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Monday, March 15, 2010

Native... in my heart!

I have been told that my family has Native American roots.  But I have yet to be able to prove it.  Although I have looked, the connection seems to ellude me.  But, my Native American friends, tell me that is not just about my bloodline, but also about what is in my heart.  And I can tell you, my heart is very native.

I live my life trying to make the smallest footprint possible.  Ask my family, nothing in my house goes to waste.  I save the smallest bits of fabric and leather.  Stray beads are collected and used in collage pieces, and leftovers... well, I am the queen of "Let's see what happens when we mix this with this."  Usually, we are not disappointed.

Well, in the Native community, everyone has a place and a purpose.  And my "family" has put my beadwork skills to work.  One of the projects that I am honored to do for my family members is a beaded feather quill.

I think I was asked to do my first one about two years ago.  It was an Eagle Feather that had been gifted as an anniversary gift.  The quill was very fragile and the couple wanted me to bead it to help protect it. 

I wanted to be sure that I did it "right" so I started by doing research about beaded quills.  I visited several native sites, and took my inspiration from their teachings.

I learned that the beadwork should reflect the individual.  So I set about designing a pattern that represented my friends.  I can't show photos of that feather here, because it would be disrespectful.  But I can tell you that it incorporated the 4-colors of the Lakota Tradition (for the man) and a blue sky (for the lady).

Since then, I have done several others for family members, and I have designed a few that I have published as patterns.  Here are three that I have available now.  (please note:  the feathers in these photos are all hand-painted reproduction feathers.)

                             The Four-color Zig Zag Feather quill features the four colors of the Lakota
                              Tradition (black, red, yellow and white) and a medium blue background color.

                                     In honor of our Vietnam Veterans, I designed this quill which
                                     features a design similar to their service ribbon and flag.
 Welcome Home!

And my newest quill pattern:

                                      Turtle medicine reminds us to slow down and take a
                                      look at the place where we find ourselves. 

These one-page patterns feature full color beading charts, color keys, suggested colors and bead counts, and instruction on preparing your feather for beading.  They are all available at and

I would love to have you bounce by and take a look.



  1. Your beaded feather quills are beautiful. I haven't seen individual feathers done this way. I have a friend who has a feather fan with a beaded antler for a handle.

  2. I really enjoyed hearing about your journey of discovery...we are all connected, and finding a bit more of our roots only strengthens that connection. Love all your quill beadwork, but the turtletracks really speaks to me..Aryd'ell

  3. Lovely quills. You have done them proud.


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