Introducing Plumage: MQG Pattern of the Month!

I’m delighted to share a special project with you today–my contribution to the Modern Quilt Guild’s free Pattern of the Month series for members! For those of you unfamiliar with this series, during 2014 the Modern Quilt Guild has sent out a free quilt pattern in its monthly newsletter to members. If you haven’t joined this MQG yet, this is only one of many great benefits, so I highly encourage you to consider joining, either through your local chapter or as an individual member. I am so excited to have had the opportunity to contribute to this series, and I hope that you all enjoy the pattern I designed, Plumage!


Plumage is another of my composite appliqué quilts, where the arrangement of the appliqué shapes on the background creates a secondary form. For Plumage, I wanted to evoke the sense of feathers swirling in the autumn breeze, so I left a swirl of negative space in the center that I quilted with organic, flowing lines.

Although I usually embroider around my raw-edge appliqués to protect the edges from fraying, I thought a little fraying might actually add some feathery texture to this quilt, so I left these raw.


When I first saw the Sweet Serenade collection by Basic Grey last year, I knew I wanted to make something with it, and idea of making a quilt with appliquéd feathers had been floating around in my head for a while. Seeing the collection was just the spark I needed to make that design idea a reality. I created the appliqué silhouettes the same way I always do, by tracing photographs of real feathers, and I love the juxtaposition of the realistic silhouettes with the abstract effect that comes from filling those silhouettes with the secondary patterns of the fabrics themselves.

I designed this quilt to work with a layer cake, and each feather appliqué fits diagonally across one 10″ square of fabric. This leaves a bit of excess fabric in two corners of the square, and of course I couldn’t resist working these triangular pieces into the quilt back somehow. I’d never made flying geese blocks before (so don’t look too closely!) but of course they were the perfect complement to the feathery theme of the quilt front.


I made sure to include the selvage edge in the back as well, so I’ll have a record of the fabric designers (and who could resist those lovely color registration icons?).


The Plumage pattern is currently available to MQG members, but I’ll be making it into a stand alone pattern sometime next year. It’s a fun, satisfying quilt top to put together, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!


Thanks again for visiting, and remember to check back next week, when I’ll be kicking off the blog tour for my new book, Modern Applique Illusions!! I’ve lined up a fantastic group of bloggers to help me celebrate, and I’ll be posting lots of behind-the-scenes information about the quilts in the book. Plus, there will be plenty of giveaways! I hope you’ll join me, starting November 10!


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