I have been working on one of my favourite things – feathers. I love the softness, the colours, of feathers. A wall hanging I have just made combines stitched feathers with real ones.
In the first picture, you can see a stitched semi-plume feather which is one that has the central shaft (the rachis) and vanes with barbs, but no barbules, which are the tiny hooks on the ends that zip the edges of the feather together and keep the shape. So it looks much like a little fluffy Christmas tree. You will notice how I have stitched this with a few machine stitches to a shred of wool roving and the feather itself is in variegated metallic thread.
The next picture shows a couple of feathers stitched in bright yellow rayon thread. I have combined these with yellow wool roving and a real feather – that’s the white one.
I have left lots of loose threads because I like the texture, and it helps to give a slightly raised look, along with the feathers themselves being malleable, as they are stitched on water-soluble film. Always do at least two lines over each other before dissolving. The result if you don’t is distinctly weird!