Luckily, this meant I could start working on this month's FMQ challenge today! The tutorial this month was on quilted feathers, by Diane Gaudynski. Conveniently, I had just checked out her book "Guide to Machine Quilting" from the library (which has an impressive selection of quilting books). This was also a nice tutorial because I have never tried to quilt feathers before (as you shall see!).
I followed her instructions step-by-step, I hope to later get in more feathering practice, but for now I wanted to post my block before the end of the month.
I started out drawing on the spine per the instructions.
|The weird blip is where the BSR jumped because I stopped holding the fabric taut enough|
I then just tried to quilt in a bunch of feathers. Diane suggets a template if you are uncomfortable with the pattern, which I didn't have, so I tried making a go of it without any template. You can see that didn't go great. I had an especially hard time trying to figure out how to change the shape of the feather when going around a curve. Her photos in the tutorial were very helpful because she had stitched in feathers in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
|First side of feathers. You can see some very inconsistent shapes|
You can see along the first side of the feather I hadn't figured out that you need to echo exactly to the previous feather, so they're kind of all over the place. I also forgot to taper the feathers near the top of the spine.
|Side 2. Again, not keeping the bottom of the feather close enough to the one below it. At least I remembered to taper near the top.|
|Main feather! The echoing does make everything look better in the end,|
I tried to add the little branching feathers like Diane did. I agree with her statement that smaller feathers are easier, however I still had a lot of trouble making the feathers curve with the spine while still adhering to the previous feather and keeping a nice shape.
|little curve one. The feathers on it came out terrible, as did the echo|
|Little branching feather. This guy came out alright! Looks a little funky at the tip.|
Here's the current block! I intentionally put in different colored bobbin and top threads to check my tension, and it looks okay!
So, that's my February entry. It doesn't look great but I will keep practicing and post other feather blocks as I do them (maybe I'll do one or two next week to get some more practice end before the official end of the month.)