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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 2012 FMQ Challenge Tutorial with Diane Gaudynski

Welcome to the 2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge Tutorial for February.   First, I want to clarify that this blog is copyright protected.  Please do not copy images or insights, with out written permission by SewCalGal.  To clarify, you do have permission to print a copy of this tutorial for your personal use.  Any other use would need prior approval.

On a personal note, I was inspired by the beauty of Diane's quilting, which actually became a reason why I am hosting this challenge!  To clarify, it was in 2010, when I was pretty much an "in the ditch" quilter, although I had done extensive hand quilting, when a friend who attended an Asilomar workshop with Diane, encouraged me to try FMQ and take a class with Diane too!  I decided to make it a goal to focus on learning FMQ, for a year.  I signed up for Diane's workshop at Asilomar in June 2011, and began watching FMQ DVDs, reading books on DVDs, taking as many classes as I possibly could, and researching every possible way to learn and improve my FMQ skills.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking a workshop with Diane, as well as using her books for on-going reference.  To me, Diane Gaudynski is the Elizabeth Taylor of Quilting.  She is an elegant, beautiful, inspirational woman, and so are her quilts.  Diane is also a quilter that continually gives back, to help make our world of quilting so wonderful. 

Diane lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  She is a quilter, teacher, author and a multi-award winner that creates beauty and inspiration on a home sewing machine, using many original designs.

I am truly honored to have Diane Gaudynski as our FMQ Expert this month.   She has provided an excellent free-motion quilting tutorial, which will be available during the month of February only.  To clarify, this post will be updated March lst to remove the tutorial below:           
February FMQ Tutorial, by Diane Gaudynski “Echo Feather Plume”

I’ve been machine quilting since 1988!  I began with excitement and great expectations for what could be done on a home sewing machine, and quilted with a walking foot for two entire years.  Desperation for soft curves and pretty designs made me realize I needed a new machine for free motion quilting, as my poor old machine just could not handle it.  I bought a new Bernina 1030 and discovered I could free motion quilt after all with a good machine and patience. 

At each stage of my quilting experience I was happy, and didn’t know how bad or how good I was, but always tried to be better with each project.  Because I had been a hand quilter for a short time and came from the tradition of marked designs for hand quilting and was making traditional classic quilts, that’s what I did first in FMQ.  Now I combine both marked and freehand designs in my work, with many interesting freehand backgrounds as well.

Stencils were my friend, and I traced my first feather design and slowly quilted on the marked lines, backtracking over lines of stitches to get to the next area, working carefully and slowly.  It worked, and with my first effort on the outer border of a bed quilt, I became confident I could do more and do better.  I made many bed quilts, and learned techniques as well as how to handle a big quilt in a home sewing machine. 

Invisible thread was my choice at the time, for its forgiving nature, and not showing machine stitches.  All you saw was the illusion of quilting, the dimension.  After wearing out a machine from using it, I switched to quilting with fine #100 silk thread in a variety of colors that blended with the fabrics beautifully.

I learned if I controlled the speed of my hands and also slowed the machine’s speed I could do some difficult designs well.  If I went one speed I ran into trouble, and if I used the “pedal to the metal” approach everyone was doing at this time, I couldn’t get any quality at all.
Stencils led to drawing my own designs on paper and tracing them, then quilting many motifs without marking at all.  Stippling was a challenge at first but became easy with repetition, but I wanted new backgrounds so came up with some of my own. 
I’ve taught machine quilting since the early 90’s, and have become a better quilter because of it.  Figuring out why things happened in class, and trying to find methods for success for my students inspired my own work and made things easier for my classes.  My two books on machine quilting have helped many become excellent quilters:  Guide to Machine Quilting, and Quilt Savvy:  Gaudynski’s Machine Quilting Guidebook.    They are available at www.amazon.com, or www.americanquilter.com among other places.  
I continue to give information and tutorials on my blog at www.dianegaudynski.blogspot.com  and tips on Twitter even though my teaching schedule is now limited.  I have one class scheduled in October ’12 at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY.  Visit www.quiltmuseum.org to get information. 
Contact info:  My website is www.dianegaudynski.net and there you will find photos of my work.  You may reach me at dianequilter@sbcglobal.net
·         Threads:  I recommend lightweight cotton threads such as Aurifil #50, Superior MasterPiece, Mettler #60, YLI Soft Touch, DMC #50, or #100 silk.  Use the same thread in the top and bobbin, preferably the same color, but different colors work OK if tension is balanced.  With #100 silk in the top, any of the above cotton threads work well in the bobbin.  For beginners, I highly recommend the same color, top and bobbin, probably the same thread too.  Don’t try and match the bobbin color to the quilt backing.  Instead keep the bobbin color the same as the various top thread colors if possible for a really nice stitch.
·         Thread color:  Look for a shade that matches the top fabric or blends.  A shade just slightly different from the fabric often adds beauty plus lets you see what you are quilting.  Try a soft yellow on ecru muslin, or lilac thread on light blue, soft gold on rose or tan, etc.  Avoid high contrast threads until you are more accomplished as they showcase errors and draw the eye to any problems.  Dark lightweight threads on light fabrics never show a machine stitch well.
·         Needles:  For this exercise use a #70 Microtex needle.  If you don’t have one, use a #70 Universal.  Normally, choose the thread size and then the appropriate size/type needle.
·         Marking tools:  Blue washout markers have always worked great for me, but use whatever you prefer.  Mark-B-Gone is good, use a light touch, and always plan on immersing quilt in water when done, then rinsing thoroughly.  Or use a marker of your choice. For dark fabrics try the Clover white marking pen, iron out the marks when finished.
·         Batting:  My preference is wool batt such as Hobbs Tuscany or Pellon Legacy.  Soft stable cotton batt like Quilter’s Dream Select is also good.  Find what works for you.
·         Machine Tension:  Usually lower the top tension one number for FMQ.  Do some tests and see what is needed to get a perfect stitch.  Sometimes the bobbin tension needs tweaking, either tighter or looser as well.  Learn to work with your machine to get the best tension, and do some sample stitching on a quilt sandwich to get it right.  Do NOT be afraid to lower the top tension so that the stitch looks like a gentle curve, a “clamshell,” and thread is not stretched tight.  On some machines in classes I see tension that has to be set on “0” and if the stitch looks right, that is ok.   I usually set my Bernina 730 with #100 silk thread at 1.75 or 2.
·         Stitch Length:  For lighter weight threads, use a smaller stitch length.  Heavier threads like #40 cottons will require a larger stitch.  You will have better loft or “puff” in the design, and quilting will look so much nicer with small, even stitches.  Try for a free motion stitch about 1.8 mm.  My stitches are smaller as I use such a fine thread, probably are about 1.5 mm.
·         Hand positions:  Except for large designs, long lines, etc., I try to rest my arms on the surround of the machine, preferably having the machine set down into a table or cabinet.  Use your hands to move the quilt, fingers resting gently and lightly on the quilt and moving in tandem to control the quilt top.  Don’t press too hard, don’t “scrub floors.”  Keep your elbows down.  Keep your shoulders down.  Be delicate but firm with your hand control.  No, I don’t use gloves or hoops, never have, they are a nuisance and hoops are a visual distraction.  I like Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream to give my hands a bit of the sticky factor.
·         Work area set-up:  It’s definitely best to have the machine set into a cabinet or portable table so your work area is extended and at the right height.  Have a comfortable wheeled chair with adjustable height and back support.  It is a misconception that the chair has to be much higher than the machine.  Find a height that is comfy for you and your body.  Keep the foot control under your right foot (like driving a car) not way out so you have to stretch your leg and reach for it.  My cabinet has a leaf extended to the left, and one to the back with an obstacle there to prevent a large quilt from sliding off and causing drag.  It’s crucial to be able to move the quilt freely with NO DRAG.  Don’t be afraid to stop, adjust the quilt, start again.  Use the auto needle down feature if you have it.
·         Feed dogs are down, lowered, for FMQ.
·         Aids:  I love the Free Motion Slider, Supreme Slider.  It adheres to the bed or surround and makes moving the quilt easy and smooth.  It’s terrific.

