and use that until I dull another one.


I want to make sure to announce the fun #feathersQAL instagram contest winner. Congratulations IG user-BKLMWOOD… please email me at for your $25.00 Alison Glass Shop Gift Certificate. – we have another way to win a gift certificate below…

Don’t forget to add all your progress photos or ask questions into our Flickr Group… and use hashtag #feathersQAL for Instagram!


pinkcastle_square2aurifil-logo1robert Kaufman





Are you ready for your chance to win a $25.00 Gift Certificate to Pink Castle Fabrics?


15 Responses to Feathers QAL – The Schedule and Pre-Planning

    • The quilt is 55×66 which is 3630 square inches. A queen quilt at the size of 86×93 is 7998 square inches, about a bit more than double. Based on this math I would estimate you would need 8-9 yards. A very important thing for you to do would be sure to have enough length for the sashing strips. At 93″ in length you will need basically just under three yards just to get the strips for sashing, maybe even another set of three depending on how many total columns you end up with. I hope this helps.

  1. How would a linen work for the background fabric in this pattern? I think the fabrics I’ve picked for the feathers would look FABULOUS on the black Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen from Robert Kaufman, but I’m not sure if I’d be able to get the crisp press needed for this pattern to really shine…

    • Leslie you can totally use essex linen. I have used it in a feathers pillow myself. I sometimes use starch when I find the pressing difficult. BUT TOTALLY GO FOR IT!

    • Absolutely… you can link up using flickr or anywhere you can post and link to. You may even be able to use instagram but I am not 100% on that. Let me know if you need any help.

      • Looks like it worked! Opened the Flikr account to participate in this QAL….my first QAL. Thanks for your help and looking forward to starting!

  2. Have had the pattern and a fabric bundle, so I’m excited about this QAL! I’m also sharing the information with our new modern quilting friendship group on the California central coast! Thanks for doing this!

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