Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Country Roads and Floating Foxes

Lori is having a link-up for her Country Roads SAL and I actually have both of my versions finished in time.

Here is the first one after I got the ubiquitous black binding attached.

 I decided to mix up the second one. I quilted it quite differently, after the stitch-in-the-ditch.
I put cross-hatching in the setting triangles, and I did itty-bitty feathered wreaths in the setting squares (that gave me fits--I had to unpick two of them). You can see it all better from the back. And I didn't bind this one in black, either. It looks like it, I know, but it is a dark purple.

You may recall that I made my versions half the size of Lori's original, so that made the wreaths smaller than I have ever tried. Here you see the finished quilts with a 5" charm pack to get a little perspective.

This made the wreaths 2"! I used a stencil--I have not gained enough skill and confidence to free-hand those things (probably never will).

I want to share something with you about the feathers on stencils. It is something I have noticed over the years that I have worked on feathers and I thought I would give a little insight.


When you trace a stencil from a wreath you often end up with something like this.







You can see the arrows pointing out all of the gaps needed in order to keep the stencil together.

This sample is from a 3 inch feathered wreath--it was a little easier to show you than on the 2 inch wreath, though the pattern is exactly the same.

I typically fill in the gaps with whatever type of marker I am using on the quilt, for ease of flow as I quilt. For this purpose I have used a red pencil on the paper to fill in the lines. I think the photo here shows what is typically done to fill in gaps. It makes a nice feathered wreath, but something about it has always bothered me.
 As I studied free-hand feathers I realized the stencil tended to create a less graceful feather shape. The stencil design below is filled in with lines that create more of the free-hand shaped feather.
Can you see the difference?
Try comparing here.
If you are still scratching your head trying to decide what is different, maybe this will help.
Can you see how the top feathers are shaped like a teardrop and the lower ones have a shape all their own? There is no right or wrong shape and I haven't notified the quilt police to be on the lookout for malformed feathers, I have just found the teardrop shape to please my eye more and look more like the free-hand feathers I was taught to make. You quilt your feathers however you would like and they will look lovely no matter! : )

Enough of that, let's float some foxes! Gidget worked hard and got it all quilted.
 





 Abby's name even found its way into the quilting. You can almost see it here. : )





All of the faces got furry cheeks, swirly eyes, and loops on the nose.





Stippling finished the background of the fox blocks. 


The grey diagonals received VERY crooked organic lines, spaced 2 or 3 fingers apart.

A swirly pattern that incorporated hooks and eyelashes as fillers covered the aqua diagonals.

I have a teal fabric for the binding and there is still a week before the birthday, so hopefully I will get it finished, even though I am the world's slowest binder.  

The fox pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman, and comes in several sizes. I used Fancy Fox II, making the less gigantic of the two blocks in the pattern. For smaller foxes choose the original Fancy Fox pattern. (These links are for PDF downloads.)
Until next time,
Janet O.


36 comments:

  1. Doesn't the Cheddar yellow work so well with reproduction fabrics! Lovely feathers, feathers are a bit like finger prints, everyones are unique and different. Foxy fox quilt! so different to what you usually work on.

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  2. Love your Country Roads twins. Feathers are just fun to quilt any way we do them, but you're right about that stencil, it definitely looks more delicate and graceful when drawn out in a teardrop shape. Your floating foxes just makes me smile, such a cute quilt.

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  3. Love all your quilty projects! Those foxes are so cute!

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  4. Your Country Road quiltlets are adorable! I have to agree that the teardrop shape is a little more pleasing to my eye as well. Your Floating Foxes turned out fabulously - I'm sure it'll be a huge hit!

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  5. TaDa!!!!! Excellent details and feather wreaths! Now I know why I never used those stencils.....the shape bothered me too. Your tiny ones turned out so beautiful.....the wall hanging is gorgeous of course.
    The foxes turned out wonderful.....they really do float above the surface. Just enough quilting to make it outstanding.. Going to be a great present.

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  6. Love your little quilts. I particularly love the purple and black one! Your quilting is gorgeous. Thank you for the feather lesson. I usually freehand them so it is nice to see what you can do with a stencil. Love the foxes!

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  7. Absolutely Fabulous Finishes!!! Of course your quilting is so stunning!!! You have more patience than I by using stencils - you know me "Free Frannie" LOL!!!

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  8. What a fun tutorial and yes, I agree, the teardrop feathers are much more agreeable to the eye!! Your little Country Roads quilts are amazing and the quilting on the Foxes is perfect!! Hey, bring your fox quilt over here - I would LOVE to bind it for you!! And thanks for reminding me of Gidget's name!! How could I ever forget?

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  9. i am sure she will love the foxes quilt...it is adorable! i see what you mean about the feather stencils...i like to draw my own for that reason....took a class with sue nickels and learned how...really easy peasy...love your little quilts as always!

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  10. interesting insight on the feathered wreath Mom...
    Love that purple country road.
    And Abby will love that her name is in the quilt! :) So fun. It looks gorgeous Mom! Such beautiful work!

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  11. Good insight on the feathers--so much prettier with the slight curves! Love those foxes!