·         You may use invisible thread if you choose, but I find that a high quality cotton or silk thread looks nicer and blends in well so your mistakes don’t shout at you.  Also, you can see your stitches as you quilt and that is good, makes it easier to improve, and cotton is easier to use in the machine.
·         Basting:  I pin baste with #1 bent pins, about 4-5 inches apart generally, and around specific areas as needed.  Learn to place pins so they do not get in the way.  Sometimes, if seam lines will be quilted over with designs, my next step is to quilt these with water soluble thread, top and bobbin.  These basting stitches wash out when the quilt is finished, blocked, and bound.
·         Transferring designs to fabric:  Trace with stencils, use a lightbox to trace line designs, or the method of your choice.

·         Favorite stencils:   Look for something with small curves, no big shapes and no straight lines for beginning.  It’s easier to quilt many smaller curvy shapes than big sustained curves.  For this feather tutorial, if you need a stencil to learn the shape or mark a design, try the template from Anita Shackleford called “Infinite Feathers.”  www.thimbleworks.com  June Tailor also makes a set of graduated sizes of individual feathers, usually at fabric stores like JoAnn Fabrics.


·         If things go wrong, check or change one thing at a time until the problem is solved.
·         Use a new needle.
·         Machine should be cleaned and oiled according to manufacturer’s directions and in good working condition in order to FMQ successfully.  Get rid of the lint and gunk, oil the hook area in the bobbin if ok for your machine.
·         Make sure machine is threaded properly, top and bobbin, and bobbin is inserted and threaded right.  Always re-thread if problems occur.  Use all thread guides.
·         Use horizontal spindle for threads, or whatever works best for your machine for smooth thread delivery.  If it doesn’t work one way, try a different set-up.
·         Turn off machine, take a break, come back with fresh resolve, set it up again, re-thread, and see if that helps. 
·         Consult your owner’s manual!

FMQ DESIGN:  Echo Feather Plume
There are many ways to quilt feathers, and this technique has worked for me and for students who were “feather challenged”! 
The traditional method involves backtracking, a skill that is often very challenging for beginners.  This method replaces that with a narrow echo or repeat of a line of stitching between each small feather in a design. The design, above, shows the traditional method on the right side, and the echo method we’ll do on the left.
 Here we’ll do a simple plume.  As you progress you can branch plumes (shown above), add more plumes to them, curve them in different directions to form a border, add them to stencil designs to make them your own. 

You can use this technique for marked designs, or try this plume without marking.  If you find you cannot freehand quilt the teardrop shape of a feather, get a template or stencil and mark a design and use this technique to quilt it.  Complete directions for quilting a marked stencil are in my Quilt Savvy book.

Choose a thread color slightly different than the fabric, and when you learn a background design to quilt around this feather, use a thread color that matches fabric so the feather will stand out nicely.  Use the same color in the top and bobbin.
FIRST:  Draw the “SPINE”  The center line of a feather is called the spine.  It is the backbone of the design, and all the small feather shapes emerge from this line.  It is your base.  It is good to use your marker and sketch a soft curve in your 8” block and use the line as the spine. 

TIP:  Avoid tight or big curves, go for a very soft curve or you will have difficulty forming feathers.  
NEXT:  Quilt the spine   Begin at the bottom of the drawn line by lowering the presser foot, taking one complete stitch, and pulling the loop of bobbin thread to the top of the quilt.  Hold both threads with your left hand, gently and firmly, and take about 7 small stitches, not on top of each other, but very close.  These will lock in the stitches.  Move slowly so the stitches are very tiny and could not be easily removed!  Then gradually increase speed of both hands and machine to increase stitch size and follow the line up to the top.   End any line of stitching this way as well.  For heavier threads, tying off thread and burying ends works better.

Quilt up the spine, away from yourself, pulling gently, and control the quilt with your fingers and firm, gentle pressure.

