Thursday, July 18, 2013

Check off another challenge...

...in this year's SewCalGal FMQ challenge. 
There was a lot of experimenting with different feather styles before completing my projects.


All of the finished pieces were created using the bump-bump feather method, which I find most comfortable. But I don't stitch my spine first. I prefer to draw it lightly, then start my feather lobes at the bottom, using the line I have drawn as a guide. I work my way up one side to the tip, and then I stitch back down on the spine to the bottom and start the other side. This method eliminates one layer of thread in the spine and I like it better with the threads I am using. I'd really like to get some 100 wt. thread to try, but I can't find it around here, and I really don't like to choose colors online.
This one has multiple background designs, the tips of the feathers are different shapes, and the spine of one feather has the pebbling. This was quilted with Aurifil thread.

I put the same tip on each feather in this one, and used one design over the entire background. I also did an echo around the feathers to give them a little more definition from the background. This was quilted with Mettler thread.

In looking at dozens of examples of feathers online, I decided I really like the look of feathers that fill the space completely. So I decided to give it a go, with the help of Sharon's and Debbie's notes, to which I referred in my previous post. I randomly put a curl in the tips of some lobes. This was quilted with Isacord thread. 
I purposely made this one within the size requirements for an AAQI quilt, because I thought if it turned out well I might use it as such. I was pleased with the front, but when I turned it over my heart sank. The back had so many places where the needle had pushed bits of batting through, and that only happened on this one. I worked with my needle to try and stuff those bits back in, but it doesn't look good to me, so I wouldn't feel comfortable donating this. The other two look fine on the back, but they aren't within the size requirements, and I'm not as happy with the feathers on those anyway.

I appreciate SewCalGal and Joanne making this challenge available. I do believe it has helped me a great deal in improving the quality of my feathers. I never did find my first feather sample, but I did come across some early attempts from the SewCalGal challenge in February 2012. Look at the one  peeking out on the right. I've come a long way, baby!

 One last thing. My small quilts corner has a new addition. I bought another AAQI quilt--this time by my friend, Annie Miksch (no blog). The little appliqued wreath in the upper left corner is my sweet new quilt (those are all AAQI purchases along the top row). Annie made the beautiful appliqued piece on the lower right side, as well, and surprised me with it months ago. I am thrilled to have another quilt made by her hands.
That's it for now. Not much sewing happening here this week, other than the feathers.
Until next time,
Janet O.


36 comments:

  1. Your feathers are wonderful, I love your pointy tips & curves, very nice indeed!

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  2. Your feathers are amazing! Well done! :0)

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  3. Clapping! Clapping for you! Amazing feathers!

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  4. Well done on the completion of another challenge - your feathers are amazing!!! I had batting come through one quilt I made too (it was a wool batt) which was really disappointing. I do like your little applique purchase.

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  5. Annie's little quilts are beautiful! Your feathers look great! Feathers are my favorite to see but the hardest for me to do. LOL!

    Have a wonderful and Blessed day
    Kristie

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  6. Wow! Your dedication and hard work has paid off, your feathers are beautiful!

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  7. WOWZERS!!!!!!! I LOVE your feathers! I have to also mention that your little quilts display is delightful!

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  8. You have really mastered feather quilting. Love the samples that you made.

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  9. You really have come a long ways - they all look great. I love the pebbling in the spine. And you have a nice wall of quilts! Isn't it fun to have them on display?

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  10. Master, master, master, master......Yep, you've mastered the feathers!!
    Love your little wall of quilts and am happy to be a part of it.

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  11. Standing ovation :D !!!!! Great job on the challenge....you are motivating me! I really love your background fill in on the blue one, with the swirls and mctavishing. It looks fabulous. But my heart belongs to the red with the continuous feathers. It is such a beauty.
    what a great wall display of small quilts!

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  12. Just beautiful! I do love the one with feathers filling all the space. I will need to try that. The tutorials are great and I can't wait to finish 2 more of the challenge projects.

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  13. Those are some AMAZING feathers, my friend!!

