I always do a test with the threads I'll use in my quilt to make sure the tension is correct and that I am happy with the look of the chosen threads on fabric. In this case I also wanted to make sure that what I drew on paper would work on the quilt. The first step was to draw a corner triangle on my test swatch. Inside the triangle I drew the question mark that would be the framework for the feather design.
The next step was to quilt the motif. It didn't have to be perfect - I just want to get an idea of how it would fill the space and what it would look like. And I want to make sure that I would be able quilt the design. If I can't do it on a small swatch I won't be able to do it on a large quilt.
I removed the blue washable marker to get a look at the finished swatch and I was happy with what I saw so it was on to the quilt!
And here is the motif quilted. I used Superior Monopoly on top and in the bobbin I used Superior The Bottom Line.
Here is a larger view of the corner triangle with the border quilting.
I am really happy with the effect! Now it is on to the other three corners and then the setting triangles.
If you are interested in how I quilted the corner motifs they started out as question marks. My starting point was the bottom of the question mark in the corner. I quilted up to the tip of the question mark and then from there I quilted back on the outside of the question mark back to the starting point leaving a small space between the lines to add some dimension. I then quilted the plumes on the right side of the question mark all the way around to the tip of the question mark making sure that each plume made it right out to the edge of the block. From the centre tip of the question mark I echoed the question mark on the inside right back down to the start point. From there I quilted the plumes on the left side of the question mark all the way around to the centre. This method of building a feather on a base shape is explained in Peggy Holt's Create Your Own Dream Feathers.
This is a great book for those wanting to learn how to create lovely feathers in a stress free way! There is also a great online class through Craftsy for creating feathers. It is Angela Walters' Free Motion Quilting with Feathers. This class goes on sale from time to time so sign up for the Craftsy newsletter and you'll be notified about sales. Both the book and the online class are great tools for learning how to quilt feathers minimal marking or no marking at all.
Tomorrow I'll do my test swatch for the setting triangles on the sides of the Cherry Blossom quilt. I'll take pictures of the process and share them with you!
For now a few shots from the garden!
Trumpet vine with ladybug
Until I post again, happy sewing!