Making a Feather

Making a Feather

I had and odd special request several weeks ago, could I make a feather. Well sure I suppose I could, I say. A feather would do, but preferably if it could be held like a quill pen, it would be better. Sure I say, I can do that…….  Next Figure out how to do that….

I started with this wool from Ashland Bay

The first one I made was to flimsy so I did a second.  I laid out the wool from a line in an upward angel to look like the lines on the vane of a feather.  I did 2 of these one for each side of the feather.

I made the quill by wrapping a pipe cleaner in white wool and rolling it in a mat. After they were felted and fulled I cut one side of each strait so I could attach it to the quill part. I attached them by needle felting the vain to the quill. If you look close you can see the vain colour poking through the quill

To get the right shape for the feather I went to google images and searched for drawings of feathers for kids to colour. I printed out the one I liked and then drew around it to make it a little bigger. I cut it out and pined it to the wool and trimmed it.

Here is the Front and back finished.

I am generally happy but would have liked to have time to do another one. I like the way the vain looks in parts but would have liked the direction of the wool layout to remain more. I really like the upper part of the right side of the right picture.  I was surprised at how much the purpley blue disappeared.  I would like to make the quill part thinner next time but I am not sure how to do that and still have it stiff enough and with enough wool to attach the vain sides to it.

How would you tackle the problem of making a feather?




16 thoughts on “Making a Feather

  1. The vein of the quill really makes the feather look the part and the colour and shape is great!

    If you do another, a little machine stitching would stiffen the felt. Do you remember Annie’s Christmas Podding? She poked some thin wire up through the middle of the holly leaves after they were felted to give them strength and it meant she could shape them too – the fulling wasn’t taken to the max, but enough to give firm felt.

    Also, I remember one of the forum members showing how to make a needle felted feather – she used them to decorate her hats – but I can’t find the post.

    1. Thanks Lyn. machine stitching would be good. You could get a really nice vein pattern on it. I remember the plum pudding. Was it hard to thread the wire in? I remember that feather. that was a few years ago. I couldn’t find it either. We need Zed and her searching magic.

    2. Annie used very fine florestry wire and it was a bit tricky but not impossible because the felt was not fulled to the max.

    1. Thanks Leonor, I haven’t had pipe cleaners rust. Perhaps because we are less humid than you. we can get very humid in summer but most of the year we are on the low side.

  2. Ann, the feather turned out nice. It was a good idea to lay the wool in the direction of the feathers. I agree it needs a little definition and machine stitching would work. Now I’m thinking about how else to make a feather. Hmmm….

    1. Thanks Marilyn Machine stitch in is definitely the way to go I think. Machine stitching isn’t in my top of mind design tool kit yet. I guess I haven’t been doing it enough yet. Looking forward to seeing what you do with a feather. Might be a good challenge for next years quarterly challenges.

  3. If you’d like to stiffen the feather, how about shellac? It’s used for finishing handbags made of felt; could it not work on this item? Spray starch could help, too, but if the end use would expose the feather to water it might not be the best choice. I love the way you made a feather with a vein. Fabulous!

    1. Thanks Cathy. I think it is stiff enough but perhaps if it were bigger it would need it. I hope It worked for what eve he wanted it for . he wouldn’t tell me as it was a surprise for a class he was giving at a regional conference.

  4. I don’t think I’d even know where to start, Ann! It turned out well, though. I don’t know how you’d make the quil part thinner and stiff without it being too hard to attach the vanes, either. Was the person you made it for putting the inky thing of a ballpoint into the quill?

    1. HI No he used it as part of a display for a spinning wheel he was doing a talk about. I think some stitching would make it better. but making a thinner vane would be hard.

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