If you can successfully quilt one simple feathered plume, you can link them to form a whimsical, organic, gently flowing line of plumes that connect.
You can also leave a space between each and it will look as if they were dropped casually on the border and landed naturally, like leaves falling from a tree. This design works well in wider sashing too.
In the sample above I used muslin fabric, Hobbs wool batt, YLI #100 silk thread in a pinky beige color, with background done in ecru silk thread.
The first plume is quilted, thread is cut. The second one is done by inserting the needle and beginning at a point at the top of the first, perhaps not on the exact tip, but offset a bit to look natural.
I curved the second spine in the opposite direction, but they could all be in the same direction and it would look more organized, formal, like a swag. Your choice. Or curve them completely randomly, don't even think or plan, just quilt and have it look very natural.
Below, a closeup of the junction of two plumes.
If you look closely, you will see that each plume is different. But, to the eye, they look similar because they are about the same size, the spines are the same length. This gives consistency and smoothness to this design idea. You can have many differences if the base is the same. The curves all blend in so the fact that the feathers are not identical simply does not matter.
Sketch each new spine after you complete a feather plume, to keep you on track.
You can even plan on more variations. Add a few spirals in the feathers, exchange one big fat feather for a run of tiny ones in that space (a separate quilting unit). Try small even feathers on the inside curve, and big flowing ones on the outside.
Devote some practice time to playing with ideas on sample squares. Use these as your reference library for future quilts. Sometimes when a quilt is made it is hard to come up with ideas, so go to your samples and see what might work and use one of these ideas.
Also make your practice pieces large enough to handle well, and quilt samples towards the center. Small pieces are hard to handle in the machine and it's most difficult to work at the very outside edges. 18" squares work great.
Have fun playing. It is not wasted time. It all builds skill and muscle memory. Charity quilts are good to quilt as well; give them your very best effort, don't be sloppy. If bad quilting is done because it doesn't matter, it will only reinforce bad habits.
Devote one quarter of the Super Bowl game to quilting some plumes, perhaps the second quarter. Then after the game, quilt a few more. No one will even notice you left the room....
Have a wonderful weekend!
Keep quilting! Your work gets better every day,