Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Feathers, not quite a Fail.

I've had a lot of time to think about the feathers, but not a lot of time to practice them. Excuses:
Machine was in the shop for a week getting pampered
I was away (had to go to Key West)
I had company
Short month
I was intimidated

That last one is a big one for me. I have just a little story. Many years ago, visiting a friend of mine who is a fabulous quilter, I asked her what this sewing on her quilt was. She said it's stippling, it's easy and fun, and she sewed some for me, yep, easy and fun.

Jump ahead about two years and I'm still not even thinking about quilting, but making pictures out of fabric sounds good to me. I had a book of Patrick Lose applique, so I made this:

Please excuse the wrinkles and dirt, it's been a box with other craft things for years. Anyway, after I outlined all of the applique, I decided to stipple it, easy and fun. Even now looking at it, I think I did a pretty good job for a first time effort and only going on my friends two minute lesson. I even did swirls on the stork.

Now jump ahead a lot of years and on to feathers. I've done a lot of free motion and just approached them with the same easy and fun mind set, but feathers is a whole new ball game. I tried to just do them

Ridiculous, and I walked away to get on with all of those other excuses. Times running out, so today I revisited them. Taking a more careful approach, here's what I did.

Better, but I need a lot of practice and I need to make them my own, so they flow. Diane's instructions were so very clear and in depth, I could hear the words in my head while I sewed shapes that looked like bad toes. It is true, practice works. In the few I sewed I could see improvement, so I will stick with it, but I don't think you'll be seeing feathers in any of my quilts anytime soon.

Thank you to SewCalGal for this challenge and a huge Thank You to Diane Gaudynski for taking the time to make this tutorial, I think you're amazing.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I see improvement ---even in the ones that look like toes! I do think a bit more practice and you can find your signature feather. I'm still not into the extra outline thing....mine wobble a lot like my chin!

  2. I really think you did a great job with the feathers. Nice plumes. For me, the echo is TERRIBLY difficult. But I still need quite a bit more practice overall. With many FMQ designs it just seems that after practice, with no rhyme or reason, they just come to work out.

    Diane Gaudynski shares that it takes ten repetitions to get a design embedded in your muscle memory.

    And, you've been so busy I'm impressed you found any time to practice.


  3. I think you feathers are lovely. The stitches are smooth and even. Bravo..well done!