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Archive for March, 2012

I couldn’t stop myself from quilting once I began free motion quilting the feather plumes from last month’s challenge.  The fabric is solid silver, silk/cotton sateen.  Using different colors of silk thread (all #100, both YLI and Superior depending on the color)  made it look like the fabric was hand dyed (although this photograph may not do justice to it).

February Free Motion Quilting Challenge Feather Plumes sampler

I liked the pale lavender thread on the silver sateen best and used it to stitch the feather plumes and the first few rows of echo quilting around them.  When I finished quilting the sampler, the fabric around the feathers looked lavender, instead of silver.  My second favorite color on the silver sateen was pale blue (different shades) but the contrast of the light green silk thread really added movement to the background.

 

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Confession #1: Wow! I can’t believe I’m posting this again just under the wire.  The 2012 FMQ Challenge is really providing me with a deadline and motivation to keep up with at least monthly blog posts (even though they may be written late at night).

Confession #2: I took my first workshop with Diane Gaudynski in 2004, and I learned to quilt feathers from her then.  I have quilted feathers for many years … they are one of my favorite things to quilt!

As I read Diane’s excellent February tutorial, I looked for something new to learn from this lesson.  I noticed that Diane’s feathers all flow beautifully into smaller and more delicate feathers into a graceful end of the plume.  When I looked at  my feathers, I saw that I tend to end my feathers with a larger feather, or loop, at the end.

First feather plume sketch

So I decided my challenge for the month was to try to taper my feather plumes to be smaller at the end.

I began drawing feathers, early this month.  I discovered changing my habitual ways of drawing (and stitiching) feathers was more difficult than I expected!  This was my first drawing.

I wasn’t very happy with the result.  It didn’t flow and didn’t feel balanced.  I definitely had trouble making the ends of the feathers small and graceful.

Back to the drawing board!

Diane posted a blog entry on ‘Feather Plumes Linked‘ earlier this month.  I loved the idea and tried it with paper and pencil.  I like these linked feather plumes alot!

I tried to create a type of circular ‘focal point’.  You could use two or three plumes, instead of a continuous circular wreath.  Imagine a special shape, motif, or monogram inside the two rounded plumes….

Feather plumes focal point

 Yes, I quilted some feather plumes also.  But first I wanted to test different thread colors of silk thread for use on this wonderful silver silk sateen fabric that changes color in different light.  I used each of these threads to stitch some sample feathers.

Silk thread choices for free motion quilting

My favorite color was the pale lavender for these sample feathers.  I used lavender, light blue, light green, and some silver thread in this sample.  Although it takes a little longer to switch spools, I really like the movement and dimension that different thread colors add.

Practice free motion quilted feather plumes

Here is my final [for now] feathered plume for February.  I am pleased with it — but there is so much unquilted space!

Linked feather plumes for February 2012 FMQ Challenge

I had to add some more quilting to the empty space.  So the design evolves…. I’ll post a photo or two of the finished sampler soon!

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