Look ahead of the needle.
Try to get a nice, medium speed on the machine, combined with slow and even hand speed.  Don’t jerk your hands, don’t press down hard on the quilt.  There should be no drag on the quilt if it is positioned correctly and bunched up around your working area as needed.  If you feel resistance as you try and move the quilt (like a fish on the line), stop, needle down, and readjust so it moves freely.  Try and quilt to the top of the line without stopping.
TIP:  If you need to stop, use the “needle down” to lock the quilt in place, and when you begin quilting, raise the needle out of the quilt and begin in that position to avoid a zig-zag stitch where you stop/start.  Start slowly and then resume speed.  This will become automatic after you do it a few times.
At the top of the marked line, quilt a gentle curved tip like a cotton swab shape, to the right, and then, without turning the quilt, quilt back down the spine towards yourself by echoing the line of quilting you’ve already done.  Try for a scant ¼” echo.  (see photo, above)
You will find this is harder than it looks!  Most quilters tend to slow hands way down while doing this second line of quilting on the spine, and stitches then get very small indeed.  If your hands need to go slower to do any kind of quilting or a task like this, slow down the speed of the machine too.  It’s ok to quilt at a slower speed for more difficult tasks.
Tip:  Hands go slower, machine goes slower.  Work with your hands leading and let the machine speed follow and adjust to your hand speed.  It’s stressful and difficult keeping up with a speeding machine.   Learn to use the foot control to stay in pace with your controlled and even hand movement.  If your hands go fast to get a straight line or a big curve (like the spine here), increase the machine speed to keep up. Great stitches will result.
FINALLY:  Bottom tip of spine  As you approach your starting point, continue past it to create a “quill-shaped” end to the spine, ending stitching at the beginning point.  Stop here, needle down, take a breath and relax before you begin the feathers.  The spine is complete.

Look at your work.  See if stitches on both lines are similar in size.  There will ALWAYS be stitch length variation and it really shows at this point.  It will look much better when the feathers are quilted too.
Is the tension OK?  Are you happy?  Should you watch for better hand control and stitch length as you proceed from this point?  Make mental notes for next time; but don’t take out stitches.

Some things to remember:
·         Look ahead of the needle, not at the marked line.
·         When you echo the line back to the bottom, look at the space between the two lines of quilting and try and keep that even.  Don’t look at the side of the foot, or the needle, or each stitch as it is being made.  Look at the negative space instead.
·         Try to keep consistent speed, hand movement, and stitch length.  If stitches aren’t all even, don’t worry, they WILL get better with repetition.  Don’t worry too much about stitches and how consistent they are at this point.  They will improve the more you quilt.  It doesn’t all happen at once.
Quilting the Feathers
We will quilt the left side of the spine first, because the needle is there, no need to cut the thread or start in a new spot.  Always try and plan things so cutting thread is minimized; it saves time, and looks neater.  Quilt all feathers on the left side, but DO NOT go around the tip of the spine at the top.  STOP at the TOP. 
Now, let’s begin the feathers!

The feather shape is a teardrop, actually “half a heart shape.”  The template in the photo shows you the basic shape you will quilt, in various sizes.  Practice drawing this shape so it is smooth and easy.
The feather shape has a half-circle on the top originally obtained by tracing the top half of coins directly on quilts in the frame, and connecting those half-circles with “tails” to the quilted spine. 
Visualize that half circle to keep feather shapes beautiful, plump and rounded, and to prevent them becoming tongue depressors.  You can always draw or trace a few to help you master quilting the rounded tops of the feathers.
Your feather shape will be unique to you.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t look exactly like mine or your friend’s or feathers in stencils.  As long as they are consistent, that is ok.  Some are thinner and longer, some short and fat.  Quilt the first feather to the left of the spine, below.

Quilt out to the left, make a half circle, and a gentle curve, a small “hill,” back down to the spine, almost to the point where you began.  See photo, above.  Draw this first shape if you need to, or trace a template if that will help.  Sometimes one drawn one to get you started is all you need.

One tendency is to quilt the rounded top of the feather, then quilt a totally straight line, a beeline, back to the spine.  Avoid this!  Quilt a nice gentle lift, a curve, back to the spine.  No Straight Lines.

Quilt the second feather, above the first one, shown in photo below.

Each feather will be separated from the one above it by a narrow echo, about 1/8”.  This allows you to do a continuous line of quilting with no backtracking in the feather.  This little space also helps separate the feathers and gives interest and added dimension to the design.  By finishing the feather plume with the same spaced echo around the outer edge, a wonderful complete look is achieved, and it doesn’t look beginner-y or simplistic.
When you hit the spine, stitch on it one or two stitches up the spine, then begin the echo.  Sometimes a simple V shape is all you need at the spine to get to the next feather.
Tip:  All the feathers can be quilted at one medium speed.  You may need to increase speed as the feathers get larger as speed helps smoothness.

Begin at the bottom and build the feathers up to the top, like stacking up blocks, one on top of the next.  This works so well in a home machine because you can see the line of stitching in front of the foot and space that narrow echo between each feather.  After mastering this, you will be able to quilt freehand feathers in any direction at all, and pick the direction that works best for you.

TIP:  Don’t “lazy susan” or rotate the quilt.  Keep north facing north, etc., and don’t give in to the temptation to turn it so to quilt towards yourself, as when sewing, or when quilting with a walking foot.  In FMQ, you quilt to the west without turning the quilt, to the north, to the east, etc.  It frees you up to do all sorts of designs within very large quilts where turning them is impossible or not practical.

Quilt more feathers, various sizes, building them up the spine until you make smaller ones towards the tip, see photo.  If feathers start distorting or looking weird, stop, see what you are doing wrong, correct it and proceed. 

Try and quilt two feathers, stop, take a break, look at them and see what you might be doing wrong.  When you are learning, sometimes only two feathers are possible before they begin to become uneven.  Don’t worry, simply stop, and then quilt two more until you get to the top of the spine.

!!!!!!Do NOT quilt past the top to the other side.  Stop at the top of the spine.  STOP!!!!!!

Instead of going to the other side of the spine, quilt  back down to the bottom with an echo of the tops of the feathers.

Use the same space as between each feather, a scant 1/8”.  You will be quilting towards yourself.   You can see in the photo below how much easier it is to echo around the feathers in this direction.

Quilt around the bottom of the spine, see photo below, over to the right side, where you will begin the RIGHT SIDE of the feather.  Stop here, needle down, and take a break.

Observation:  From teaching many years, I’ve noted that most quilters have an easier time with one side of the feather.  The “second” side is usually harder, as you are quilting the same shape, but mirror imaged.  Take a break, think how you will quilt the second side (here the right side) or draw some on paper first to get the hang of it.  It doesn’t matter which side is quilted first.  Try beginning on the other side first for a change.

Next:  Quilt a feather to the right of the spine, first the bottom of the feather, then the rounded top, and finally the gentle curve back to the spine, almost to the point where you began the feather, below.  The echo above this feather will form the bottom of the next feather, and so on.

Second feather:  Stitch up the spine a few stitches and echo this first feather, scant 1/8”, then form rounded top of second feather, quilt back to the spine.

