Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Feathers!!! Oh My!!!

At the end of January, Leslie brought in a beautiful log cabin top to be quilted. That part was wonderful since I had never quilted anything for her before. However, then she told me that the top was very special to her as it was a wedding quilt. The top was beautifully pieced and perfectly square so that I was even more excited to be working on such a nice piece. Then she told me "I want feathers in the white areas." Oh my gosh!!!! I have never REALLY quilted feathers before and CERTAINLY not on a customer quilt. Ok Joyce, you can do this. All you need to do is practice first. Soooooooooooo, I assured Leslie that we would do this and it would be beautiful. Leslie left the top with me and as the door to the studio closed, I headed to the fridge for a bottle of wine.

What had I done!!! How could I possibly take in a top like this and expect to do a good job for this customer?? Crazy huh? Oh well, I had until the end of March to figure this out. I had to work through some other tops and Quilt Camp before I could start on her quilt.  So January ends and February passes in a blur. Guess what. It's March and I have done no practicing. So, into the DVD player goes Kimmy Brunner's Twirly Whirly Feathers. Watch, watch, watch. I took a love quilt from Devine quilters to practice on:



 I don't know enough yet. So time to watch Free Motion Fun with Feathers by Patsy Thompson another good video............. Still not ready. Next up was Feathers of a New Generation by Lisa Calle......................Still not ready.
 Reviewed notes taken in Karen Kendo's classes at QSC last year............feeling just a little better. More of Kimmy's feather video...........White Board practice: I have a large white board that I lay on a table and everytime I pass by, I had to draw a feather. Practice, practice, practice.............on the white board, in the sketch book, in the air at the stop light. Ok, I'm feeling better about this. Time to load the top.

The back is loaded. We had decided to use wool batting so that is loaded too. Time to load the top. Go over all of my notes and make sure everything is properly loaded on Olivia.

First to stabilize the top. The side borders are 12" so I made sure that it was basted and pinned to keep it square.

 I started at the top and did straight line quilting in the dark side of every block. The lines are 1/2" apart and I used Lisa Calle's "Quilters Groove" rulers.
Using So Fine in the bobbin and Fil-Tec's Harmony varigated in the top. (Love this Fil-Tec thread). This straight line quilting took FOREVER!!!!! I underestimated that at 10 hours, but, I know it was much longer than that.
Once all of the straight lines where done, there was nothing left to do but start the feathering. Deep breath. Steady Joyce. It's only fabric and thread. You can always use the seam ripper and take it out. So here we go!!






Not bad. Actually it looks pretty good. On to the rest of the quilt. I used Marvey markers to mark spine lines as I went through the quilt. Humidity in South Carolina must be climbing since the line would not be visible for more than 15 minutes or so.

Feathers, feathers, feathers...........................



Feathers completed.For the feathers I used Glide thread on the top and So Fine in the Bobbin. Love that Glide Thread.

Now the next part of the quilt to be done was the center. Leslie wanted a feathered wreath in the center. I pulled out my largest feather stencil and marked it with my Marvey marker. Stitched it in and decided that it needed to be just a little larger so I echoed around the outer edges. Next was to crosshatch the center. Here again I used Lisa Calle's tools to do this work.Love the way that turned out. Then the outside of the wreath needed something else. That was when I decided to add the little feather swags on 4 sides and then the addition of more straight lines behind the swags. Yes, I intentionally made the line spacing different in 2 of the 4 corners. Lisa's tools again..............








Ok, now all that's left would be the borders.


The quilt was constructed with very wide side borders so I decided to stitch a pantograph in that area. I used Flirtatious by Irene Steel in the 2 side borders. No pictures because you could not see it anyway. In the small top and bottom borders I freehanded something similar to the pantograph.

Soooooooooo, it's finished and Leslie has picked it up. She is happy and so am I. This is what it looked like.



Yes, this is a very long post, but, I have spent 3 weeks with this quilt and the process of quilting it so this post should go on for awhile.

This just goes to prove that if you work at it you can accomplish your goals. I will remember this quilt forever since it proved to me that:

I CAN DO FEATHERS!!!



PS. TIME TO REGISTER FOR MAY MESTER!!!  DEADLINE IS MARCH 30....................

5 comments:

Marj said...

Kudos to you! You did an awesome job on the quilting and the quilt is beautiful. I guess you never know what you can do until someone asks you to... The next feather quilt will be just that much easier.

Frog Quilter said...

I knew you could it and YOU did it SO WELL!!!!! I hope this boosts your confidence level....

Gari said...

Absolutly beautiful. I am so impressed. I have all those books and videos and I could not have done the beautiful work you did.

Mary Cross said...

Joyce, It's simply beautiful!

calicodaisy said...

The quilt and feathering are beautiful. Leslie is my neighbor and caught me on a walk this morning. She told me to stop by here and read about her quilt and your quilting. Lovely!
-- michele