May Giving Blocks – Feathers

First of all, a big thank you to everyone who submitted Side Stripe blocks for the March quilt.  Participation has been great this year!

For this month’s quilt, I have decided to use the Feather Bed pattern from Anna Maria Horner. This is an old favorite of mine that I have always wanted to make and I am so excited to put this one together with your help.

These are nice large blocks that finish at 9.5″ x 18.5″ and you can use your scraps.


For your background fabric, we will be supplying you with a green solid donated to us by Clothworks in West Seattle. (Yes, this is the same fabric from last year’s improv log cabins continuing to give and give.)

Feathers can be made with some of the many great scraps you have laying around. Solids and patterns are both good, as are colors of your choice, BUT keep in mind that your feather is going on a medium dark background and you will need to use plenty of lighter value fabrics to help it stand out.

Stem should be made from white, a light neutral, or a low volume print.


This feather is made with templates created by Anna Mara Horner. You can download her full pattern here. You do not need to print this whole document, only pages 7 and 8. Make sure you print with no page scaling, piece C should be 1″ wide. Tape together A and F pieces. Put A template aside and use other templates to cut out your background fabric. You should have plenty of room in the supplied green fabric by laying out your pieces similar to below. (You don’t need to print 2 of template F, I just did that to check fabric size.). I taped my templates down before cutting to reduce shifting.


We are going to deviate from the published pattern which uses strip sets to make many feathers and use our scraps instead.

Make your strip sets out of colorful scraps a variety of widths, 1″-3″ wide and 6″ long.

Piece your strips together offsetting each strip to follow the diagonal template. Right side of feather will offset to the right and you will use the printed side of template A to check coverage as you work. Left side pieces will offset the other way and you will use the back side of template A to check coverage. The diagonal lines should be parallel to your seam lines. See examples below.


After piecing your scraps, iron well with some starch if available. We will be cutting on the bias edge and that will help prevent stretching. Use template A to trim feather sides. A little scotch tape helps to keep template from shifting. Don’t forget to flip your template over and use the back for your left side!

From here, construction is straightforward and the same as in page 4 and 5 of the Feather Bed instructions.

  1. Attach background B pieces to bottom edge of feathers. (Dogears will hangout a 1/4″ when aligned properly). Press seams open.
  2. Attach stem — strip is 1″ x18″ — to inner edge of one right feather side. Press open. Attach to left side. Press open.
  3. Trim tip of feather so it is pointed.
  4. Attach D background piece to left side first. (See below image for placement, fabrics meet at stitch line with dog ear on left side.) Press open.
  5. Attach E piece to right side of fabric. Press open.
  6. Trim dog-ears.
  7. Attach F pieces to both left and right of feather. Take care not to stretch the bias edges of your feather while sewing. Press open.

We will have green fabric available at the May and June meeting and will be accepting your blocks in June and July. Please contact me with your questions. You can share your completed blocks on Instagram with the hashtag #seamqggiving. Thanks!

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