Continue like this to the top of the spine.  Stop.  Echo back down the outer edge of feathers, around the curved tops, back to the starting point.  Make a crisp “V” between each one, and stop here if you need to for any necessary readjusting, or take a quick breath.  Free motion quilting may include as many stops and breaks as you need!

When you get to the spine, lock in your stitches by slowing hands and making about 7 very small stitches next to each other; cut threads as close to quilt as possible, top and back.

The complete plume, below.

On a diagonal in the 8” square, this plume looks fine.  If you want to stop at this point, that’s ok.  I decided there was way too much space left around my plume in the square, so added the tendril on the right and feathered it, and some more plumes to the left.

Simply start anywhere you want on the main plume, lock in stitches, quilt a spine (it’s best to sketch it in first) and then feather it.  I added the one on the top left, then one under that to balance out the main plume and fill the space.  I could have made one plume and branched the spine too.  Each added plume was one unit of quilting, and threads were then cut.

In Conclusion

I hope you are able to quilt a feather plume and enjoy the process.  It is within most quilters’ abilities and can become so relaxing and easy after correct shapes are repeated many times, becoming part of muscle memory.  Thinking about each one will become automatic, and you will have freedom to create some of the flowing, fancy, splendid designs we are seeing in quilts today. 

The spine determines the shape of the feather design.  You can feather anything, a straight line, an appliquéd vine, a drawing of a truck.  Use the lines as the spines and feather away!  A circle creates a feathered wreath, and so on.  Feathers are indeed endless, and as fascinating to quilt as they are to see in quilts.

If you have odd spaces and little pools of puff between feathers, it means you did not echo properly but wandered on the echo part of the quilting.  You must hug that feather, make it look like you have a twin needle in the machine so that small pathway or corridor between each feather is even and smooth.

Try to avoid quilting feathers that resemble water towers, strange broccoli stalks, rigid tongue depressors, or any unusual or deformed veggies. 

Unfortunately what will catch the eye in this design are the mistakes in echoing.  A good rule to remember is echo up the top of the previous feather BEFORE starting to think about the feather you are now forming. 

Yes, you can even stop the machine and think about how big the feather should be or how fat/thin.  You can give yourself a guideline mark so you know how far out each feather should go. 

Longer feathers are more difficult to quilt.  Big feathers especially to a curved spine,  are more difficult.  Smaller ones are easier.

Tip:  Adding leaves to the feather is a nice touch, or more tendrils for balance.  After you learn the basic technique, try a branched feather, by drawing a spine like a slingshot shape, see photo below. 

Add pearls or circles inside a widened spine, about 3/8” works well.  Do a triple spine!  Add spirals to feathers, insert tiny feathers next to large ones, vary the scale, add interest. 

The more you quilt feathers the better you will be, and more ideas will come to you.

Thank you to Diane Gaudynski for providing the above tutorial.

I'm sure all of the participants in this challenge will enjoy Diane's excellent tutorial.  I know I will. 

I know some of you have signed up for Diane's workshop scheduled in the Fall 2012, but as I've heard there are still a few spaces, I wanted to let everyone know about this great opportunity to take a class with Diane:

Oct. 18-20, 2012 - National Quilt Museum, Paducah KY: "A New Tradition in Quilting" workshop for intermediate machine quilting basics http://www.quiltmuseum.org/
There is also an excellent quilt exhibit at the National Quilt Musem that has several of Diane's beautiful quilts on exhibit.  This exhibit is titled "Quilt Journeys: Three Quilters" and runs thru Diane Gaudynski  March 13, 2012.        In cooperation with Murray State University's Journey Stories Project, the story of three quilter's journey into quilting. The exhibit tells the story of three quilters. This is not a journey from point A to point B, but rather a spiritual, emotional journey from one's first step into the world created by quilting. Like most journeys, it isn't the destination that is the story, it is the process of getting there that is interesting.
This exhibit follows three quilters, Diane Gaudynski (right, a sample of her "feather stitching), the late Dorris McManis and the late Doreen Speckmann. Each issued themselves a quilt challenge, and this exhibit explores how they responded to that challenge. 

I also highly recommend Diane's book "Quilt Savvy: Gaudynski's Machine Quilting Guidebook"

and her book "Guide to Machine Quilting".

You can also follow Diane at her inspirational blog   “A New Tradition In Quilting
and on twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/dianegaudynski).

To be eligible to win a monthly prize, simply complete the current months' tutorial in the month it is released and get your entry submitted via the linky tool, at the bottom of this page, no later than February 29th. But do remember this challenge is more about learning and improving your FMQ skills, so don't rush thru the exercise just to enter. Take time to practice and embed this design to your muscle memory, before you enter. To clarify, DO NOT just add a link to your blog, but to your post that shows that you have completed this tutorial. You get one link, so keep practicing until you feel you are finished with this tutorial.

For bloggers, please post your entry on your blog. To clarify, you can include as many photos of this tutorial exercise in your post, but you can only add one link to the linky tool below. You may also want to include insights in your post about your past FMQ experience and thoughts about this tutorial. Totally, optional, but you may also want to let everyone know that you have taken the Pledge and you did this exercise to enter the the challenge this month, where randomly selected winners will win a prize. You may inspire others to want to join this challenge too!  

For non-Bloggers:
1) You will need to have a Flickr account (www.flickr.com).
2) Upload "one" photo to Flickr, batch organize, send to groups, select "2012 FMQ Challenge". While Flickr, limits the amount of text you can share in your description, feel free to share your perspective on this exercise and/or your past FMQ experience, if you wish.
3) After photo has successfully been loaded to the "2012 FMQ Challenge" group, click on your photo in that group and copy the URL link to your particular photo entry. Add that link to the linky tool above, to officially enter this show.
note: While there was a unique group for the January challenge, based on feedback a Flickr group has been created that will hold all your photos for the remaining monthly challenges, so you will not need to rejoin a group on Flickr every month.

Winners will be randomly selected and this post will be updated early February to reflect the winners.

Should anyone wonder why they an X next to their link, it appears to be a new feature of this linky tool and no one else sees it. To clarify, the red X only appears on links that you personally add to this linky tool.

