Monday, February 3, 2014

KISMIF #9--Easy Feathers

Just as promised, my Keep It Simple Make It Fun (KISMIF) posts in February for free-motion machine quilting (FMQ) are going to be about feathers.

Here's the plan:
  • Today: Feb. 4, 2014--Hook Feathers--the easiest I know of!
  • Next Week: Feb. 11, 2014--Long-arm Feathers two ways--the most versatile but takes some practice along with some continuous curve ruler quilting.
  •  Feb. 18, 2014--Heirloom Feathers, also nick-named "bump-back" feathers (you'll see why)--and announce the winner of the Giveaway.
  • Feb. 25, 2014--Heirloom Feathers without the "bump-back".  Is it REALLY possible?  Yep, I'll show you two ways to get around the conundrum.
Inside this triangle in the photo is shown a hook-feather.

STEP ONE: Start by choosing a vine.  It can simply be "chosen" as a the ditch of a border--as in the photo above, drawn on with a wash-away or air-eraseable pen or traced & quilted at the same time using a long-arm ruler.

STEP TWO: Quilt your starting plume.

STEP THREE: Hook to the starting plume and thinly echo out.  The trick to making the feather appear is to make this hook going out as thin as possible.

STEP FOUR: If doing this as an entire border, go back and repeat from the same staring point to create the second side.
Here are some photos of this done as a vine.  It's great for beginners as it look good as long as you keep those echos back "skinny".

The bottom border of this photo is from the first time I ever quilted one of these feathers.  I took a class from Irena Blum at HMQS where she taught "bump-back" feathers.  Convinced that I couldn't do them after leaving the class as my machine does not have a stitch regulator, I tried this hook-feather from a Sally Terry book.  I  really loved how it turned out.  But as you will see, my fascination with feathers did not end until I could flawlessly quilt all types of feathers--even bump-backs without a stitch regulator.  I think I was a crazy "woman on a mission" for a year learning and practicing these techniques to my satisfaction.  Obviously, I like quilted feathers.  :)

Well, I'd sure love to see what you've been working on.  Please feel free to join the linky party below and show off your fun projects!

Modern Tradition Quilts