Sunday, 12 February 2012

My Journey with Quilting Feathers

You may have noticed that I am taking part in the Free Motion Quilting Challenge.
I thought it would be fun to do a post on my progress to date.  I think every quilter loves feather and I am no exception. 
When you are free motion quilting - it's the first thing you want to do.

I dug around and found my first attempts.

This was the very first piece I ever FMQ'd.  I didn't even have a proper open toe foot so I didn't use one at all.   I had a very basic attempt at a feather in the border.  It looks more like leaves but I was encouraged to keep going.

I cut a stack of 8" squares with wadding and set about practicing!!!


It's pretty tricky trying to sew the plumes round a curve.  All the time I was practicing feathers, I was working on other quilting patterns such as stippling and just trying to get a feel for the machine.


I used a stencil to mark this circular feather and tried abysmally to follow the lines.  I was having all kinds of tension trouble too.  I gave up with the stencil as I preferred it when the fabric wasn't marked.
Now I only mark the spine.


This was an attempt at feathering an a narrow border.


More feathers - I think you can see an improvement here.

Back of the quilt.

This is from my Bird of Paradise wall hanging.  I quilted feathers on appliqued feathers!

More feathers that don't really look like feathers in a border.

These are feathers on a hand dyed cushion I made.  Think I was beginning to get the hang of it.

They are definately beginning to look like feathers.

More feathers on another hand dyed cushion.  I loved how these turned out.

Feathered sashing on the Tallships quilt.

I made a series of mugrugs and practiced going round corners.

I made progress here - each one was better than the last and plumes had a better shape to them.



More feathers in a border on the Lantern quilt.

These are feathers on a wall hanging that I worked in January.

I was a bit more adventurous here and worked pebbles into the spine.

Then in February, Diane Gaudynski did the turorial for the 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge.
I decided to work my sample on satin.  Something just clicked into place and I was able to produce this :



I was over the moon - this was something I had wanted to achieve for a long time.

Then I worked a second sample - this time on silk and I tried outline quilting to fill the background.

Now I am working on this ;





I hope this post gives some encouragemnt to those of you who are just starting out with free motion quilting.
You can see how far I have come in just 11 months.  I cannot wait to start incorporating my new found skills into my quilts.

My top tips would be to get a pair of quilting gloves and keep practicing.  Draw feathers on paper whenever you get the chance.  It really does help.
Most importantly though - have fun and remember 'Rome wasn't built in a day'!

See you all next time.
Rhianon.

23 comments:

Rhonda P. said...

You do an amazing job on those feathers! I absolutely love the satin and silk.

Debbie said...

You have a natural talent for feathers. Your improvement is amazing and has turned out just beautiful. Great work and thanks for the encouragement.

Joan said...

Rhianon Thank you so much for sharing your fantastic journey! Your inmprovement is wonderful and clearly visible. Quilting is such a wonderful challenge isnt it?, and each is a learning curve..

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Rhianon....I could look at your quilting all day long. I love it...and am so jealous...lol. I still have to get to practicing my feathers. My first attempt was a complete disaster...doesn't look like any feather I've seen...hahaha.

LynCC said...

Another gorgeous project right now! Thanks for showing your progress during the year. You've really got the hang of feathers. I need to quit being intimidated and JUST DO IT.. lol

Linda Moran said...

Fabulous work! Great inspiration for the whole month. I really like seeing how you have progressed!

Linda E in AZ said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us - it's wonderful to see how you've learned and improved.

Martha said...

I love your work, you are a fabulous quilter and I appreciate you sharing your skills with us!!!

Marls said...

To see your journey and progress over such a relatively short time is inspiring. Thanks for sharing from start to now. Love your work.

teachpany said...

Great post, and beautiful progress. I love that you mixed satin with cotton on your latest project.

quilt happy said...

they are all great

Laura said...

I love that you have showed your progression! How very encouraging! And your feathering has become beautiful!

Joanie's Quilts said...

I love seeing the progression of improvement. I have to say I think your feathers in the early stages look pretty awesome too. Keep up the good work. The last picture of your white silk pillow and heart is gorgeous!

M-R said...

Wow, it's wonderful to see your progress, Rhianon! Thanks for sharing this!

The Nifty Stitcher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve said...

They just get better and better all the time. So many quilters quit when their first attempt at machine quilting comes out poor, it is like anything else, it requires a little practice. But we can all be very good at it if we just spend a little time practicing.
Beautiful work!

susan said...

Congratulations! You have much great progress! Beautiful work!

2ne said...

Love all your work :-)
Thanks for showing us all the quilts you have made - it is so pretty :-)

Minniepia said...

I am in awe. It just keeps getting better and better. How many times have I said that you do beautiful work. Awesome,
just totally gorgeous.
Joyce

Dora, the Quilter said...

Indeed, you *have* made great progress on your feathers. Feathers are so much fun and so satisfying to do!

scientificquilter.com said...

Hope hope there's way more hope! Love to see the progression here! Not just of skill, but even thinking about how to fill the spaces with more feathers!!

Shaz in ZA said...

Hi Rhianon, linked to this old blog post of yours and I must say I am AMAZED at your amazing quilting, even your first attempts are much better than mine. Thanks for the inspiration, I'm going to devote some time to practising my FMQ thanks to you.

Wanda Linthorne said...

I am so glad I found this blog .. I just commented on another re. fmq ... thank you so much for sharing this journey of yours .. you definitely are an inspiration and an encouragement for me to try .. God bless

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