My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Focus on Feathers

You will be seeing a lot of free motion quilting around Blogland recently as many of us have joined in with the SewCalGal free-motion-quilt-challenge.
Last month Frances Moore showed us her swirly leaves and this month Diane Gaudynski  talked us through her feathers. Both were really helpful, interesting and inspiring tutorials, with great follow-up on their own blogs.My family is heartily fed up with my feathers as I have been busy practising mine so I would have something half-way decent to show by the end of the month.
It's been a fun exercise and I'm going to enjoy working through the next 10 months' tutorials too.
So here are my efforts —
My practise piece; lots of random feathers.
 I did the first one freehand but quickly decided to use a 'stencil'. I've been drawing them with these.
Cut out shapes from Diane's tutorial and an air-erasable pen.
Working at getting the lines smooth and the stitches even; failing miserably on both fronts at time but I am improving with practise.
Little snippets of advice have helped - Joanne told me "look ahead" (like you do on the back of a horse, or in a car) - that helped a lot!
I also learnt that it is OK to stop and have a think and have a rest.
Having a play. My machine does not have ESP and doesn't
always know where I want to go!
Here is my practise at last month's Swirly Leaves.
Lots of fun but a completely different 'quilting action' to that needed for
the feathers.
 SewCalGal suggested putting a sampler quilt together; each month we do a sample of our latest skill in a block. I was really happy with my sampler quilt---until I took my first photo; the pattern on the fabric gets in the way of the feathers. Never mind, I'm not changing it now and it interferes less in real life than it does in the photos.

As I was told - it is only a Sampler Quilt so perfection isn't expected!
 I am really enjoying this project, learning these skills, and look forward to next month's tutorial. Special thanks to SewCalGal for hosting this project and to Frances and Diane for their fabulous tutorials.
 Happy sewing every-one,
[even you 'my Brother' if you have read this post and made it to the bottom :-)!!]

17 comments:

AnitaS said...

Very good. You are improving a lot.

Leeanne said...

Hey maybe the next Bernina out will have ESP!Rather than BSR!
You are hard on yourself girl, your feathers are coming along great, before you know it there will be no wobbles, keep the three P's going!
Remember the only difference between your quilting and one of your tutors is PRACTICE!

sunny said...

Looks pretty good to me! I used a stencil yesterday for the first time, and it's harder than it looks! Keep up the good work.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Looks fine to me.....

Charlie and Wendy said...

I think your quilting looks great, I love the little leaves pattern. You will be an expert by the end of the year.

Joanne said...

The feathers look fabulous!!

Sue Daurio said...

wow that looks great!! That would make such a nice edge to edge pattern on a quilt. Great job

Shirley said...

It all looks pretty good to me Raewyn. Keep up the good work.

Tammy said...

Your home made stencil is brilliant and the feathers are beautiful. Bravo... well done! Happy quilting.

Createology said...

I admire your tackling this challenge. Such a great way to learn "together" as a group with handy tips and helps. You will have a wonderful sampler after each month of stitching. Joyful sewing...

Barb and Sharon said...

I never thought of making a pattern from the sample. Great idea. I'll have to try it. Your feathers look good :)

Barb@witsend

Suz said...

Like you're always telling me, you don't notice the little faults... they are looking great. And as they all say, it is a matter of practice, practice, practice.

Cat said...

WOW look at you go !! !! !!
I can't quilt straight lines so for me this is perfect!

Valerie said...

Looks really nice, love the little details and flourishes! You give me ideas! :)

Linda in Calif. said...

Looks wonderful!! You did a great job!

Janet O. said...

I think you have done a great job on the feathers. They aren't an easy thing, and I think it is interesting placement to put feathers so near the beginning of the challenge. Very challenging, indeed!

Carrie P. said...

Well done! Your feathers have a much nicer curve at the ends than mine. I like your little fill in quilting too.
Weren't those leaves fun.