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Feathers to Fabric - Tigard

This class is based on an article I wrote a couple of years ago for AQS Magazine, the article regarded using fabric prints creatively to fussy cut feathers for marvelously realistic birds. In this class you will learn how to seek out perfect prints to ‘feather’ your bird. The project can be fused for speed and accuracy (recommended for beginners) or hand appliquéd for accomplished sewers fond of hand appliqué; if you plan to hand appliqué, bring the suitable tools and supplies for you preferred method. The pattern packet features several somewhat generic bird types that can be adapted for a particular species if you wish.

Please be courteous to others by arriving for class with the correct supplies. Contact me at 503-631-8806 or helene.m.knott@gmail.comif you have any questions.

A Note to Students:Many students do not realize that once the teacher is paid, the shop offering a class makes little if any income on the class itself. The shop is relying on product sales to continue offering quality classes to you. Therefore, I urge you to patronize this shop when buying your supplies for this class as much as possible and remind you that big chain stores do not offer the variety of classes that the smaller shops do. Keep quilt classes alive by supporting this shop. 

Thank you, Helene


  • Bird Fabrics:Selection and amounts will vary according to the bird you select and the particular species you wish it to represent.  You may go entirely for a fantasy bird in which case you only need to pick colors that harmonize well with the appropriate ‘feathery’ or linear textures or study photos of real birds if you wish to recreate a particular species. Though scraps may suffice for some feathers, the aim is to find and fussy cut the perfect choice so larger pieces such as fat eighths or fat quarters of each fabric would be preferable.  If you are opting to fuse the appliqué you should pre-wash all your fabrics if possible for better adhesion. Depending on the bird you wish to recreate you may need about 12 fabrics in various colors and textures; don’t forget the beak which can be various colors depending on the species, and the eye which is black on most birds but can sometimes be a dark rusty red. To have the widest options, it’s good to bring more choices than you will actually use.
  • Other Fabrics:Each block finishes at 12” (though you can make it larger if you wish), and each bird is perched on a branch so you will need fabric for the background block and the branch. A fat Quarter will suffice for several branches and the appropriate amount of background fabric for the number of blocks you wish to make. You will also need sashing and/or borders but it is best to wait until you complete the bird blocks before selecting these. 
  • Sewing machine (optional):The birds will be fused in the class and can have borders added and be quilted or embellished with additional machine stitching at a later date therefore, a sewing machine is optional for the class.
  • Rotary cutter, mat and cutting ruler: To cut your background block
  • Fusible web:A product that has one layer of paper is recommended however any fusible product that is utilizes a paper base may be used. Avoid products that are simply the adhesive web without a paper base as they will be harder to mark, cut and position accurately. Remember to bring the instructions, fusing procedures vary between products.
  • Teflon pressing sheet: to protect the iron and ironing board from adhesive.  The bird may also be assembled and fused to the Teflon sheet then peeled up whole and fused onto the background fabric, this makes alignment on the pieces much easier
  • Scissors:Remember you will be cutting through paper and fusible webbing adhered to fabric so bring a pair of scissors you don’t mind using for these products. Make sure they are sharp and fine-jawed enough to cut out fine detail. A pair of small embroidery or craft scissors would be perfect.
  • Freezer Paper
  • Craft Knife (optional):To cut ‘windows’ and templates in freezer paper
  • Pencil
  • Black Pigma Micron pen: .05 or .08 would be best.
  • White six-strand embroidery floss and an embroidery needle: to make the highlight on the eye.
  • Clear ‘sheet protector’ and a black ‘Sharpie’™ brand pen: To make an overlay registration guide.
  • Pattern packet:$5 fee payable to instructor in class.
  • Resource books/photos:if you wish to recreate a realistic bird, a photo of that species will help you determine the colors and textures of the fabric you will need and how to place the colors. 

Skill Level: beginner
Skill Details:
Instructor: Helene Knott

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Included Materials



This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.


  2414 Portland Rd,
Newberg, OR 97132

12185 SW Main St,
Tigard, OR 97223


ACE SEWING & VACUUM We offer a wide variety of services and sales for machines and vacuums alike.