Friday, March 9, 2012

Feathers Everywhere

I hope you've been enjoying quilting feathers!  Here is a photo of a portion of a quilt, "Twilight Rhythms," that contained lots of feathers, flowers quilted with the echo feather technique, and backgrounds on a hand dyed sateen.  The largest feathers are about 5" long, and the tiny ones are tiny. 

Once you learn the shape, and the spacing technique with the line of echo quilting, just about any non-continuous line design can be quilted this way.  Leaving a small space and echoing the line, then echoing the entire design gives it a tailored, finished look.

Here the flowers are quilted with the technique, as could be leaves, pinecones, sunflowers, whatever you choose that has petal shapes or parts hat all unite to form a unit.  The echo lets you travel to the next shape.

My sewing machine has been getting a tune-up and soon I'll be working at it again.  I have reached the physical boundaries in my sewing room with no more space, and I can't find anything anymore.  It's a dilemma, as I really want to keep everything, but must start downsizing to be able to function at all in the space. 

Oliver plans on helping me sort and organize.  Ha!

Hope spring is in the air where you live, it is here in the north, with longer days already.  Time to plan a spring trip to a quilt event!

Keep quilting, keep feathering, don't let what you've learned fade away.


Joan said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work. It is certainly inspiring. We have a week of extremely hot weather, not very good for quiltling, but I too need to clear some work space. I cant find anything either.

Anonymous said...

The quilting is gorgeous. Thanks for showing us the possibilities to take what you taught us and extend it to flowers and other things. I truly surprised myself by being able to make feathers, and enjoyed it tremendously. While I haven't gotten to the point on my next project where I am ready to do the quilting, it IS on my agenda.

As for reaching capacity in your studio and needing to downsize or declutter, I have found that I am at the point myself where I can not get to things easily any more and am not comfortable working with things as they are. I do a declutter and reorganization about once every 2 years or so because I find that what I'm doing has changed, and so have my processes. A bit of decluttering and organizing began a couple of weeks ago, but I need to get back to it and get it finished.

Doreen said...

Diane, You never cease to inspire me! Developing my own 'feather style' is my goal and your educational posts, along with Leah Day's and Wendy's,as I have said before, have shown me that with practice I can achieve that goal....I'm on my way;-) Hugs,

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Diane - I am in awe ! Such beautiful and unique work ! Thank you for sharing.

As I look close -- I'm wondering if there is some accent color on the tips of the petals and feathers ?

Thanks again !

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Your work in so stunning!! Thank you for sharing with us. Here in New Brunswick, Canada; the snow is melting like crazy!! It can't go fast enough for for early March; I'm thinking that it is getting us ready for a big snowfall......grrrrrrrr

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks everyone! I am encouraged to clean my sewing room and get it so I can find things.

The feathers are freehand (I did mark the spines), and because they disappeared somewhat on the hand dyed fabric (as they will on many prints, dark batiks, etc.) I shaded the edges a bit with some inks or pencils for fabric. I don't do this on everything, but on this fabric it worked well. I also used a variety of thread colors to set off the quilting a bit better.

Our snow melted in one day here in Wisconsin last week, and warmer weather is on the way after two days here in the 60's. Amazing! Now if I can survive losing an hour to DST this weekend...

And Oliver gets confused with that time change too. We will be disoriented for awhile here at Chez Gaudynski.

Gramma Quilter said...

So love design. Beautiful. As we speak i am waiting for your book to come in the mail. I am so excited. It was the second one that i ordered. My garden may just have to look after its self this spring. I will be other wise engaged!
Thanks for sharing!

Tatyana Duffie said...

Diane, your work inspired me on the day I had seen it a year ago and it's been my growing inspiration ever since. Thank you very much for sharing your technique - I have quilted couple of things using your type of feathers and got so much admiring feedback from friends. Always admitting that it's your talent and beautiful quilts that inspire to try to create beauty. Many thanks!!!
Here in 'sunny' Scotland )) spring is coming too and it's great to have longer days!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for continuing to share your feather adventures with us. So inspiring to see all the possibilities that are out there waiting for us to achieve. The flowers and leaves are a gorgeous addition to the feather motifs. As for me, I'm quilting the entire border of my granddaughter's 'big girl' bed quilt with your echo-feathers to further reinforce the learning, and hopefully by the final border the stitches will begin to be more even and controlled. Poor eyesight and hand-eye coordination certainly makes the echoing a challenge!
Pat in OR

Joannag said...

Oh, Diane, this is such a beautiful piece! Wonderful feathers, flowers, echoing. Just lovely!

Did you use silk thread?

And is the hand-dyed sateen available commercially? The piece glows!

Thank you for sharing your amazing techniques.

Good luck with the clean-up!

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

Gorgeous! You are quite an inspiration! I need to practice and practice more! Thank you for leading February's FMQ Challenge at SewCaGal's blog. You certainly stretched us and I am so glad that you did.

Diane Gaudynski said...

I'm happy to hear that so many of you are working and succeeding with feathers, and yes, the best thing is to use them on real quilts and concentrate to improve. Your friends will drool over your quilting, and don't point out any mistakes; they won't even notice!

Quilting well doesn't just "happen," it does take focus and care. The echo part is probably the hardest, but it will come as well.

This technique can be used to quilt seemingly difficult designs as it gives you the path to the next part of the design with the echo, and then the final echo ties it all together.

The hand dyed sateen was from, really beautiful saturated colors.

Sateen is great to quilt on but a bit heavier and stretchier for piecing than regular cotton. But it is so beautiful!

Jayardi said...

• • • Your feathers are to die for. Mine, however, need a bit of help. If only I could draw. I do alright with smaller versions, but if it needs to fill a space, I need markings.

Isn't this WI weather gorgeous? Wish we could meet in person. I moved out of Waukesha a year ago, but not too far.

Thank you for sharing your stunning quilting!

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks Jayardi, yes it is amazing weather here right now, almost feels like an altered universe and maybe we'll wake up and it will be back to "normal"! But it's lovely for now.

How you are doing feathers is exactly right - the bigger they are the more difficult they are to quilt in a home sewing machine, mostly because of moving the quilt smoothly for a long line without bobbles, and also because of limited visibility in a home sewing machine.

Sketching in, tracing, drawing the big feathers and the spine, and filling in with freehand smaller ones on small tendrils or branches without marking those is a great way to combine techniques, have a beautiful design, and give yourself every break you can so that it goes well.

I still sketch in the big feathers, or at least put a mark on the quilt where I want the top of one to reach. It gives you a destination and as you quilt, look to that end point, not at the needle and stitches as they are happening.

Even with a marked line, look ahead and aim towards that top rather than at each stitch along the way.

Get comfortable with the technique and the shape of feathers with smaller ones, and then add some large ones. They can be really dynamic in a quilt and be the anchor for a feather design.

Anonymous said...

Hi Diane, Just a follow-up to my earlier post - on Friday I finished up my granddaughter's fairy quilt - 40 Diane-echo feathers around the border! Plus several more that were stitched on the largest leaf designs in the central panel. Intense practice like this sure does bring improvement in technique, and I know little miss 2-year old won't even notice the tiny glitches and occasional bad stitch. Thanks again, and please continue to show us other feather inspirations!
Pat in OR

magicmoonmusings said...

Oh, this is exquisite. Thank you for sharing your techniques.