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

Friday, December 28, 2012

Borders and Feathers

You may remember that this year I have been taking part in SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge. This has been a great challenge as each month we've had new tutorials and ideas to try - a real wealth of information. Part of the challenge requirement was to complete the tutorial each month and add it to the linky list for that month. A great motivation for completing the challenges is that you then go into the draw for some great prizes!!
December's challenge was by Patsy Thompson and she looked at border treatments. Her tutorial is here.
I totally loved this and had fun practising and adding the ideas to my (fmq) sampler quilt. My sampler quilt had a blank rectangular block so initially I had a play in that. These ideas were for using in narrow borders and sashing strips. We learnt about having variety in a series of border strips to add interest.

The feathers were for another border outside the teardrop style one, but as I had run out of space, I decided they would look fine in the centre of the block.

Then Patsy shared a video on one way she does big feather borders.
We started by marking the spine as we normally would
for free motion feathers, but only to the mid-way point.
 Each half of the border is a 'mirror' image of the other. Well actually, its just where the two halves of a border meet that they are mirror images; the rest of the feather is a free for all (so to speak!)(he he).
I made a little plastic template so it worked where the two
 halves of a border met... 
...but eye-balled the corner ones.
  We just marked the spine, no pre-sewing! Also, both sides of the feather were sewn at once (not up one side, down the other as I usually do them).  Scary but it still worked out!! 

I couldn't get these feathers to go all the way to the edges, it looked awful when I tried. I must admit it took me an age to do the first section - the quick unpic was my friend that morning. I also had some directional issues (ie feathers in all directions!) but once I freed my brain they flowed nicely.
So once again, a special thank you to SewCalGal for hosting this challenge. And a big thank you to Patsy Thompson for sharing this month's tutorial.


  1. You really did a great yob here. Stunning I learn a lot form this.
    How big is this quilt? Love how it is looking so far.

    Kind regards,

  2. Very beautiful Raewyn! You did a terrific job on this....

  3. I think your feathers are great!! You have talent for sure!

  4. I think your borders look fantastic--especially the feathers!!
    I'm still at the "practice-on-paper" stage with this challenge. I need to get in gear and just do it. You have inspired me. : )

  5. wowee! you did a great job. I know what you mean about feathers going in different directions. I just finished my practice piece. I have learned a lot from all the challenges.

  6. Wow - your quilting skills certainly have developed since you began this challenge. I think there is a lot of "I can't do that" in the FMQ world, and often it is just a matter of giving it a go. Congratulations on giving it a go, and showing that you can do it.

  7. Wow, it all looks incredible, Raewyn. Maybe I'll have a chance to challenge myself with FMQ in the new year.

  8. Wow all of this looks great. I'm terrible at feathers, so I just might have to try this tutorial for myself.

  9. You are proof the practice really does pay off! Fabulous quilting, keep going!

  10. Your borders are great. Happy New Year!

  11. Your quilting is beautiful Raewyn, love your feathers!

  12. Your feathers turned out beautiful! And I love the feather strip in the middle of the rectangular block too. Looks perfectly at home there.

  13. Your FMQ is impressive Raewyn, I really love the feathers in the corner, so good, for only being eyeballed!


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