Wednesday, February 29, 2012

pretty awful

Feathers were a major frustration!  I need a couple hundred more hours to get good at these.  Difficult to control speed & stitch length, and I had trouble making anything close to the right shape.  Maybe I should go for leaflets or fronds instead.


Tammy said...

Happy Leap Day Wendy,
Your feathers look pretty marvelous to me. The only difference between these feathers and the ones you want to quilt are practice. Congrats on completing the February fmq challenge.

June D said...

You are being too hard on yourself I think. Put these with thread and fabric that matches more and they would look wonderful in a 'real' project.

: )

Anonymous said...

I think your feathers look really nice for first attempts. It does take lots of practice - I try to do one a day while I'm warming up. You mentioned problems with speed of machine, am I correct that you're using a Singer 301? I've tried FMQ with my 301 and it is also very difficult to control speed, especially on start-up. I'm now using a Singer 15-91 vintage 1942 that I picked up at a yard sale - it's much easier to control speed on that one, don't know why except they have different style motors, maybe that is the key. Anyway don't give up - I've found that using blending thread and after washing all the wonky stitches get shrunk down a bit and really don't show and it looks great!
Pat in Oregon

Pirate said...

When I first starting doing feathers, I was major disappointed in how they looked ... rather like sausages. Definitely NOT like feathers. I avoided feathers.

Then, I stumbled across a book, "Hooked on Feathers" by Sally Terry. This was a *major* Light Bulb Moment in my life. I *got* how to do her feathers! The key concept was "round" .. as in 'you are stitching around a beachball'.

I LOVED LOVED LOVED hooked feathers (or as I alternatively call them "contemporary feathers"). I could do them and they looked *good*. I was sooo pleased.

Then I saw a You Tube video by Karen McTavish where she was demo-ing her "Victorian Feathers". I later learned that she uses a technique called 'hump and bump' :-) ... but as I watched the video, I could see that every other feather was doing with Sally Terry's hooked feather technique!

OH MY GOSH! I could already do half of those feathers! So, I practiced Karen's technique .. and DANG!! I could do those feathers too! The key, for me, was learning the hooked feather method *first*. Then the hump-and-bump technique wasn't a difficult concept.

When I showed a local longarm quilter (who I used to use before I got my own machine) my feathers, she admired them and said, "oh my, you're doing the fancy feathers!". Turns out *her* feathers darn near look like sausages also and as a result she doesn't do too many of them.

So, if you can get hold of a copy of "Hooked on Feathers", I strongly urge you to do so. It sure worked for me!

and good luck!

SewCal Gal said...

I really think you did a great job.

Diane G. taught me that it really takes 10 repetitions to get a FMQ design embedded in your muscle memory, so repetition (practice) does help. Don't give up. I really do think your feathers look lovely and you'll just get happier with them as you go.

Plus, while I love the dark thread for the practice & photo, sometimes you can look at FMQ and be unhappy with the quilting when really your eye is picking up the contrast.

Stitching, speed/movement comes with practice. It is something I really need to work on and far from the even stitch per inch that Diane is able to achieve.

Be proud. You really did a great job.