Friday, February 14, 2014

A Finish - Simple Delightful Flowered Table Runner

A finish for the Fiber Festival! Woohoo - Yippee - Happy Dance!  
I attended a local Fiber Festival last fall with my sister Michele and we met several lovely and talented vendors there.  Included were spinners, felters, dyers, knitters and their animals including llamas, sheep, bunnies, alpaca and so on.   After having a brief discussion and sharing pictures with the owner of "Felt Goods", Cheryl Germain, she invited me to participate in the 2014 Winter Break Fiber Festival in Ithaca, NY coming up Monday, Feb 17th.   After enjoying the Christmas season I decided to prepare a table runner with wool and cotton and some pretty feather stitching.   What an excellent way to practice your Free Motion Quilting!

What I ended up with was a simple, delightful, flowered, feathered table runner -- I just LOVE it!
I started by marking the feather spine along a 16" by WOF (width of fabric) background with a water soluble pen.  Ask me why I didn't use my Hera Marker ? -- Maybe a senior moment ??

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 did have a slight problem that required ripping out my first feather set -- but that was because I failed to adjust my tension when switching to free motion stitching from feed dog (walking foot) stitching.  I find that I MUST set my tension to a higher number when I free motion quilt -- else I end up with Eyelashes on the back and very loose threads on the front :(

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.  
This allowed the fabric center to be more 3D (because it was not stitched down).   The center of the flower was ruched using Anita Shackelford's Circular Ruching Guide -- a lovely tool and technique I learned from the talented Sharon Stroud many moons ago -- thanks Sharon!!
Once all 4 flowers were attached to the background I added some complimentary feathers around them, again marking the spine only with a water soluble pen.   Then the filler decision had to be made.  I didn't want anything to compete with the feathers so a small stipple seemed like the right thing to do (new to me -- but it was fun!!). 
A fantastic journey -- I learned alot - and I KNOW I will be doing it again soon.

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 !!
So these are the ladies that have inspired and/or taught me Free Motion Quilting and Feathers over the last few years - Thank you all sew much !

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.
Karen




71 comments:

  1. Beautifully done... love the flowers!

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  2. So, so pretty. Thanks for all the info, I will be smoking back to this post again and again!

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    1. Thanks Heather -- I had such fun with this piece and I owe it all to those ladies -- we're so fortunate to have a great blogging community! Thanks for stopping by and commenting....

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  3. Gosh thats utterly beautiful. Now my cats would think it was for them to sit on - sigh - but for me, it would be somethign Id need to stroke and fondle for its texture and divine looks!

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    1. Awe Liniecat aren't you sweet -- thank you! I had such fun with this and I'm really happy you liked it. GIve those cats a pat on the head from me... Karen

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  4. Karen, the runner is absolutely stunning!!!! You do beautiful work.

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    1. Oh my friend -- if it weren't for you there wouldn't be any feathers at all!! Thank YOU for all of your guidance and inspiration and for taking the time to stop by!! Hugs, Karen

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  5. Absolutely beautiful! I love the added dimension to it with the flowers.

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    1. Thanks for your nice comments Becky -- I had such fun with it! I appreciate you stopping by.

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  6. It is so exciting to learn new techniques! The runner is lovely!

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    1. Thanks Lori -- I really had a blast -- and fun to practice that FMQ too!! Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you Terry -- I appreciate you stopping by and commenting ;)

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  8. Wow!!!! This is so gorgeous! I can't believe those flowers, either. I am *really* wanting to try making one. :D

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    1. Thank you Lyn -- I had such fun with it. Have you had a chance to start one up ? Let me know if I can help at all -- what a great way to practice FMQ and use up your scraps.... Thanks for your kind words... Karen

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  9. This is just beautiful!! A must try for me.

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    1. Thanks Elaine -- I would love to see it if you decide to give it a try -- let me know if I can help at all. PS -- Just LOVE your LE and how it's coming along!! Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. Thank you Billie -- it was fun. I really appreciate your kind words and that you stopped by. Karen

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  11. I love your feathers! Using a simple, tight filler for the background really makes them pop off the fabric. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks Becca - I appreciate your kind words and you stopping by. I had a hard time deciding on the background but that stipple was good practice too!! Take care now.

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  12. Just awesome I love the 3D dimension with the flowers.

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    1. Thank you Rosa -- I didn't think they would be that "poofy" but they sure worked out that way. They were such fun. I love doing something different. Appreciate you stopping by.

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  13. Your list is an impressive group of talented ladies and you, most definitely, belong among them! That is one lovely finish!!! The stitching sets off the 3-D flowers and the flowers set off the feather stitching!!! Perfect balance!!!!! Success on every front!!! Hugs................

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    1. Oh Doreen -- you are just too sweet !! My dream is to be able to stitch like those ladies who are so very talented and who share their talents with all of us -- we are so lucky. You, my friend, are among those giving and sharing and talented quilters! You make magic with your machine. Thanks for your kind words and for stopping by. Karen

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  14. Beautiful quilt and quilting! Love the addition of those flowers, they seem to float above the quilt!

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    1. Thank you Renee -- I'm so fortunate to have talented ladies to learn from and this whole blogging community to inspire me! Appreciate you stopping by and your nice comment. Karen

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  15. Wow, that is beyond gorgeous! If the photos look this great, I can only imagine how beautiful the table runner is in person.

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    1. Awe thank you so much Linda - it was so much fun to make and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I owe so much of my progress to the talented ladies I mentioned in my blog. We're fortunate to have such a giving community. Thanks for stopping by - your landscape quilts are just amazing!!

