Saturday, 18 February 2012

FMQ Challenge - February

This month's challenge is feathers and the tutor is Diane Gaudynski, what a combination! Diane's feathers are classic and elegance personified, I am trying so hard to emulate them and I do practice a lot but am having a few problems along the way.

Firstly I have great difficulty in relaxing and have to stop every ten minutes or so to unwind.

Secondly the uniformity of my stitching has a lot to be desired but I guess I'm improving.

Thirdly is concentration. I've found that one of the best tips I have learnt from Diane is NOT to watch the needle but look a couple of centimetres ahead and this works wonders but I forget and my eyes go back to the needle and my stitching wanders.

Lastly I want to be able to quilt in all directions without turning the quilt, I tend to make small quilts, wallhangings etc. so it's no problem to turn the quilt but I am committed to making a very special bed quilt and to continually turn it would be well nigh impossible. So with the exception of the 1st photo all the other samples are quilted without turning.

The first four samples below are all quilted with Bottom Line thread both through the needle and in the bobbin. I used 80/12 needle and Hobbs Heirloom wool batting.

The above sample I did a few months ago. I copied one of Diane's feathers, transfering it to my fabric using lead pencil  (BIG mistake, could not launder out) I was quite happy with the result but in doing the quilting I turned the quilt to suit whichever direction I was going.

These were2 of my practice samples for the February challenge.

Here I have added the feather block to my sample quilt.

Finally about 12 months ago I bought some 100 wt silk thread and have never been game to use it. Now I thought is the time to give it a go. I just love the result and cannot understand why I was so intimidated by silk. This is my favourite of all the above. Here I changed the needle to 70/10.

I am sure there must be a much easier way of blogging than what I'm doing but I guess I will learn as I go :)


  1. Boy, can I ever relate to your experiences. I too have difficulty keeping my eyes looking ahead and I need to stop every 10 minutes or so as well. I'm sure we'll relax in time. I love your results. Your piece with silk thread really pops. The echo quilting is amazing. Well done.

    1. Vicki, thank you ever so much for your comments. I just switched over to your blog and spent nearly an hour looking through your posts your work is wonderful and I have added your blog to my favourites.

  2. Nicely done! I too am in the habit of turning my smaller projects and realize this will never work for the larger projects I envision doing some day. I did 5 practice samples before I was "feathered out." So I admire your determination! My new approach to relaxing while doing FMQ is to have a nice glass of wine before hand. :)

    1. Chris I found a good way to practice FMQ without turning the quilt is to do those wonky rectangles like I used on my sample quilt