101: Kimmy Brunner

Twirly Whirly Feathers”.

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In this episode Kim Brunner brings a twist to traditional feathers. Her sample quilt has feathers quilted everywhere, in various shapes and size, and coupled with other elements such a cross hatching. Watch as Kim shows you how starting with simple shapes and adding to your skills.

Segment One

Learn a basic easy stitching technique to sew free form feathers like a pro. In this opening segment Kim provides the knowledge and skills to create those gorgeous feathers that are a hallmark of exquisite. Broken down, the technique is very simple. Kim shows viewers how to make the individual shapes that make up a feather design, and gives solutions for beginner’s mistakes. Don’t forget her three tips: stay relaxed, drop your shoulders, and breathe!
Visit Kim’s website.

Segment Two

Building upon the basics of the first segment, Kim Brunner demonstrates how to vary the size of your feathers, add branches, and increase complexity by adding “longer tails” to the feathers and curving them. Kim adds veins to her feathers and even circles to make “peacock feathers” all with the YLI metallic thread. All with no marking!

Learn how to use rulers in your long arm machine quilting in the Short Takes on Long Arm Quilting segment. Vicki Hoth gives tips and demonstrations to show you how templates can give your quilting accuracy while keeping you safe.

Short takes on Machine Quilting VICKI HOTH


Eleven tips for using rules when machine quilting for accuracy and safety

  1. Always use a ruler base or extended throat plate
  2. Always use 1/4” thick rulers—do not use your rotary cutting rulers
  3. Three Point Pressure
    • Push ruler against hopping foot
    • Push hopping foot against
    • Lightly press ruler against fabric/ruler base
  4. Correct hand placement on ruler
  5. Stitch line is approximately ¼ inch away from the ruler edge. Keep this in mind when placing the ruler on fabric.
  6. Use wider backing; the ruler base adds width to the machine bed. To prevent running into the clamps, consider a wider backing.
  7. Pin stabilizing straps to fabric instead of clamping. This will eliminate bumping into the clamps when you get to the outside edges.
  8. Don’t out quilt your rulers.
  9. When using arcs, and you need a larger curve on your quilt, move up to a larger template.
  10. Tips on using straight line rulers for stitch in the ditch vs. straight lines such as crosshatching.
  11. Tips on using circles to do continuous curve.

The plate extender/ruler base shown is available from your longarm manufacturer.
The straight ruler shown Vicki showed for straight lines and stitch-in-the-ditch.
The half circle rulers offer you a variety of curves to follow.

Segment Three


Kim Brunner delves in further with what you can do with feather quilting designs by introducing templates. She offers three rules of thumb for safe success with templates. Kim shows how to add design to your quilt top with out marking, simply by stitching, moving your template, and stitching again. The she shows how she used a melon-shaped template for curved crosshatching, combining these designs with the feathers for elegant feather patterns.

The extended base provides a stable table top for using templates and is available from your longarm manufacturer.

Find sandpaper dots at your local quilt shop, or online here.

Order the melon and circle templates Kimmy used at her web site, and find out more about Twirly Whirly Feathers.