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Fancy Feathers Digital Quilting Pantograph



This design called Fancy Feathers is a digital pantograph design that was released to Longarm League members in February 2020. Our designs are not exclusive to members, though. Anyone can buy our pantographs from our shop


My story as a longarm quilter began by operating a non-computerized APQS machine. I was able to apply the quilting motifs I had practiced so hard to master on my domestic sewing machine by "translating" them to free-motion quilting on a longarm. This feather design came about from yet again "translating" the fmq design to a digital, repeatable pantograph. 

I really wanted to make the rows as invisible as possible, and so I created diamond-like repeats. This means that when setting up the design digitally, every other row needs to be offset at 50% and then nested closely so the gaps aren't too obvious.

I think the multidirectional feathers help disguise the repeats and the rows. The dynamic feathers—some are big and long, some are small and short—make for a striking result.

Designs that are dense and that nest deeply like this can be tricky to stitch out because you have to place the motifs just so. I have some tips for things I do to increase my accuracy when aligning tricky designs. I also have a handy video tutorial for Intelliquilter users about how to use the Tweak tool to expand/contract a row of stitching to fit in perfectly with the row before it. It's super helpful to use when placement needs to be exact. 

I personally think that this design could be used effectively for either modern or traditional quilts. 

I would use a pantograph like this for a quilt that uses solid fabrics, has a lot of negative space, or that isn't otherwise too busy. It takes some extra care to stitch out and I won't say that your time and effort will be wasted, but I am saying that when quilts have a LOT of piecing or a LOT of patterned fabrics, the quilting tends to get disguised. You'd be better off with a simple quilting pattern (like Wishbone or Rumble) to act as the "glue" holding any/all complex piecing elements together cohesively.

For other usage ideas, a quilting design like this could look great on its own for a whole cloth quilt or for a large quilted panel that could be made into a bag or coat.

Buy Fancy Feathers here.

I quilted this small baby quilt size (approx. 45" x 50") with 6" rows. As far as Intelliquilter specs, I set the gap amount at -5.321", making a total pattern height of 11.321". I used Quilters Dream poly as my batting for this with Kona Shadow as the color on one side and Parchment on the other. Premosoft by Fil-Tec was my top thread and I used a Magna-Glide in the bobbin, both a gray color.

In the Longarm League membership, we have "Free Pantograph Day" on the first Wednesday of every month. Members get an original digital quilting design delivered to their inboxes. It's gotta be my favorite membership day of every month because I LOVE releasing new designs! As I mentioned before, this design was sent to members in February of 2020.

If you are a quilter serving others in a business capacity, our membership was created with you in mind! We'd love to have you join us not only for the free monthly pantographs but for marketing ideas, lessons (including archives), published coaching calls and interviews with other longarm quilters and industry professionals, a supportive community of other quilters available via a private chat group, discounts on previously released Longarm League pantographs, a directory listing and more! 

If you are just starting out in business and would like guidance, we have a digital course called Rookie Season just for you! 


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