302: Judy Allen

Judy Allen - For the Love of Feathers

Judy Allen has been longarm quilting since 1991. Designing and quilting feathers is her passion. She’s an author, pattern designer, a certified teacher for Art and Stitch, and teaches her techniques all over the country and abroad. Judy’s twin sister Joanne Flood joins in many of Judy’s quilting ventures. Both sisters live in New York State.


Week 1

Meet Judy “Feathers” Allen whose love of feather designs was inspired by a picture in a magazine. Judy shows how easy it is to draft our own using various sizes of circle templates. She varies the sizes of the individual feathers to make the overall design more interesting. Judy demonstrates feather designs for every situation including straight lines, curves, mirror images, etc. Next, she’ll show how to place the design on the quilt.


Week 2

Judy Allen has shown the easy way to draft beautiful feather designs. Now she puts the designs onto the quilt top. “I’m a chicken quilter” she explains. “I want to know where I’ll be going.” She uses a series of paisley shaped rulers she designed called Judalator rulers to guide her stitching along the marked lines insuring accuracy. A light shot of spray adhesive adds a better grip keeping the ruler from slipping as she constantly moves it over the design. Her curved cross hatching stencil makes quick work of filling various shapes with cross hatched curves.

  • Judy Allen Feathers – judyallenfeathers.com for Judy’s books, patterns and drawing tools including the Judalator rulers and curved cross hatching stencil

Short Takes on Longarm Quilting with Vicki Hoth

How do we transfer Judy’s patterns for both garment sewing and quilts onto the fabric? Vickie shows Jodie a couple of ways to easily handle this task using Golden Threads paper. The paper is so see-thru it is easy to trace the pattern with a blue water soluble marker. Attach the paper to the fabric using the Dot Stamper and stitch right through the pattern. The second method uses the same paper to easily make a stencil. Simply trace the design, stitch the pattern without thread in the needle, and use pounce chalk to transfer the pattern.


Week 3

Having created stacks and stack of feather designs Judy decided she wanted to learn to digitize her patterns for safe keeping. She discovered the Art and Stitch software program which allows her to draw from scratch or take a photograph and turn that into a design.
Jodie joins Judy at the computer to see just how easy it is to draw a pattern, make corrections, and play with the design. She teaches three- and five- day courses on this topic, so if you want to learn more, visit her web site.

Judy likes a quilt to have lots of open space to quilt. She uses Hobbs 20/80 batting so the intricate design pops out. Superior Thread’s Rainbow Series with multiple colors and shine are a favorite. Her book The Art of Feather Quilting showcases over 100 designs.