Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quilting Progress

I've been making good progress getting the Pink Star Quilt quilted, despite only working on it every other day or so.

Finished quilting around the star!  My 4.5 year old monster son is for scale. ;-)

I finished all the feathers around the star, hurray!

Big quilt feathers!

I decided to continue the double circles around the corner ribbons, and then fill in around the ribbons with pebbles, so the ribbons stand out a little more. I used my FMQ foot to quilt these circles, and it was tricky!

I marked the circles first and then traced them using my FMQ foot.

Started quilting the pebbles around the ribbon, I will come back and fill in the rest when I'm done with the loop-di-loops.

And now all that is left is finishing the loops around the perimeter of the (very large) quilt:


I love the way the dense multi-sized loops look and feel, but whew they are time and thread consuming--but what hasn't been on this quilt?  Ha.

I think I've quilt about a 1/3 of these so far, hoping to finish by the end of the month!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Guest Post and Pink Star progress

It's a big quilt!

I am elbows deep in quilting the Pink Star quilt, but wanted to tell you I have a guest post for the Giant Chevron QAL over at the Elven Garden about free motion quilting today!  Go check it out!

Elven Garden Quilts


Here's a peek at the feathers I just finished!  They are a lot of work, and use tons of thread.  But they're gorgeous!

Big feathers!  They are about 20 inches long.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quilting Tutorial: How to make peacock feathers


There was a lot of interest in how I make these free motion quilted peacock feathers, so here's is a detailed photo tutorial!  This is adapted from the Angela Walter Plume Feather

Step 1. Start with a line just off from center, ending with a spiral (I'll call this the head of the feather)--leaving enough room for more quilting around the head.

Step 2. Come out of the swirl, and around to the top, going up to a point and back down, connecting to the stem just below the level of the head.

Step 3.  Curve back up to make a petal/leaf shape that is fairly narrow and pointy.  The first couple of petals help create and define a nice head shape--you want them to go up almost as far as the top of the head point.

Step 4.  Continue adding more petals.  Occasionally you can add a swirl.  Note this one faces down.

Step 5.  For downward facing swirls I keep them fairly thin, then add a small "filler" petal that comes up to the bottom of the swirl (where I added the red dot).

Step 6.  Continue filling in with the feathers until you get to the bottom of the stem.

Step 7. Quilt the other side of the stem, about 1/4" away from the first stem line, then curve gently out before getting to the head (I added a small line on the green about where I started curving out), and ending in a pointy petal that approximately matches the other side.

Step 8.  Connect/close the petal about where you started curving out from the stem (near the little line again).

Step 9.  Continue adding petals, adding occasional swirls (I like to put them in the places that have a lot of space to fill).  Note that this swirl faces up.

Step 10.  Come out of the swirl, back to the stem, continue with petals.  Usually for upward facing spirals I keep the base of the petal about the same shape as the other petals, although I didn't do that very well in this drawing.

All those colors and arrows really distract from the finished feather, so here is one I made with just black:


I love making these feathers, and have used them for all sorts of shapes.  On my current project I'm using them to fill big half square triangles--here's how I did it following the steps above:

Steps 1 and 2.

Steps 3-6.

Steps 7 and 8.

Steps 9 and 10, feather filling a half square triangle.

Here you can see them on the quilt, and how each side of the feather has at least two swirly petals--I add more when the feathers are big (these are are about 18 inches long):


Here are some more examples, using different sizes and filling different shapes:

Back of an envelope--rectangle feather.

Diamond feather.

Wedge shaped feather from my Radiant Orchid mini quilt.

Back of Radiant Orchid quilt--shows wedge shaped peacock feathers on a dresden.

Diamond shaped feather, my first quilt with a plume/peacock feather was Lone Star Reflections.  I've come a long way!

This was a practice feather for the one above, I quilted the feather and then went back to add a bunch of echo lines inside and outside of each petal.  Then I turned it into a mini quilt.

 I hope this helps you FMQ some gorgeous peacock feathers!  Please let me know if you have any questions.  If you make some feathers using this tutorial, I'd love to see them!  Use #FMQpeacockfeather on IG or post a link in a comment.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Quilting Feathers on the Pink Star Quilt

I finally got to start quilting the Pink Star quilt this week!  I had a pretty specific plan in mind, but once I started it changed quickly.  The star just seemed to beg for a circle frame (sorry in advance the photos are awkward, the quilt is so big!):

I quilted a double ring using my walking foot.

I measured from the center to the tip of each point to make sure they were all the same length (or within about 1/8") and then used a string to draw the circle before quilting it (I used a pink Frixon pen I can erase with the iron).  You can see some of marks that weren't quite right in this photo:

Some wonky lines in there!  I quilted around each circle twice so it has a nice thickness.

I spent a day or two trying to decide on what to quilt in the star points--they are about 30" from center to tip, and quite awkward to do in one go on my domestic machine.  I finally decided on a modified plume feather--they're fancy peacock feathers that are able to fill different shaped spaces really nicely.

Using a water soluble blue marker to mark the feathers.

 I started with marking the whole feather, but after quilting a few of them realized that I really only needed to mark the stem, top swirl and where to put the side curly ones.

Marking only the stem, top and side curls on the peacock feather.

I've been sharing a lot of process photos on IG (@quiltsnkids) and love all the instant feedback!  Several people asked how I make them, so I'll put up a tutorial for these feathers later this week.  After making 16 of them I have a few tips!

Absolutely loving the texture from these feathers!

Here's a peek at the back, in case you were wondering how cool they look:

Quilting on the back of the quilt.

 Hoping to finish up the quilting on the star this weekend and figure out what to quilt in the negative space inside the circle.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Butterfly Mini Quilt II

Wallhanging measures about 20"x 16"

 I enjoyed making my last dresden butterfly quilt so much, I made this mini quilt for my friend Amanda's birthday--she's the one that invited me to join the Birthday Bash swap!


I had a full dresden made of the little Sunnyside petals, but it didn't connect correctly, and lived on my design wall for a couple of months. 

Photo from IG (@quiltsnkids)

 I had planned to take it apart and fix it.  But then I decided to turn it into a couple of butterflies (which I actually think more moth-like).  So I took it apart and added a longer center piece to each butterfly to act as the body and machine appliqued them onto a fat quarter of RJR Cotton Supreme in Night.


I quilted it using Aurifil 2600 (which I got from Massdrop!) and the antenna with #1135.  I had planned to quilt little insects in, like on the first butterfly quilt, but when it came time to quilt it, that style just didn't feel right for this quilt.  The two butterflies on this one, in a different style and color have such a different personality!  So I quilted it with an all over McTavish-ing style design.


The back is a mottled purple fat quarter someone gave me.  I added a hanging sleeve, and blocked it...and then shoved it into an envelope, haha.

Back of quilt.

Each butterfly is quilted slightly different:



The whole time I was making it I kept thinking they looked like bats--so I am planning a bat one now, with black ones.  Maybe for Halloween.

Label from TagsToGo on etsy.

Linking up with