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  12. Yahoo for a finish in time for the Link-up!. Mine is waiting for me to put in a few hand stitches on a Road Trip.
    I thought I would get it done this past week-end but it didn't happen on the many short road trips I had. Love the way you set the Foxes! Does the one with glasses have a special significance?

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  13. Wonderful Country Roads quilts, and I love your machine quilting! And your Fancy foxes too!! Hope you are feeling great, and happy Wednesday!

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  14. I love both of your little quilts and the quilting is just gorgeous !
    Thank you for showing us the differences with the feathers and I prefer the first one !!
    The fox quilt is pretty ! Come on Janet !

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  15. Janet, I love the change in the feathers that you made. And when the quilt police finish at my house, I'll promise not to breathe a word about your "violations". I'm not a snitch!! VBG
    Love the foxes!!

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  16. I thought you only made ONE of your Country Roads quilts half size, so I couldn't figure out why they both looked the same! LOL I really like the purple you used on one of them - they're both great! Thanks for the insight on quilting feathered wreaths - did you find those stencils at JoAnn's? Or somewhere else. The quilting on the foxes is perfect for a modern quilt - it's going to be a sure hit with the recipient - and you'll soon be able to get back to doing what you LOVE!

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  17. I love both of your Country Roads quilts! Your quilting is beautiful! And that Fox quilt is just too cute :).

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  18. Love the tiny feather wreath! I almost attempted a feather pattern on a 1.5" border but talked myself out of it. I've got a super easy "pattern" that I have done on a larger border but just couldn't bring myself to do it on the doll quilt. Maybe next time...

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  19. An awesome job quilting the fox faces. Just perfect selection of designs. Their cheeks actually do look furry! Great work. Abby's going to love it! Sandi

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  20. You are insane! Those quilts next to a charm pack?? I'd need a microscope to stitch a quilt so small. They are beautiful. I see how the lines make the stencil more petal shaped in the first example, and agree the teardrop shape us more eye pleasing. The foxes look terrific!

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  21. Cute foxes! Thanks for the tips about the stencils and feathers. I do find those stencil gaps a problem when I am quilting as I get "lost" easily. I havent tried feathers yet, but I might have to challenge myself soon, as the feathered wreaths looked so good on the plain blocks.

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  22. Filling in the blank areas of the feather stencil with a swooped line or teardrop shape, really does create a gentle and pleasing feathered wreath. Great tip. Using the purple in the one Country Roads quilt is awesome. Those foxes are going to be the hit of the birthday. They look incredible quilted.

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  23. Janet, you tiny 'country roads' quilts are simply delightful and the quilting is amazing!! I'm tempted to make a smaller version after seeing yours!
    Your fox blocks are stunning.. you do beautiful work :))

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  24. What a wonderful work for your two Country Roads, and the foxes are very cute.

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  25. Oh Janet - more amazing mini's - love it when you place a recognizable object next to your tiny quilts - in this case a charm pack we are all familiar with! And the comparison between the two wreath stencils is so well illustrated. Agree completely, your curving those feathers makes it so graceful and flowing. Well done!!

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  26. Nice job on those cute tiny wreaths!! I love how you showed us the difference in the drawings.
    The quilts are so wonderful!! The foxes are pretty fun.

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  27. The quilting is very nice on your Country Roads quilt. Nice design to complement the blocks.

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  28. Thank you very much Janet for visiting my blog, both your quilt are gorgeus and the quilting awesome. Love the wreaths and the tutorial.
    Marta.

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  29. What an excellent quilter you are. I hope to someday be able to do some of those fancy quilting designs. Both Country Roads quilts are gorgeous :)

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  30. Great quilting on all projects!

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  31. wow - I love your pair of sew along quilts - I'm still really admiring that purple that you included!! My dear friend Jill would have loved that!!
    Great visual tutorial and explanation of the wreath is fantastic. thank you
    Your mr foxy is wonderful. The quilting is just amazing and adds so much texture.

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  32. Even if you are sewing down the binding by hand at the birthday party, everybody there will love it!! I love your term of "organic" lines, too, LOL!
    Congratulations on the pair of Country Roads finishes; they are both lovely!

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  33. Love your Country Roads! Hard for me to imagine 2" wreaths! Thanks for the insight on the wreaths. You are very observant! I'm sure Abby will love her quilt. It's a beautifully graphic design. Good luck with the binding.

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  34. Beautiful work Janet - very interesting discussion about the feathers, I much prefer the teardrop shape, you are right, it is more graceful. Gidget has been very busy lately, the fox quilt is so cute - I am sure it will be well received, bound or not!

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  35. I noticed that your pin cushions are boxed. I have made dolls where I boxed the bottoms, but my small brain right now can't figure out how to box all 4 corners a stuff. Can you enlighten me on this. Also I am curious about the brand your quilting machine is. I would like to have a small one, but it seems that with most quilters the biggest complaint about the quilting machines is getting them repaired when needed. Can you comment on your machine please

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  36. You are absolutely spot-on with the problem with the stencils! I never noticed that before, but I've had that problem when trying to use them. Duh!!! Now I'll know how to complete them so that they look better. I would never try to do them freehand either, especially that tiny! As for those foxes - LOVE THEM!!!! I have this pattern and her hedgehogs - both for granddaughters some day. I really love how you quilted the foxes, and how perfect to add her name!!!

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