One link per person that has taken the pledge to learn and/or improve their Free Motion Quilting Skills, on a home sewing machine, in 2012.  Dana (Stormy Days) has also written an excellent tutorial for using linkys, so please take time to read her tutorial if you are not familiar with linkys or have any questions about linkys, in general.

note:To officially be entered in the 2012 FMQ Challenge please take time to fill out the "Pledge Form" . Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out an easy way to get the email addresses collected in the Pledge Form to automatically load to my MailChimp mailing list, as originally planned. While I apologies, I do ask, if you want to receive email reminders when new FMQ tutorials are released each month, please also sign up via the special mailing list for this activity.  And, don't forget that the page labeled "2012 Free-Motion Quilting Challenge" is the main page for the FMQ challenge and will be updated throughout the year, to provide a summary of current info and appropriate links. 

Those on Facebook, may also want to join the "2012 Free Motion Quilting" group that was created to allow networking with those participating in this challenge.

If you have not yet completed the January tutorial, by Frances Moore, please remember it is available for you to complete at your leisure.


Jayardi said...

• • • Ooh, what beautiful feathers. Thank you Ms. Gaudynski! Great instructions, sure hope I'll be able to make you proud.

Unknown said...

OK, Ms Gaudynski, you are a heroine in my book! Anyone who has a cache of machine stitches as part of the program of stitches in a sewing machine is all "that" ! Now these feathers and the wealth of information should help me to make them...YIKES! I AM intimidated just looking at these beautifully stitched feathers. Thanks for the great detailed instructions.

Quilter Kathy said...

Oh my goodness...feathers are my most favorite! Thanks so much for this fabulous challenge! i can't wait to get started on February!

Anonymous said...

WOW! Thank you so much for a very detailed tut. I will have to print this and read,read,and read some more.

Jan Alexander said...

What beautiful feathers - and lovely clear instructions. Quite inspiring - thank you Diane Gaudynski.

ellison01 said...

a little intimidated, but excited to learn!

Sue Halter said...

I'm a LOT intimidated! Just hope I don't end up with deformed veggie feathers!! Loved that! Thanks for a great tutorial, Diane.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a fantastic tutorial! What a wealth of detailed info, thank you Diane for the step by step photos accompanying your description of constructing the feathers! Perfect accompaniment to your two books, which I highly recommend - just received my copy of Quilt Savvy two days ago, my copy of your first book is already a little dog-eared after only 3 months :-) Thanks again for your tutorial, and thanks to SewCalGal for hosting this Challenge.
Pat - just east of the Coast Range

jaj said...

I just walked right past the "intimidated" with my nose in the air, and landed on "can't wait to try!" Of course as a complete newbie I know my first feathers will be UGLY, but this superb tutorial has deluded me into thinking it will be great fun make the attempt. Feather patterns have always drawn me with their lush elegance, so here goes. It can only get better, right?

Tatyana Duffie said...

The only thing I can say is a Big Thank You, Diane, for sharing your mastership! The tutorial is great - easy and simple to understand. I am going straightt to my Bernina to complete the exercise! Love feathers! With Great Respect to Diane
P.s.: it's like a dream... :)

Linda said...

This is wonderful Diane. I feel like I am in one of your workshops. I can't wait to get started. Thanks for sharing your time and expertise. I appreciate it so much.

Editfolt said...

This tutorial is very good and detailed. Preparation of the pen is a great challenge for me. Thank you, Diane!

sbr said...

Thank you so very much for the wealth of information that you gave to us in this tutorial, Diane. I am only hoping that I can achieve something that actually looks like a feather, but I'm certainly going to try! Onward and upward!!!!!!

Renate said...

Kudos to you Diane for taking the time to write such a detailed tutorial for all of us. I have your first book, but my fear of FMQ has kept me from even opening it. Now that the first month's tutorial is over and I'm feeling a teeny tiny bit more confident, I'll pull the book down from the shelf, open it, and follow some of the sage advise that is in there. Your feather pictures for this tutorial made it easy to follow along visually. Now I'll jsut stop talking and go to the machine.

Marilyn said...

Wow! A very info-filled tutorial! My beginner-y water tower feathers are sure to improve after all this input! Many Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow! This tutorial is amazing and fantastic. Feathers were not my favorite quiltpattern but this tutorial is so good, that I will give my best.
Thank you very much, Diane!

Joanna said...

Feathers! I'm so glad. I do want to get this down. Thanks so much.

California Fiber artist and composer said...

For those using the Flicker site will photos still go into the January folder or will there be a February folder?

Anonymous said...

Thank for a wonderful well written tutorial...feathers have never been my friend i look forward to this challenge!

Barb said...

This is awesome....love it!!

delphi7 said...

Your instructions were so detailed and clear I can't wait to try it!

Dana Gaffney said...

Feathers are my ultimate goal for FMQ and here we are. I'm sitting here a little intimidated. The tutorial looks great, so I'm up for the challenge. I think I'm going to need more quilt sandwiches though.

sherylb said...

So much WONDERFUL information!! Thank you so much! I will be tryig this one for a while. I love feathers and dream that ONE DAY mine will be as beautiful!

elle said...

Thanks for posting this as a tutorial and not a video which takes too long for some of us to load and watch! Luv it!

Anonymous said...

Feathers are something that I've always wanted to be able to do. I am definitely feeling intimidated right now, but am hoping that with practice I am hoping I'll get the hang of it at least enough to be recognizable as feathers. I love the spiraled tendrils as well, plus the idea of pearls or circles inside a widened spine . Hmmmm...I wonder if anyone will notice if I disappear for a few days to practice...

MC said...

This should be interesting for me as a newbie. I've just spent an hour drawing feathers and the first ones were terrible deformed vegetables, but they're getting better. Looking forward to trying this on fabric.

JudyG said...

Fantastic tutorial, Diane. Such a wealth of information. Thank you so much for simplifying what appears to be a very difficult design. when broken down into steps as you have done for us, I believe even I will after this month of practice be able to create some nice feathers (although I am sure my first attempts will be laughable).

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This is one difficut design for me. Love feathers, but have not gotten the hang on them - but it's all about practc.

Heather said...

Oh my, this one looks hard. I tried feathers once and it was abysmal. Hopefully this tutorial will fix that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the tutorial, it was very well written. Will a video accompany this for those of us who learn from watching and then doing. visual learners

Marika said...

Thanks to the meticulous and detailed guidelines that everyone should be clear and very good starting point for the creation of a pen. Good work everyone.

Béa said...

Thanks for this wonderful tutorial. I greatly appreciate the writed steps very helpful for a non english speaker.

Anonymous said...