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  14. WOW they are each AWESOME, looks like you are ready to do the teaching now. lol Your little quilts are filling up your wall space, they all look so nice.

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  15. You are doing such a beautiful job with those feathers!

    Your little quilt collection is adorable.

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  16. Those red feathers are my favorite Mom! I love the little random swirls :)
    Way to go!
    Your new little addition is sweet.

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  17. Hang that Red one on the wall. Then no one can see the back. Very Pretty feathers. Your collection is growing.

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  18. Your work has become fantastic!!! I was especially interested in seeing your work of 1 year ago (approx.) and seeing how your talents have increased in one year. Shoot, anyone, who is so inclined, can learn to do quality work if they keep trying and practicing. I keep telling those gals who are interested, "YOU CAN DO THIS". Thank you so much for the invaluable photos and close-ups of designs, as well as threads used, and also for mentioning some of the pitfalls. Again, your work and these projects are simply stunning!

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  19. Well, clearly hours and hours of practice must be the key! I love all the curls and pebbles and filled-in spaces - it's just beautiful.

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  20. While I admire what you have accomplished on the machine quilting front - it makes me feel overwhelmed and think that I will never be able to get that good myself! (pity party here) LOL Your new wreath quilt reminds me of the hooked rug I'm making - very similar.

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  21. You have come a long way, and beautifully I might add! Love the swirls you have added! Bravo Janet!

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  22. Your feathers are just beautiful, Janet. They look like such fun to work on. You have lots of other pretty things in your last few posts, too. Love your newest AAQI acquisition!

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  23. Your feathers are looking great! Mom was right: "Practice makes perfect." The red feathers are my favorite.

    I'm loving how your wall of little quilts is filling out.

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  24. The little extra swirls in the red quilt were inspired. They draw the eye around and take the quilt from 'really good' to 'Wow!" Congratulations on your wonderful progress.

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing all your quilting journey of feathers. I especially appreciated seeing the "early" feather attempts to compare what you are doing now. Wow, what a difference you have made!

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  26. Wow Janet,your feathers are beautiful!
    I love the red feathers, I really think you have these mastered...congratualtions!
    I really wanted to do this challenge, just can't find the time.
    Julia

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  27. Well, I am soooooooo glad you are going to be my hand quilting instructor as those feathers (albeit done by machine) are gorgeous!! And WAIT!!! Is that Kaffe binding around the red feathers?? Oh, oh, I'm rubbing off on you . . . . :-))

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  28. I think you have mastered those feather designs. I can't decide which one I like best. I think the fabric colors are influencing me some as I tend to like certain colors more than another.

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  29. You sure have come a long way baby! I celebrate your accomplish with you!
    Your feathers are amazing!
    I wonder if it is the batting you are using? I've never had that problem with warm and natural that it pokes through the backing. Or maybe it's too large a needle? Hmmmm.....

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  30. You have indeed "come a long way baby"!!! What wonderful feathers you are making my talented friend!!! I'm amazed and thrilled for you. Your practice is really paying off. I honestly think your feathers look professional - great job!!!

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  31. Well done! I like it best when the feathers fill the entire space, too. Does it matter what the back looks like? I have a terrible time getting fmq to look good on both sides. the back never looks as good - laundering seems to help.

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  32. You are rocking the feathers. It's so fabulous to see quilters take on this challenge and show their progress and process. Congrats to you, keep quilting, every day you get better!!!!

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  33. Wow Janet, you keep this up and I'll be calling on *you* for advice on quilting feathers! Way to persevere and conquer!! :)

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  34. I LOVE your little quilt corner. And I have just the one to add to mine, which isn't exactly a corner yet. Your quilting has gotten amazing. Your taste in fabrics and quilts is also over the top!! You are an amazing friend and I feel incredibly lucky to be included in your world! Thank you so much!!

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  35. Congratulations Janet, you are a very talented person. I admire how much time you take to do research and experience a lot until you get the results you wanted. All your feathers look amazing, especially the one with white and red, it must have taken a lot of time.


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