Tuesday 18 December 2012

Feathers Around the Block

In July and August this year I completed two quilts where I did feathers inside the block around a central motif.  The first one is Debbie’s where she had a star in the centre and the feathers were uniform in each block.

Originally I was just going to ditch stitch the star, but it looked a little unfinished, so I decided to also quarter inch around it, which looked a lot better.

The second quilt belongs to Colleen.  Here the centre appliqué varied in shape and I adjusted the feathers accordingly.

With both of the quilts I really liked the effect the feathers created where the blocks met.

Ankle update – I went back to the hospital last week, and I am now allowed to walk without the boot inside the house, but need to wear it outside, particularly if I am where there are crowds, intoxicated persons, or kids.  I am making good progress, but it is a slow journey.

Tuesday 11 December 2012


On the weekend Paul trimmed back the vine on the back fence.  As he was doing so, he found a possum hidden in there.

It was quite tame, and nibbled on the piece of bread he gave it.  It was very cute, but I wonder if this was the one that got into our roof last winter and was disturbing my sleep.  I didn’t think it was cute then.  

Paul didn’t cut the vine back too much around the little critter’s home so he wouldn’t disturb him too much.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Allover Feathers

This striking quilt in reproduction fabrics was made by Barb.  Whilst it could have been custom quilted, Barb opted to have me quilt it with an allover freehand feather design.

I wanted to try a more random feather with the feathers going through a range of sizes as I thought this looked interesting and elegant.  

I practiced drawing it out to make sure I had the feel for how the feathers would fit together.  Barb generously allows me to be creative and try new things on her quilts which usually means she gets something special.

I was really happy with how the feathers looked, and they show up great on the back.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Marking and Stabilising - Tutorial

In my previous post I showed you Allison’s beautiful appliqué quilt, and now I will share how I marked and stabilised this quilt and the order in which I did the quilting on it.
After loading and outlining the appliqué so the quilt was stabilised, I could roll forward to this point. I marked with chalk the external outline for the edges of the feathers.  I made sure that the width of the feathers remained consistent, and it was roughly half way between the inside and outside appliqué keeping a balanced feel.

Then I marked the stems of the feathers.

I quilted the stems, and some of the feathers before rolling forward and stabilising the quilt again by outlining the appliqué, and doing some of the McTavishing.  I had also by this time, done some of the McTavishing above the feathers.

I found the centre point of the appliqué and marked the outer edges of the centre oval of feathers then I marked the stems of the feathers.

I quilted the stems of the feathers and some of the feathers in the centre, continued the outer oval of feathers down both sides, and did some of the McTavishing around the appliqué to stabilise the quilt to this point.

The quilt was stabilised enough to allow me to roll forward to continue the feathers on the outer oval.  I referred to a print out of an earlier photo to make sure I was keeping the dimensions of the oval the same as the top of the quilt.

I rolled back and completed the inner oval.

I now marked the bottom part of the outer oval of feathers.     

I quilted the stems and the feathers of the bottom of the outer oval.  Note there is a small amount of McTavishing around the appliqué above the feathers - this was part of the stabilisation so I could roll the quilt forward to this point.

From this point I continued to stabilise the remainder of the quilt by outlining the appliqué and McTavishing in places to hold the quilt layers together.

I completed the quilting by rolling back and forward filling in the McTavishing in all the unquilted spaces and finishing off with the pebbles around the feathers.

As you can see, with a quilt that is as heavily quilted as this one, I don’t start at the top and do all the quilting at each pass.  If I did this, I would distort the quilt.  Rather I do enough to stabilise the quilt at each roll forward and then fill in all the gaps later. 

Ankle update - the boot is scheduled to come off in two weeks – horray!