Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Feathers, Feathers Everywhere!

Have you been playing with feathers?  I hope so!  You will be able to see that there are a wide variety of styles where feathers are concerned.  They can be very formal and structured or free wheeling and growing like a vine to cover all spaces.  Each time you use them, the quilt itself will dictate what type of feather is needed.  Listen to your quilt as it develops.
These are free hand feathers that are just meant to fill up space.  I took a piece of pretty fabric and wanted to see what it looked like to allow my feathers to just grow any which way to fill up the space.  It turned out pretty cool! But notice that these feathers have just one stem and no echo stitching around them.  They curve and curl back upon themselves to fill up space left by previous feathers.  There is no rhyme or reason to these other than to fill up space.  These are definitely a free wheeling style of feather. The only thing I drew to start with was an idea of a stem.  In the end I didn't even stick to that!
I still begin by doing the left side first.  I don't know why but it is always easier for me to develop feathers this way.
Space all filled up.
These feathers are more formal.  They have a double stem but they aren't uniform in size.  They do have echo stitching around them which enhances the feather itself and gives it more definition.  For even more definition, echo the feather in a slightly darker shade of thread.  That would have worked very nicely here had I thought of it at the time.
These are very formal feathers even though they are only one sided.  They have "pearls" in the stem and are uniform as they move around the curve.  They also have echo stitching around the outside edge.
Sometimes you need to just tuck a little feather in to fill in the space.  Let it go wherever it needs to, to do the job.

Feathers can be playful or serious.  Keep doodling your feathers to see what kind of personality they have.  Then incorporate them into your quilting.  The more you doodle, the easier they get.

This is what I have been working on.  I really needed to finish up the last baby quilt for this year.  My friend, Amanda had a baby girl and I wanted to make a quilt for this precious bundle.  Here it is without the binding finished.
I "all over" quilted the center in hot pink thread!
I wish I had taken my own advice though.  This quilt has pink minkie on the back and the drag just about did my arms in--even with the Supreme Slider!  I usually do plainer straight line quilting when I put minkie on the back of a baby quilt.  Then it's not so hard.  This fabric was so bright and cheerful that I just felt compelled to "dance" all over the place.  My arms are paying the price today.  Today I will finish the binding and throw it in the wash before giving to Amanda.

What projects are you working on for summer?  I am thinking about doing a small project for us to do together.  Sort of a learning wall quilt (very small) that will incorporate several of the techniques we have done here.  What do you think?  I will post the finished project here so you know if you want to give it a try.  Then we will do it step by step together.  What I have in mind would work well with a Charm Pack.  I want to make the piecing as easy as possible--but with impact--so we can get to the doodling part.  So please give me your input as I work on the design for this project.  Thanks and stay cool!

Keep doodling--you get better each day!

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