Just thought I would post this for new quilters... When I have a particular shape that I will be filling with feathers, I may take some practice fabric and draw that shape with pen on the fabric, and then audition feathers in those areas. I have taken a couple "whimsical feather" or "alternative to feathers" classes, one from Dawn Cavanaugh, and the other from Sue Patten. I usually stitch out the same type of hump/bump or heirloom feathers or I will do a regular feather....but when I have time, I like to pull out my class notes, and practice those unique or different feathers.
If you have followed my blog, you will know that decision making is one of my weaknesses. I have been known to stitch things out, then remove the stitching, several times if necessary, if I don't like it. I will also draw on plexiglass to help me decide how I will quilt something. I have also taken pictures of the quilt, and drawn on it with my ipad and a stylus. Sometimes, though, I just miss quilting feathers, and I have to play!
Here is the border area of the next quilt I am doing.
Oh, something else I do when I practice: I grab all the small bobbins and try to use them up so I have some empty ones for my next big quilt. I used three partials on this practice piece.