I was very curious about this and stitched out one of my more formal feathers first. I am a self taught quilter and have come to like the backtracking method (in comparison to the bumpback feathering technique). I find that backtracking is most useful as I can tidy up my feathers as I am backtracking...however I have become so used to it that I found Bethanne's method quite challenging.
So here is my first more formal feather
I threw in another challenge into this...to only mark the spine and stitch the feathers out without any assistance. To my surprise, this worked very well. Usually I will draw in a few feathers at the start and then stop after a while to draw a few others just to keep the shape and size a bit consistent, but obviously I have done this so often that it just happens anyway now.
Bethanne's method...this is me trying to loosen up in the second feather...not that easy
While I had some different shapes in there, I struggled with not to backtrack and even that is still looking fairly orderly
Third feather was getting better but the real change came right down in the last one. The bottom feather is much more relaxed. Really enjoyed stitching that out and felt that I really had gotten the hang of this. Was able to be a bit more freeflowing and also discovered that Bethanne's method allowed me to make slightly larger feathers. Very useful!