Melanie from A Sewing Journal shows us some new favorites in our monthly look at sewing trends! Visit A Sewing Journal, Twitter and Facebook for Melanie’s great compilations and lots of sewing inspiration.

This month it’s feathers, plaids, shorts and more! Do you have a favorite sewing trend? Let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to join in the picnic quilt fun with our Fat Quarter Idol Beach Blanket Bingo theme!

Join me as I take a look at what we’ve been sewing!

Feathers: Last month I mentioned that arrows are popular in design right now and so are feathers. They do go hand-in-hand and consider the popularity of movies such as Brave and The Hunger Games in which arrows are featured prominently. In quilts we’re seeing not only a more direct feather representation (via Anna Maria Horner), but also the use of herringbone patterns to create a feather-like look. Clockwise from top left: feathers quilt by blu-shed, Feather quilt by Anna Maria Horner from the back cover of her Field Study Spring Catalogue (the pattern for the quilt block and applique will be available for free download from the MAKE page at in August), My Song (quilt pattern) by The Joy Cottage, Another Love quilt top by Bluprint Textiles, Red herring Quilt by Quiet Play

Tanks: Some of us are sewing for ourselves and tanks are perfect for the summery weather. Check out Amy Butler’s Sun Surf Halters and more. Clockwise from top left: Striped Wiksten Tank by Made By Rae, Split Back Tiny Pocket Tank by all dressed up and nowhere to go, a feathery Tova by Fussy Cut, sun surf halter by sewfunmoniqueSun Surf Halter by Lindsay Sews, Grainline tank by Noodlehead.

Picnic quilts! I want to make one… Don’t you? How fun to be the most stylish ones at the park. This round-up is packed with great tutorials! Clockwise from top left: Patchwork Picnic Quilt (tutorial) by In Color Order, Picnic Quilt (using a cheater print– what a great idea for a quick and stylish picnic quilt!) by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, Seaside and Chevron Picnic Quilt (tutorial) with laminate backing fabric by Maureen Cracknell Handmade for Riley Blake Designs Blog, Happy Picnic Quilt by so happy to sew, Yellow sunshine picnic quilt (tutorial) by You & Mie for delia creates, Isosceles Picnic Quilt (tutorial) by sewtakeahike for Moda Bake Shop.

Shorts: Thanks to the shorts on the line sewalong (go check it out if you haven’t already), there is an abundance of shorts inspiration to be found. Here are some of my current favorites, but the event lasts all month! Clockwise from top left: Japanese Pattern shorts by Sew Country Chick, Inside or Out Pocket Shorts by i heart linen for imagine gnats, shorts by miraab, Faux Wrap Shorts by The Train To Crazy for imagine gnats, Cargo Shorts based on Oliver + S Sketchbook Shorts by Inder Loves Folk Art for imagine gnats.

Plaid— for summer, fall, spring– whenever! Plaid is making an appearance in many fabric collections lately. Clockwise from top left: Beach Blanket Green Orange from the Lucy’s Crab Shack fabric collection by Sweetwater for Moda, Swim Trunks Red from the Seaside fabric collection designed by October Afternoon for Riley Blake Designs, School Uniform Apple from the School Days fabric collection designed by American Jane for Moda Fabrics, Madras Patch Seaside from the Shore Thing fabric collection by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics, Summer Plaid Strawberry from the Veranda fabric collection designed by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit Fabrics.