CPT Technique: Feathering

CPT Feathering

Feathering can be added to any shape.


Rounded shapes, as shown below, are perfect.

Other shapes

Feathering can also be applied by varying the shape!

S shape echo

Below are examples of feathering with straight lines, brackets, and even loops.

Echo play

Getting into feathering in more detail:

Feathered Heart by Ina Sonnenmoser

I am by no means the inventor of this technique. Quilting was probably already done 3000 years ago when the Egyptians discovered that doubling a weaved cloth is warmer than a single one. Scraps of quilted cloth were discovered during excavations dating back to 2000 B.C.

Let’s begin with a basic feather along an S-Curve:

Feathering S-Curve by Ina Sonnenmoser

The most important part to point out: Start from the outside of the first drop in Step 2. The shape will greatly differ if you start Step 2 along the penciled line.

In all step-outs, I used a rice corn shape to start the first petal. Another alternative is, to begin using a drop shape. It really depends on what style you are trying to achieve (see examples below).

To create ‘flat’ or ‘skinny’ petals, start the second petal closer to the stem. For nice ’rounded’ or ‘fat’ petals, start further on the outside of the previous petal and swing around by drawing a little hook.

Feathering Styles by Ina Sonnenmoser

You can keep the petals evenly spaced, or add more interest by varying the sizes of the petals (see above).

Applying feathers to spirals is even more fun!

Feathering Spiral by Ina Sonnenmoser

There are plenty of variations! Let your imagination go wild!!

I really enjoy using the Feathers as a filler.

Feathering Artwork by Ina Sonnenmoser Feathering Artwork by Ina Sonnenmoser

And here are some tips on how to shade Feathers:

Shading Feathers by Ina Sonnenmoser

  1. Begin with an inner shadow along the spiral – this is your overall shading.
  2. To give the impression that the petals are bowed towards the outside, add a shadow to the tips of the petals. With an eraser, bring out the highlights – the highest point on the petal.
  3. Add a drop shadow around the entire shape (the square in this case).
  4. And finally, shade each overlapping petal.
  5. I do this in this order because it allows me to bring out the highlights with an eraser without erasing the shadow of each petal.

… and of course, I could not resist adding an inner aura:

Feathers variation by Ina Sonnenmoser

Now we get to the fun part! Applying feathers to a grid 🙂

FeatherGrid by Ina Sonnenmoser

I dare you to apply the Grid Journey to this! Or even divide the squares even further into triangles.

Feather Triangle Ribbon by Ina Sonnenmoser

.. and just before you really get tired of feathering, here is a bit more of Creative Pattern Tangling:

Feathering Ribbon by Ina Sonnenmoser

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