What I ended up with was a simple, delightful, flowered, feathered table runner -- I just LOVE it!
After practicing my feathers for days and days (and weeks and months) on paper, I jumped right in and stitched along the marked spine. I used the bumpback method on the feathers, working my way up one side of the spine, traveling back to the starting point, and then working my way up the other side. Although they could use a little sprucing up -- I was just tickled with how they came out. Be sure to jump to the bottom of this post where I brag about all of the lovely ladies that have helped or inspired me to develop my free motion feather skills over the last two years. They are the best !!
I used Aurifil Mako 50wt Cotton #2310 thread to do the stitching on this little gem and, as always, it worked wonderfully!! No breaks, no nasty thread buildup - just pretty stitches !! Thanks Aurifil!!
I stitched the main set of feathers, and then decided on the flower design. Special thanks to Mark Lipinski's Facebook Fan Page for posting art work and inspiring tutorials every day. Mark had recently shared a 3D flower tutorial (thanks Mark) so I set out to find a similar tutorial that would allow for a 3D flower with wool incorporated into the design. I built the complete wool and cotton flower before I attached it to the background. When ready, I used Valdani thread to hand stitch the wool (only) to the background fabric.
Anita Shackelford's Circular Ruching Guide -- a lovely tool and technique I learned from the talented Sharon Stroud many moons ago -- thanks Sharon!!
Now let me share with you a few of the talented ladies that I've learned from and/or have been inspired by over the last two years. First up, Leah Day -- if you want to learn to FMQ and you haven't visited Leah's Free Motion Quilting Project blog - you should make it a MUST STOP. Leah shares so much information about FMQ it will blow your mind.
From Leah's blog I found Joanne Threadhead -- another talented Domestic machine quilter (one of her many, many skills). Joanne comes from a long line of quilters, she shares great tutorials on her blog, and teaches basic and intermediate FMQ near her hometown of Manitoba, Canada. You really should stop by her blog.
From Joanne's blog I discovered yet another lovely, giving and talented lady, Wendy Sheppard. I must say that Wendy's feathers are the closest to what I would consider "my style". Not to say that I can stitch them yet, but I swoon over the composition of Wendy's feathers. I also took Wendy's "Learn to Machine Quilt" class online at Annie's -- I highly recommend taking this class if you haven't already. You can find Wendy's blog here (Ivory Spring), her fantastic "Thread Talk" and "Virtual Trunk Show" with hordes of pictures of her feather quilts on her sidebar.
A couple other ladies that inspired me included Angela Walters and Patsy Thompson - both ladies so very skilled in what they do. Both have books, online courses and DVD's to go along with pages and pages of free information about quilting. I should also Mention Karen McTavish -- Karen has several YouTube video's of her creating her beautiful bump back Victorian style feathers -- oh so sweet!!
Last but not least, most recently I've been inspired by the wonderfully creative art made by Leslie McNeil of MarveLes Art Studio . Talk about talented - my goodness Leslie makes the most fantastic art quilts I've ever seen. Check out her blog - and while you're there jump on over to her Etsy shop -- WOW !!
I hope you found this information helpful -- a future tutorial or pattern might find its way on the blog in the near future - stay tuned.
By the way -- Happy Valentine's Day and be sure to jump to this post if you haven't already entered the Redbird and Berries Giveaway that ends February 15th!!
I'll be back then to announce a winner -- and I'm thinking 100th post is coming right up -- another giveaway may be in order ??
Hugs all -- have a safe, warm and productive weekend.