Totally in love with this tutorial, so informative, clearly photographed and nicely written! I can't wait to try my hands at my very first feathers, something which has scared the bejesus out of me before! =)

Jane said...

Wonderful tutorial. THanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your techniques and inspiration. Yours was the first machine quilting books I bought years ago. Thank you for inspiring me to tackle something that I just love doing!

Valerija Mezhybovska said...

Thanks to Diane for her extraordinary good tutorial! I'm so happy to be able to take part in this challenge. May I translate the text into Russian and re-post it in my blog (with proper links, of course) so that russian quilters can do it too? Thank you.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Thanks everyone!! I hope you will keep at it, draw them, quilt them, be adventuresome if you already know how to quilt feathers and come up with something new and fresh you've never done before.

If you truly have difficulty with veggies and water towers (tongue depressors are more acceptable....) get a template and trace the shape until you become very familiar with it. It's not easy to quilt something without marking if you are not familiar with the shape, even though it looks fairly simple. The tendency is to wander when you don't know where to go, and that creates the weird shapes, especially when you try to correct them and end up with even more weird shapes. I've seen this happen often in classes. All you can do is smile, and try again.

It's also hard to maintain concentration to do an entire plume when it is new to you. The more individual feathers you complete successfully, the more you will be able to do without stopping and taking that small break. Eventually entire runs of feathers will become easy. Believe me, it was hard at first for me too.

You can link these plumes together to form a border instead of doing a long line of feathers. Each plume is quilted separately and thread is cut. This is a great way to rest, regain concentration, and then do the next plume. It keeps you sharp and able to do more than if you quilted steadily with no built-in stops. Just place the needle at the top of the first plume, curve the spine in the opposite direction, and make the next plume. I'll try and find a photo for linked plumes and put it on my blog.

I don't have video capability right now, so the photos will have to work for you for now. Keep a steady even speed, don't let your hands go too fast, that's when big stitches happen, and they ALWAYS stand out and make your design look messy. And don't be afraid to stop, needle down, take a breath, see where you need to go, and then continue. It's ok to stop.

Good luck - can't wait to see your finished feathers!

Diane Gaudynski said...

lerusisik, it would be ok with SewCalGal and me as well to summarize the tutorial on your blog, even post a photo, and add a link to it here. There is a translation button available here on SewCalGal's blog so they could use that to translate it to Russian.

Valerija Mezhybovska said...

Thank you Diane! It's already done so you have here some of them.

Dana said...

What a fabulous, in depth tutorial that at first looked daunting but I felt like you held my hand through every stage, thankyou!!! check out my results http://drinkingfabric.blogspot.com/2012/02/february-fmq-challange-day-1.html

shenyon said...

Diane, thank you for a great tutorial. I want to try that extended echo quilting around the feathers. Any hints? You've been an inspiration to me for years.

Miss Hillbilly said...

Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?? This looks so hard!!I really need to learn this stuff. I've not even had time to learn month 1 yet. Someday...

Maya in CA said...

Wonderful tutorial Diane! You make it look so easy. I have tried the feathers out and have found that it is extremely hard to keep the feathers 1/8" away. Even the spine got too wide. Improvising, I've decided that I should go back and add embellishment in a different colour. That way it will look like the space between the feathers was intended! :) Mine is link #10.
Thanks once again - to you and to SewCalGal!

Diane Gaudynski said...

The narrow space is a bit challenging for some, and for others it is easy-peezy.

If you are more of a large scale quilter, have bigger stitches, use heavier thread, that space between feathers will be a scant 1/4" instead. This is a space you are so used to from piecing that seeing it under the needle will be familiar to your brain.

If feathers are big enough, a larger echo space is just fine. Try to keep it smooth and consistent, that's the answer to beautiful feathers. Smaller ones are easier in a home machine with one smooth motion to form each one.

If the spine gets too wide and looks clunky, go back and quilt a line right down the middle of the spine. Triple-line spines are commonly seen in vintage quilts. Or fill it with circles, a small wavy line, whatever looks nice to you. Be sure and leave some puff in the spine; don't quilt it down too much.

The echo quilting background is a variation of simple repeat echo lines around the design as in Hawaiian quilting or folk art styles.

Every now and then I "wander" from the repeat echo, and form a separate small pond of ripples that end in the middle or the edge and I cut the thread. Then begin again and echo around that back to the design and keep going around the design again and wander off in a gentle meander shape. It looks confusing but is very simple, a series of puzzle pieces filled in.

Keep the curves gentle, make the spacing even, go at a smooth even speed so you don't feel pressured and panicky. Sometimes there will be a blind spot and I slow down then, speed up again when visibility improves. Adding a marked guideline in that curving shape might be helpful to some.

Experiment with this idea and make it your own. I think it is far more interesting to quilt than simple echoes over and over, and much more interesting to see in a quilt. It takes more time, but is worth it. 1/4" spacing works fine for this. You do NOT have to do the small scale quilting like I do.

To set off any main design and not lose its effectiveness in background quilting that is the same scale, do about 5 rows of echo quilting around the feather design, spaced closely, that will form a halo around the design and separate it from larger backgrounds that have some puff in them.

Echo quilting is the base of this feather and many designs. It works for you to highlight your designs. It can be a great background. It is a crucial skill for you to master. Practice it every time you sit down at the machine to warm up! Trust me on this :-) It will give you killer FMQ skills.

I'll be posting photos of linked plumes on my blog soon. www.dianegaudynski.blogspot.com

Keep quilting!

Diane Gaudynski said...

Dana, I looked at your work and love your tenacity, ingenuity, and success! Quilting or drawing over a printed out photo of mine is a great way to pattern that shape into your brain. And your final feathers on the black/white fabric look terrific, so much improvement, so quickly. They will only get better and better, congratulations.

Jan said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial. I've tried others with no success. As I sit here practicing according to your instructions, I feel that there is hope!! So excited!

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial Diane. It was very easy to follow with lots of great suggestions. I made a sketch book and wrote down most of your suggestions and ideas. I will have to continue to practice, practice and practice some more, but at least I have a sense that it is possible for me to make wonderful FMQ feathers.

Varga Györgyi said...

Wonderful FMQ and great tutorial. Thanks for sharing Diane!

tizart said...

Wonderful tutorial. The internet has made it possible to learn so many new skills!!!!
I have always wanted to FMQ feathers. Thank you so much for sharing. I am just loving FMQ!
Happy Quilting Liz from New Zealand

The Nifty Stitcher said...

