Monday, June 30, 2014

More Treasures Arrived....

The mail has brought me three new postcards from the Free Motion Challenge participants, and I am showing them here to share the wonderful creativity, colors, variety and style they all have.  The card above is from Martha Briese in Lebanon OH or OR, can't quite read the postmark and both of these states have towns named Lebanon!  It is so lovely with the thread work, shading of the feathers so they really stand out, and the added delicacy of the very tiny pearls in the spine.  A wow, for sure.

This rich green feather came from Brigitte Rosetti in Switzerland, wonderfully traditional, nicely done branching.  I think it looks so similar to feathers I've seen on some very old hand quilted quilts, and nice the way the feathers touch and eliminate the need for background quilting between branches. Pretty!

Another soft purple card with an artistic frayed edging that really sets off the feather and the colors.  This one is from Wendy Welts in the UK.  Here the thread colors really add to the exuberance of the feather design, making it much more contemporary looking.  Nice!

Thanks to all of you, especially for the messages you included on the backs of the cards.  I enjoyed sharing my techniques with you and am so happy you are all feathering away and quilting a design that is as unique and individual as you are.  

Keep quilting, your work gets better everyday.....

Monday, June 23, 2014

Little Treasures

Lately the most delightful surprises have been appearing in my mailbox!  Quilted postcards from far-off places, feathers that are beautiful, messages and drawings on the back that touched my heart have arrived, all showing me the spectacular results of my tutorial for SewCalGal's Free Motion Quilting Challenge!  They are truly an unexpected delight.  

The first one, above, appeared in a stack of bills and sale fliers, hidden away, and when I sifted through the stack I almost yelped when the colors, texture, beautiful feather in the postcard were revealed, WOW!  This one is from Tina Gilly in Pensacola, FL, USA,  and I thought it was a "group thank you" card......until......gasp.....another one arrived!

Postcard #2, above, is done on a champagne colored silk, and is the only one that picked up some smudges from the mail sorting machines.  It is lovely, and is from Liz Gates in New Zealand.  I shall try and clean it.  Great pearls in the spine!

Then there was a bit of a pause, until the THIRD one arrived!  Below, a beautiful feather from Marelize Ries in South Africa, quilted with a shimmery silk thread in a soft teal on a deep teal fabric, love the color choices, which look deeper and more mysterious in real life.

On the same day, a fourth card also arrived, this one in a tiny striped fabric and accented with coloring to make it visible.  It's tough quilting feathers on print fabrics, but yet we tend to use many prints in our work, so using art supplies to highlight them is a good option.  Below, card #4 from Dorothy Matheson in Texas, USA.

Then some time passed and I thought that might be the end of feathers-in-the-mail, but no!  Postcard #5 appeared, below, a beautiful feather variation with curls in each feather and a string of "pearls" on the spine, very nice.  It is from Alice Ridge in Virginia, USA.

And.....the next day.........Postcard #6 was delivered by my now admiring mail woman, who probably wonders why, how, what are these beautiful things!!!  It is on the loveliest citron shade of fabric, quilted with chartreuse thread, so pretty.  Thanks to Barbara Crumpton in Malaga, Spain for this one!

When you look at all of these feathers and quilting styles, it is the way it was for me as a teacher to go from student to student in class and see all the differences in work, how each feather is unique to the quilter, much like our handwriting.  Even if feathers were traced using a stencil, same one for each person, the results would vary, reflecting the style of quilting and of course color choices with threads and fabrics.   You are the artist here and you make these a reflection of yourself in quilting.

I am so pleased that so many used my tutorial and learned on their own, without verbal help or even videos, without a teacher there to help with any problems.  You all forged on yourselves and came up with amazing results, and I am very proud of each of you.  Thank you so much for the postcards, they will become a treasured collection for me.  

Summer is here, but it has been gloomy, damp, dank, cloudy, rainy, icky here.  My hands stick to the laptop, the dishes do not dry in the rack.  We entertain ourselves with bird seed on the front step, which I did for the birds all winter, but now for the rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels, as well as the occasional sparrow.  They feed every morning, oblivious to Oliver peering with killer intent through the glass, tail thrashing.  Ah, the life of retirees.....

Geeky tip:  I am now used to Windows 8, no problems at all, fast and easy now that I have figured out its rather convoluted ways.  I use Google Chrome for my browser and like that better than IE.  I set the zoom on my new HP laptop at 150% to view my blog, and at 125% for all other pages with no problems and bigger everything for these older eyes.  

Hope you enjoy seeing these quilting samples, and are inspired to get back to working on your own quilting, making it better every day.............!