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  16. Hi Karen. I just wanted to stop in to say I'm enjoying your Redbrid and Berries mini-quilt so much. I'm almost done to wool applique (yes, I tried it with wool). I am so glad I popped in today as your post is so fantastic. I've done the 3-D flowers before but the ruching in the center takes them to a whole new level. I'll be visiting the sites you have mentioned to learn more. Your feathers look fabulous and those flowers are just perfect to bring the piece to a high note! Love it all. Marsha
    marsha.hodgkins@yahoo.com
    http://quilterinmotion.net

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    1. Thank you Marsha -- you're so sweet!!! I just love playing with fabric and FMQ and I really like the way it worked out. Just wanted to say again how impressed I am with your "Wool" Redbird and Berries quilt -- It's going to be beautiful. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Love your quilting ! And thanks for all the info. I will check out your suggestions.

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    1. Thank you so much Jacqueline... I hope you get time to check out the ladies -- they are so very talented. I'm fortunate to benefit from their blogs and guidance. Appreciate your stopping by.

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  18. Absolutely LOVE that table runner... and am fascinated by the flowers... I did try ti work out the site you got them from - but wasn't able to find it... I will look again though. That really is so beautiful!

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    1. Hi Joan -- thank you so much for your kind words. Did you manage to find the 3D flowers ? The reference I made was to Mark Lipinski's facebook page but if you google 3D Flowers you should find them. Let me know if you didn't and I'll send you a quick synopsis. I've been meaning to post them on the blog but I'm a bit behind -- so sorry. Thanks again for your kind comments. Karen

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  19. Simply beautiful. The flowers and feathers are both fantastic!

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    1. Thank you Ann -- I really appreciate you stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Karen

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  20. That is absolutely gorgeous! Your feathers are lovely.

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    1. Thank you Leanne -- they were fun - I've learned so much from those talented and sharing ladies!! Take care now. Karen

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  21. Oh, my goodness! Karen, what a fabulous table runner. It is like lily pads in the snow. Your quilting is gorgeous. I know many of those quilters names. I have learned from several of them too.
    The fiber festival sounds like fun.

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    1. Awe -- thank you Carrie !! I was telling my sister that someone who has a garden pond should have it on their deck or veranda !! Lily pads is the same thing I was thinking once it was done. I appreciate your kind words and happy that we appreciate the same talented ladies. They are most wonderful! Take care now.

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  22. Gorgeous quilting, and the dimensional flowers are beautiful!

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    1. Thank you MMG - it really was alot of fun and great way to practice my FMQ Feathers. I can't wait to do the next one !! Appreciate your kind words. Karen

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  23. A very nice way to display some beautiful feather quilting! I like the gold in the flowers:)

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    1. Thank you Sara - I really appreciate you stopping by. Karen

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  24. What an absolutely stunning piece! Your work is just beautiful nd I love that this is part of collaborating with artists in other fields. Well done! I'd love to feature you this week, can you please let me know if I can use one or two of your images? Thanks for linking up!! Prettybobbins AT gmail DOT com :)

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    1. Oh my Gemma -- I am so thrilled to be featured on your blog. Thank you -- please use whatever images you need. Thank you so much!! I love, love, love, the FMQ that is shared on your blog each week!

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  25. Beautiful, beautiful Karen!! Your feathers are awesome and now I want to make some! The flowers are a neat addition! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. Awe thank you Connie - I've always wanted to make something with feathers and I'm so happy to have tried this. We are lucky to have such talented ladies (including yourself) to learn from. Thanks for stopping by and for your nice comment. Hugs, Karen

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  26. Another absolutely stunning quilt! This is my 2nd visit to you're blog and again I am in awestruck. You're work is amazing.

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    1. Thank you Anonymous -- I wish I knew who you were so I could respond to you directly and visit your blog... I really appreciate your kind words and that you stopped by. Take care, Karen

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  27. Jan from Sew and Sow Farm sent me from the 5 Days x 5 Giveaways! I already follow your blog and love the links you gave for FMQ helpers. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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    1. Awe - thanks for stopping by Debra - Don't you just LOVE Jan's giveaway -- she is too sweet!! Thanks for the kind words, I'm happy you're a follower and I hope to get to hop over and see the ladies that taught me so much! ;) Take care!

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  28. Thanks for sharing your learning sites! I am always trying to improve my fmq. Yours if gorgeous by the way! I love the feathers and have taken Angela's Craftsy class.

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    1. Thank you Paula - I had such fun with them!! Those ladies are all so very talented - how fortunate are we to have them at our fingertips (and the same goes for you -- I love your blog!) Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words. Karen

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  29. Well done, Karen, so prettily done! I love the white, your feathers, and the flowers/texture. Thank you for the "shout out" and I'm tickled to be a small part. God Bless!!! You certainly did to me.

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    1. Leslie -- your blog, feathers and table runners are so inspirational -- I really appreciate all that you share with your readers! Thanks so much for your kind words and all that you do for the blogging community. Hugs, Karen

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  30. just beautiful FMQ, Karen! your microstippling is amazing (and of course, the feather goes without saying)!

    I'm so glad you shared at Needle and Thread Thursday!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  31. Stunning, stunning, stunning

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  32. Really beautiful!! Congratulations on what youhave achieved!!

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  33. really nice work...it will look stunning on a table

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  34. I'm not surprised you are pleased with this - it is lovely and fresh and I think the flowers are a great addition. Fmq is such fun, isn't it?

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  35. Thanks for the shout out! You did an amazing job!!

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Thank you for your Sweet comments!