Think you need to get rid of 'entries' 49 and 50. they are nothing to do with quilting - just spamming up the page.

Carolyn said...

Please delete 49 and 50.

Carol Rubin said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I haven't started it yet, but I'm about to. I have a quick question: My practice stitches so far all meld totgether--I don't see distinctive individual stitches, the way they appear on your photos. Do you know what might be causing that? From reading your tutorial, I'm thinking it might be the tension. Do you think that could be it?

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Thanks to you for this great tutorial!
Unfurtunally I must admit, that this pattern is to
difficult for me. I did try, but I failed, you can
see it for yourself in my blog (Link 50)
Maybe I´ll give it another chance or just wait till
next months challenger.
Liebe Grüße
I like to QuiltBlog

Anonymous said...

Please delete #54; I posted the incorrect link. #55 is the correct link. Sorry,
Pat in Oregon
p.s. Haven't had the courage yet to use my one gorgeous spool of YLI silk 100, but discovered the quilt I'm working on for granddaughter #2 has several blocks where it will be perfect. And she'll have linked feathers in the border. Can't wait to get to that part! This is such fun. A big thank you to Diane for this excellent tutorial and all the follow-up blog posts! And to SewCalGal for hosting this great challenge.

Kay Lynne said...

Thank you Diane for a great tutorial!

Mary Ann said...

I'm getting my sketches down first before attempting. I have had your books for over a year and see this as my chance to get to it! I absolutely adore your work (Harriet Hargrave taught a class and mentioned you admiringly and often) - your whole cloth quilts are simply amazing!

Unknown said...

Hi Diane I wanted to say thank you for your lessons and I am re-reading and still playing. I posted a pic and they are rough but I am still practicing them. I have never done any before and I have to keep reminding myself that I am in control and not let the machine have the control because I am constantly catching myself doing that...anyway thanks for all your lessons here and I will keep working at it this month. So far I have kept up with every month because my intention this year is to honor that pledge...thanks again. Sharon Tn

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Hi, I gave the Feather another chance
and I think the new one went very well.
I´m so relived *smile*
You are velcome to visit my blog
and see my tabletopper with Echo Feathers and Leaves.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Carol, if you can't see individual stitches, two things could be the cause. One, the tension on top could be too tight. If it is, the thread is stretched tightly on the top between stitches, and sometimes you see bumps of bobbin thread on top as well. Lower the tension half a number on top at a time, do some quilting on a layered sample, keep doing this until the stitches are visible and look like gentle curves. Check the back to make sure it doesn't get affected adversely too.

Tight top tension also shows up if you do a design where you change directions quickly. There will be a bump of bobbin thread at these points. Do not be afraid to lower top tension until the stitch is perfect. Many machines in my classes have to use a "0" top tension for free motion quilting. Some need very little adjustment or none, they are ALL DIFFERENT!

Another reason for not seeing individual stitches as you see on my samples is the thread color. If you use very dark threads on light fabrics you will not see the stitches. Many of my students bring this combo to class so the can "see" their work well, and it really is just the opposite. It's much easier to see stitches if the thread color blends with the fabric or even matches, but most definitely if it is lighter in color.

Also, the weight of the thread may be too heavy. Then quilting looks like redwork embroidery.

Please try a beautiful fine cotton thread such as Aurifil cotton #50, Mettler cotton #60, Superior MasterPiece cotton #50, YLI SoftTouch cotton, or DMC #50 cotton. All of these are wonderful threads for all your quilting, for bobbins, and especially for learning designs and practicing. Then branch out to heavier threads (#40 e.g.)or specialty threads, but keep one of these in the bobbin. Don't put heavy cotton in the bobbin, or heavy poly either.

Hope this info helps. I am bowled over by the beautiful results you are all posting here. Thank you so much for trying so hard and really giving this your all. I imagine feathers flowing all over the quilting globe, and I smile.

Sue Halter said...

I've posted my photo on my blog and the linky. Altho I still need a lot more practice, I feel I'm getting better. The echo quilting is the hardest for me. Thank you Diane for this great tutorial. Feathers are fun!! Hard, but fun! :-)

helenip said...

I have posted my photo on the FMQ Challenge Facebook page and the linky. I need a lot more practice, but my confidence level has gone way up and I'm hoping to get good enough to use this on a quilt. Thanks, Diane, for the wonderful tutorial. Doing the feathers on a small block of fabric is one thing, but doing them on a large quilt on a domestic machine sounds like a different matter entirely. That's my goal!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Great tutorial Diane...I need all kinds of practice yet..but I know if I take the time; practice...it will improve...thank you

thimble said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorial, I have enjoyed this lesson very much & think I've finally got the picture & the linky accomplished as well!

Valeria Wolff said...

Thank you Diane, for your excellent tutorial. It had more technical tips that I appreciated, even though I've been free motion quilting for several years now. ( I'm the French quilting desert lady of a few years ago.) I still get problems like seeing the top thread in blobs underneath but at the same time this top thread is just "lying" on the fabric and not making a pretty stitch. And I like to quilt my traced feathers on tissue paper. Would that be the problem? I do everything you say, thread, tension, single plate, needles, etc. I'll try again! You have helped so much here.

Diane Gaudynski said...

Valeria, I don't know what could be causing your tension problems, but perhaps the tissue paper is adding a little to that. Be sure the bobbin tension is adjusted properly, not too tight (it will pull the top thread to the back) or too loose either, as then it can make loops and blobs.

The top tension should usually be lowered some, and this varies with the thread, the design, the machine, even the weather! Humid weather makes for a tighter tension as the thread tends to swell.

Sometimes the globs on the back are due to pausing while you change direction or decide where to go, and the machine is still running. This will build up a big glob on the back first. Use a fine weight bobbin thread and if you hesitated, stop the machine. It's so easy to start it again and proceed with clear thoughts, and no bumps of thread left behind.

Hope this helps. It has been such a pleasure seeing all the beautiful results posted, and also I have enjoyed everyone's sense of humor about first efforts! It always gets better, really it does.

Jacquelin said...

Este mes sí he podido mostrar un avance. Gracias por el tutorial de Diane y por el tutorial para linkar el blog. Estoy contenta con mis plumas de final de mes y aún queda por mejorar así que a practicar, practicar, practicar. Buen fin de semana.
Jacqueline B.

quilter99755 said...

