Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Chasing the Dragon---Feathers

One of the things I wanted to learn when I discovered free motion quilting was feathers.  I wanted large full feathers and I wanted them everywhere.  Plumes.  Plumes. Plumes.  I bought books about feathers.  I watched You Tube videos about feathers.  I purchased Craftsy classes about feathers.  Everyone's method for teaching feathers seemed basically the same with some slight variations.  I drew and I drew.  I drew some more.  For some reason feathers was just not clicking with me.

So what did I do?  I re-watched the videos.  I looked at the books some more and I continued drawing and playing with quilt sandwiches.  Until finally a few months ago it clicked in my head.  Ding!

After what I felt was finally a successful attempt at feathers, I felt confident enough to put them in the borders of a wall hanging and within some of the blocks.  I walked away feeling like I had accomplished something and patted myself on the back.

So now fast forward a few months and I decided to sneak feathers into my current project.  Cute little feather wreaths.  No problem.

Then it occurred to me that this might be completely different than stitching plumes in a straight-ish line.  So I stopped my pebbling to give it a practice run.  I marked a rough octagon on a practice sandwich and gave it a try.  

Not exactly what I had hoped for, but it could have been a lot worse.  I tried making smaller plumes that I could wrap the next one around, but it resulted in these weird looking fingers...not plumes. When I traveled around to where I started from I ended up with two of the weird little fingers.  So I thought I'd try again, but this time with a circle.

My second attempted was better, but I still ended up with an out of place finger shape when I got back to the beginning.  So out came the drawing pad and pencil.  I thought maybe if I just practiced drawing it would get better.

I was able to get all of my plumes the same size, but still ended with something that did not resemble a plume at the end.  So I tried a different approach.  Instead of starting at the blue dot to make my first plume, I started at the red dot, or what would (hopefully) be the top middle of the first plume.

My hope was to be able to be able to fit the last one with the first one a little better.  I have to say this was a much better approach.  I still need to do some more practicing, but I'm getting closer.  I will catch the feather dragon.  


Gina said...

I love your feathers. I freehand my plumes but I cheat and use a stencil for my circles, it makes life easier

Gina said...

I love your feathers. I freehand my plumes but I cheat and use a stencil for my circles, it makes life easier

helenjean@midgetgemquilts said...

I love your feathers, I have never attempted anything more than squiggles and flowers. This is something I really have to get into to, amongst everything else

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