Friday, 10 February 2012

Free Motion Quilting Challenge - Month 2

This month's Free Motion Quilting Challenge is to draw an Echo Feather Plume. Considering that I learned to stipple just last month, this design was really intimidating when I first saw it. Luckily Diane Gaudynski provided detailed instructions and included a lot of pictures.

When the instructions became available, I spent hours trying to draw the feather design in my notebook. It didn't work on the first day. For some reason I just wasn't able to replicate Diane's tear drop shape. I even tried cutting out the template from her pictures and tracing around it, with little success.

After drawing the design over and over on paper, however, my feathers started looking a little bit better. These are some of the feathers I was able to draw after a week of practice:

I thought these were starting to look pretty good, so I moved on to quilting the design freehand on fabric. This was my first attempt:

I'm pretty sure this is exactly what Diane was referring to when she warned us to avoid drawing anything that looked like strange broccoli stalks and deformed veggies... For the second attempt I switched to a colour of thread that wouldn't stand out and showcase my mistakes quite so much:

These turned out really well! With the pale thread, you can't make out many mistakes, and after a wash I think these would probably look perfectly ok on a quilt. Encouraged by this, I gave it another try with contrasting thread:

My feathers are certainly not perfect, but I'm proud of how far I've come after only a month of free motion quilting. I plan to come back to this design as my skills improve, and hopefully turn it into something beautiful to use on a quilt.


  1. I think you are definitely getting how to quilt feather. That third one looks great, I like the stippling around it too.

  2. This looks great! Stipple, stipple, stipple, haha! Wonder where you learned that! By now we are all pros at stippling! I'm sure by the end of Feb, we will be pros at feathers too

  3. I think your feathers look great! All it takes is practice :) I practice drawing in a sketchbook to :)

  4. I bought a dry erase board and have spent many, many hours drawing feathers. I would hate to have wasted all that paper. Although it would have been nice to have my very first attempt to look back on. It was totally laughable - talk about strange broccoli!

    I see a vast improvement in your feather attempts. Your later ones are looking really good.

  5. Sketching and practicing - your improvement shows!