I was skeptical this month, but my feathers came out pretty decent. My echo quilting was harder for some reason on the Sunshine rather than the Bernina, but with practice I will get it right. My main goal is to get better using the Sunshine with lots of different thread and keeping a diary of the changes in tension on the various threads since there is no numbers on the tension dial. And this challenge is giving me lots of practice! I was able to successfully quilt the featers both up and down from the needle, without moving my fabric piece....and that means less moving of a huge quilt once it gets situated under the machine. Hooray. Thanks for this tutorial, Diane.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your helpful comments. I played with the thread size, tension and color, and found that, for me, the color seems to be the most important factor in seeing the stitches. I never would have thought of that! This so helpful!
Thanks again,

Kerstin said...

Thanks so much for the great tutorial. I enjoy quilting feather. I know I still need a lot of practice but Im having fun doing it. I been to some blogs and I have to say there is some awesome featherquilting to be seen.

Maggi said...

What a wonderful tutorial. It has removed my fear of feathers and I certainly intend to do plenty of practicing of these to enhance my quilts.

MalinisQuilts said...

@Diane Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I was so thrilled to make the feathers as per your instructions. For a first timer I think it came out great. My link is #77

@sewCalGal I have a question for you. During the month of January I wasn't aware of how to link the post and any way I didn't finish my January's months tutorial. But I do intend to finish it up soon. So, where should I post it after I finish since the January post's link has been closed? Please help

SewCalGal said...


Great question. I tried to reply to your comment via email, but your settings are as a no-reply blogger. Thus, I'm leaving a comment here and I'll also address this in the email to participants that will go out March lst.

Facebook is setup for those that wish to share photos with others, without being entered in the challenge. You are also welcome to add it to the Flickr group for sharing.


Anonymous said...

One of the things that I "just knew" that I couldn't do was feathers, though I love them. I've never tried them before, and probably never would have if it hadn't been February's tutorial. Thank you SewCalGal for asking Diane to be your February FMQ person, as just joining the challenge was a leap of faith, and this pushed me to try something I didn't think that I could ever do. I still have a lot of practicing to do so that I will improve, but I am so glad to find out that I **CAN** do feathers! As I was doing them, I thought that I really had messed them up terribly. But when I looked at the finished feathers later, I was so surprised to find them looking much better than I thought! Thanks, Diane!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I'll try this again. Thank you for having Diane so early in the year, and to Diane for challenging us to do something that I never thought that I could do. Feathers are beautiful, yet I was very sure that they were something that I would not be able to accomplish. As I was doing them, I kept seeing my mistakes. But after I finished and went to look at them, it blew me away that mine really look like feathers!! lol I am so glad that I took the leap to join this 2012 FMQ Challenge!

MalinisQuilts said...

Hi SewCalGal,
I'm not sure how to set it up to send email directly from my blogger. I do want to participate from February to December challenges. And I have already entered the Feb one.

Since, I didn't submit my challenge for January does that mean I won't be able to participate in the grand prize even if I finish my January tutorial now?

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question.

kathy said...

So much fun....looking forward to seeing everyone's work. Kathy

Béa said...

Thank you so much Diane for your very clear tutorial, it's not easy as it look...I buyed your book to continue to play with you and make progress...
Thank you Sewcalgal, I come here every other day to see what other people have made, beginners like me or advanced who made feathers finger in the noze :) Perhaps one day for me...

Gloria said...

Thank you Sewcalgal and Dianne for the challenge. I am not sure if I posted correctly. but it's in Flicker. Free motion challenge- January. Seems like that's where everyone else is posting.

keratet said...

Thank you Diane for your tutorial! and thank you for your permission to translate it! I don't know English well, and thanks to Valeria-lerusisik your tutorial is easy to understand for me and many quilters in Russia, Ukraine etc

keratet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
keratet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Thank you Diane for your tutorial! and thank you for your permission to translate it! I don't know English well, and thanks to Valeria-lerusisik your tutorial is easy to understand for me and many quilters in Russia, Ukraine etc

Anonymous said...

I found the Feb. Linky. Sorry for the confusion.

QuiltingCyclist said...

Dear Diane- Many, many thanks from Mona Keegan in Texas. I think you may remember me, I was in your class in October 2010 and 2011 in Paducah. I have had a crazy month for lots of good reasons and finally got to this today. Thank God for leap year. I am sorry that I did not put more time in but it was fun. I will send you a photo of the "big" piece of fmq that I completed two weeks ago. I think you will be happy to see it. Much love and thanks, mona

mimi said...

Thank you for the wonderful challenge.Very inspiring

Christine Pollhaus said...

Thank you so much, Diane, this was just an amazing month. Always loved feather but never was courageous enough to sew then. Now I am and not only that. I like what I do and this is your credit.
Kind regards and greetings from Germany.
Yours Christine Pollhaus

KH said...

Oh my, Im still practicing! It seems so very hard to me...I really want to learn how to free motion quilt this year, looks like I will be practicing A LOT!

Maria said...

Hi Diane, you truly are one of the most talented ladies when it comes to machine quilting. I purchased your book "Guide to Machine Quilting" right after it hit the market. And that was and has been the best purchase I have ever made. When I received your book I sat down and read it from front to back and said I CAN do this! And I did thanks to you! In your book you took away all fears that I had about machine quilting and for that I can't say thank you enough!! You will always be an inspiration to me. Thank you again!! Maria Carroll

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much Diane! This tutorial was truly fantastic, absolutely one of the best and I'm so glad I finally had time to do it. Better late then never right? ^^

I'm sure with practice I'll be actually quilting my quilts with my much coveted freehand feathers =)

Darlene, thank you so very much for hosting this challenge! <3
Even through I can only participate sporadically I'm learning so insanely much and I fully intend to do all tutorials before the year is up. Just a question, when the linky tool thing is closed, can I somehow still show that I've completed that months tutorial and join in for the end of challenge prizes?

Colleen Anderson said...

Thank you for a GREAT tutorial! I am striving to switch from hand quilting to machine quilting in my life and have meagerly begun quilting a few things. I haven't really embraced it as something I "want" to do but only something I "have" to do because of my hands. I think I am finally accepting machine quilting as another true expression of quilting and I believe I may just go try this feather and plum as you have shown. You broke it down into understandable points and had good examples in photo form. Thank you so much for the inspiration. Colleen Anderson