I've quilted the feather that runs the length of the quilt on one side and am debating whether or not to stitch a feather on the other side. In the meanwhile I'll continue with the first feather. I echoed stitched around the feather. I'm using Superior's So Fine (LOVE IT) on top and Superior's The Bottom Line in the bobbin.
I added a second echo because I really want to flatten the area immediately next to the feather.
Here you can see both sides of the feather have a double echo. At this point the background on either side of the feather appears to come forward and the feather recedes. I want it the other way around.
To do this I'll fill in the background. My original plan was to meander or stipple but that gets boring very quickly. I saw my practice swatches and decided to just do a mish mash of different shapes and designs - kind of mindless doodling. I use my test swatches to test my threads, needle and machine setting each day before I start quilting and I think they look interesting so I'll just use a bunch of different stitches to fill in the background. Here is the first side filled in and I am a happy quilter! There are pearls, and swirls, feathers and bouncing bananas. I also tried a little bit of McTavishing! So Fine is a great thread for this type of quilting because it is fine enough that I'm not getting thread build-up but heavy enough that I can see the stitches.
Here it is a little closer. What I like about this stitching is that it is surprisingly easy or at least easier than feathers which require long, smooth, sweeping, large movements. While the feather shape itself is quite easy once you deconstruct it, you are working over a very larger area so you are making sure your quilt is flat and smooth and your hand/arm movements are even. The filler is small so it is very small muscle movement that is required and mistakes are less obvious! There is so much going on that if there is a mistake it isn't obvious and although it is densely quilted it goes very quickly.
Here is the other side of the feather filled in with doodling! When I worked myself into a corner I could just travel on or parallel to a line I had already quilted so that I could get to an unquilted area. Again I'm not getting a thread build-up because the So Fine thread by Superior is quite fine .
And one more close-up!
And this is the feather with both sides filled in. Now the feather comes forward and the background recedes which is exactly the look I was going for! I'm doing all of the quilting with Superior's So Fine and am just loving it! I'm having to do a little travelling (sewing on lines that have already been quilted) to get to other spaces so they can be filled in and I'm not getting a heavy thread build-up. The thread colour is soft grey so it works well with the background fabric and again helps minimize the thread build-up.
I've said it many times and it bears repeating - the only way to learn machine quilting skills it to practice, practice, practice. All of that practice is paying off because now I've got an interesting filler design and the idea came from my practice swatches! If' you want to get started free motion quilting (FMQ) my best advice is to make yourself some small sandwiches and use thread that you and your machine like and start quilting shapes that are comfortable. I'll bet you can quilt your name with no difficulty at all. Cursive writing is a great way to practice FMQ!
I've also got the next quilt back ready so when I done with Lazy Girl I can get started on Piccadilly to the Nines. I've got some beautiful thread for the hourglass border. It is a variegated green thread by Superior and it is called Fantastico. It has a gorgeous sheen and I can't wait to try it out!
Yesterday I had a sewing day with friends. My Mom pulled out a set of six old linens with beautiful cut work. They are little envelope and Mom was asking if anyone knew how they were intended to be used. The motif is a pear so I am assuming they have something to do with a dining room. Does anyone have any ideas?
Finally I have a request. Does anyone out there know of a shop that has this fabric in stock? If so could you leave me the details in a comment or send me an email. I just love the little birds and the colour but can't find the fabric anywhere. It is made by Moda and it is from the line Dominique II. The colour is paprika.
That's it for today! Until I post tomorrow, happy sewing!