I took advantage of the Craftsy Sales of this last week. I finally signed up for Angela Walters Free-Motion with Feather Class.

I have been quilting feathers for a while now, so the first part of the class did not reveal new techniques for me, but it did help me with getting the right shapes of the petals, as Angela call them, in the right half-heart shape. The second part of the class contained more new information. I enjoyed the class, and really wanted to see more after it finished.

Testing my new skills in a 20×20 inches piece.

The fabric is a real FIRST for me. I will explain later!

I combined several feathers with swirls and peacock feathers. Angela Walters talks about the peacock feathers in the class. I also really liked a tutorial by Quilts of a Feather’s tutorial.

The thread I used is by Guterman, 100% polyester, off-white. (top and bobbin)

There is unbleached cotton from IKEA as backing fabric again. I am running out of my stash, so I might need to go and get me some more!

For the second test piece I used pastel coloured threads. Aurifil Polyester threads that are normally used for embroidery, I think. It went perfectly fine!!!

A minty green peacock feather on the left and a pink luscious feather in the middle.

The swirls are done in a lavender thread, but it almost disappears into the fabric. It looks too close like shadows to stand out from the fabric itself.

I also tried a darker thread, but it actually looks better in the picture than it does in reality.

Okay, now something about this fabric… it’s cotton on the back and a plastic on the front that actually feels like cling film.

A coworker gave me this fabric to play around with and I have yards and yards of it. I can not imagine what it was originally intended for. I do not think it was meant for clothing, as it is a bit sticky if it touched itself.

It is a bit wrinkly and lighter than I thought it was. I did not realize I had so many yards…

At the edges it tends to come loose a bit.

Quilting it fairly easy except for the basting. I could not use pins as the pinholes would be visible after removing them. I tried using starch as an adhesive, and that normally does the trick. Not this time! In the first test piece I used sewed the edges down before FMQ on it. In the second test piece I used pins on the outer border of the piece. I think the last technique worked best, as I could remove the pins and readjust them if needed.

There is this awesome quilter out there who inspired me to try this weird fabric! Here name is Hilary Florence and you should look at here latest work called Cosmic Split! She has experimented with weird gold fabrics to create the quilt. Also click back through her posts to see the results of the experiments!

Have fun, and try a  new thing!



Linking up with:

Freemotion by the River: Linky Tuesday



24 thoughts on “Feather-holic

  1. Esther, your feathers are beautiful!! I took Angela’s Negative Space class not that long ago. . . and I just got a ‘thanks for being with us for a year’ deal on one class… hmmm 🙂 LOVE the way that fabric looks when quilted and guessed all through the post what it might be! None of my guesses were right 🙂

    • Hello Judy!

      I guess the mystery fabric sure looks a lot like silk in the pictures, but it is plastic!(plastic-fantastic!) I have been playing with it some more and it holds up wonderfully.

      The classes by Angela Walters have sure ” infected” me even more with the FMQ-bug, ha ha! I have also been watching ” Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety” and will also do ” Dot-to-Dot Quilting. Fun times! I treated myself to these classes as I am not going on vacation this year.

      I have to pace myself, I can’t seen to turn the sewing machine off… just this one little area… and this one too…. oh I could do this too… This evening I am feeling the strain it puts on my wrists. Too much FMQ. I think I will have to stay out of the sewing room tomorrow!

      Hope you are having fun!

  2. Looking at quilting like yours makes me despair of ever progressing further than I already have, which is very, very simple quilting. But for me, much of the fun is in the piecing, so perhaps I’m OK as I am…

    • Despair? I just get a lot of practice you know! I do not have kids running around, so no distractions. And now I have vacation, lots of sewing time! 🙂

    • Ha ha Afton, It truely is not silk! Yes, I agree, it looks like silk in the pictures!!!
      In reality, from a far, yes it looks like silk. But closer, really not! The touch is so different! The material is a bit sticky to the fingers, like real cling film from the kitchen.
      Sometime it stuck to the bottom of the darning foot while FMQ it. Nothing troublesome, just noticeable!
      I hope you are having fun in your sewing room!

  3. The feathers are so beautiful, Esther!! Interesting fabric! I do like the effect it has created. I am starting to quilt circles on a mini, that’s something new for me 🙂


    • Hello Soma,
      I am a little afraid of larger circles, mine always turn out like big river pebbles (ovals). I really have to practice those!
      Hope your mini is turning our beautiful!

  4. That is a really interesting fabric. I do like how the thread looks against its shiny surface. The tutorial at Quilts of a Feather for peacock feathers is really great. I am going to have to give feathers a try sometime… 🙂

    • Hey hey!
      I found the peacock feathers actually much easier to do than the normal feathers. there is much more freedom and whatever the petal looks like, it is fine! The more random the better, even!
      Would love to see your results!

  5. Your feathers look great! I can totally see an improvement in the shape and flow of them. Thanks for the shout out! 🙂

  6. Hi Esther,
    I was really interested to read this post and to see your experiments with this fabric. It does look very like the gold fabric that I can no longer get hold of. The cotton backing is the same (although the cotton salve edge is deeper on yours) and from the picture, the plastic coating looks a similar thickness and density to the foil. It also looks as if it quilts beautifully (and the quilting, of course, is really beautiful too!). Is the coating white, or transparent? Anyway, the results look fabulous.does your coworker by any chance know what this fabric is and where she got it?
    By the way, with the gold, I used a temporary adhesive spray to baste and that worked fine.
    Thank you so much also for the mention of my quilt and blog and your kind words.
    I look forward to seeing what you do with all your yards of fabric. I am not a little jealous!!
    Good luck with it
    Hilary Florence

    • Hello Hilary,

      Would you like some of my fabric? I can send it to you if you would like!
      There is truly soooo much of it, I can never ever finish it all by myself!

      There is no way to trace the origin of the fabric as my coworker got it from an old lady who had the fabric in the attack (or something like that)

      I have never tried the spays for basting. I just do not have room to spray my quilts at home. I live in an apartment so no handy basements or gardens at my disposal. I might try to baste a quilt at work (school) there are plenty of big tables when school starts again. Does the spray linger long in the room, even when the room is well ventilated? I do not want to invoke an asthma attack in one of my students.


  7. Angela Walters is a great leader, eh? I heard her speak, read one of her books and did a Craftsy class. I try as many of her suggestions as I can remember. I have not tried feathers yet, though.

    Your feathers are beautiful–especially the peacock feathers. They are new to me. I find I like light thread on dark fabric better than dark thread on light. Not sure why.

    I tried spray adhesive a couple times on very small quilts. I don’t remember it lingering much beyond the actual spraying. But it might be different for a larger quilt. I don’t like using it, but it did hold the fabric better than even my very careful pinning did. I do not need it when I quilt from center out; but if I block off areas and quilt within them, I get those nasty tucks (without spray).

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment!
      I am an Angela fan, for sure! just wish I had taken her classes half a year ago and not waited so long. It would have saved me lots of Not-That-Great FMQ pieces. 🙂
      Also thank you for the information on spray basting. I will try it out! I would like to do some very dense quilting on a big quilt in the future and I do not want puckers on that one!

  8. Such lovely work, Esther! Thanks for sharing so many details. It is hard to figure out which thread colors will work best; they change from quilt to quilt. Congratulations on taking a class even though you already knew the basics. I’m in the same position so you’ve inspired me to follow your lead. Thanks.

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