I wrote yesterday that I was using the Frixion pen for drawing lines on my fabrics. There is a lot to do about these pens in the quilting world. Please do a google search on them as many people have experimented with them on fabrics. There were positive outcomes and not so positive outcomes. Please make an informed decision on using these pens on your fabric. I am not using the pens on a real quilt, just cheap fabric that is learning material or me, like a notebook is for a high school student.
Still obsessed with the feathers as I am, I focussed on more complicated free-flowing designs. My teacher for this exercise was Diane Gaudynski’s book “Quilt Savvy”. Of all my FMQ books this is the best one! If you are not sure about which book to get, my advice would be to get this one! (I am not being paid or rewarded in any way for saying this. This is my own opinion!)
So I flipped through the little book and wanted to try out her own designs instead of following the steps in the tutorial-like pages. In the book there are very pretty examples of her work. I recreated her work by looking at the pictures very closely. As the pictures in the book are her work I will not be showing them. I have not had time to ask permission to post them here.
The Frixion pen was used to sketch on the fabric. Everything was done freehand.
My aims for this exercise were to understand how to build up a pattern like this and to get my echo quilting more even.
I took photos of the different steps in the FMQ. (Oops some of them are a bit blurry!)
I hit it with an iron… black lines are gone!
The echo quilting looked alright but it needed to be more closely together… So I quilted in between the lines to get to this…
I can totally understand how gorgeous something like this would look with colours closely related to the background fabric. In het book there are many examples were there are multiple thread colours used.
Some detail shots:
The echo quilting is really closely together and it creates a bit on a ripple effect like matchstick quilting also does.
Here is my second sample.
Lots of echos to add!
Do you see that the echos are not just echoing the shapes but sometimes go into a curve? (for example in the left bottom corner) This makes it more dynamic. I really liked this in Diane’s designs. If I remember correctly she does mention it in the book but only briefly. I will play around with this idea again.
What I learned:
– Start with quilting the spine of the feather and the of shoots.
– Watch out that your end petal on the spine is not too curved. It needs to be a gentle curve.
– Different size petals create interest, but they need to have the same basic shape.
– I prefered to start on the side of the petal where there was the most room to stitch elaborate petals.
– When you have an offshoot of your spine start with a petal between the new and old spine. Each side of that petal (wedged in between the old and new spine) will give you a curve to build new petals on.
– Echo quilting so incredibly dense is very hard. I have to find a middle ground between by regular echos and the ones that are just too closely together. So more experiments are needed!
– When echo quilting this fine your less quilted areas really stand out. Gorgeous poof!
– Sometimes when you are echo quilting your can not get out/in a shape anymore. You would have to constantly break thread to continue the echos inside that shape. In the book you can see that Diane sometimes uses different fillers in those areas like a stipple. As long as the density of the FMQ is the same as the echos it will look good. At first I did not understand why Diane had used the different filler, but now I do! 🙂 I will have to try it out in another experiment.
– In the first sample I used the bump back feather technique. In the second sample the style of the feathers called “longarm feathers”, I believe. There is an bit of open space between each feather petal. No backtracking there! I like both styles but the bump back appeals more to my taste for curvy shapes.
– Both the two samples are 10×10 inches.
– I used a Auripoly thread in pink and a very fine bobbin thread by Serafil in off white.
– The fabric I am using is a cheap unbleached cotton from IKEA that was prewashed. It costs 2 euros per meter! Great for experiments. The batting was a 100% cotton.
– The samples will be placed in a reference book for my own quilting. I do hope to be able to use them on a real quilt in the future.
In my next post (or the one after that) I will show you how to quilt a feather in a circle, like a wreath.
Now I am off to clean my room and “prepair” for this evening’s “The Great British Bake Off”… Love that show!
p.s. Linking up with:
Freshly Pieced for W.I.P.Wednesday
My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
Amy’s Free Motion Quilting Adventures for Free Motion Mondays