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Thread: Do You FMQ Feathers? HELP!

  1. #11
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    I was having the same trouble & heard from someone on this board about Sally Terry's book "Hooked on Feathers". It is a different method of making feathers that works well on a DSM. After reading it & practicing here is a picture of my first attempt on a real quilt. I was pleased with how it came out.
    Attached Images Attached Images Click to view large image 

  2. #12
    Super Member Maggiemay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katier825 View Post
    Check out the book "Hooked on Feathers" by Sally Terry. It's easier than you think to get pretty feathers!
    You must have posted this as I was trying to upload my picture!

  3. #13
    Super Member alleyoop1's Avatar
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    If you are using a long arm machine and have a stylus, then draw out your feathers and use your stylus to follow the pattern. Or try just keeping a picture of feathers on the quilt as you sew and keep you eye on it and let you eye follow as your hands move.
    Proud grandma of Coast Guard grandson and Air Force granddaughter!

  4. #14
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    are you using a stencil or pattern for the feathers or trying to "wing it" Your example looks like you need more control over the motif. I realy don't believe you can successfully just sit down and do the feathers without a plan and pattern to use as a guide. I don't know what practice you have done leading up to this. I suggest you practice just doing loops in about the size of your feather. Work for control of the needle. Go slow. Draw the design and follow it Dont try to make the design freehand until you have enough practice. Looking at your sample it appears you need a lot of practice to do it successfully. I do feather differently than others. Most double stitch the spine. I double stitch every other outside curve. It makes for more even lines for me. Get yourself a stencil, preferable one that is for continuous line feathers and practice.

    What I wouldn't give to come and watch you quilt........I don't know anyone locally who quilts, so I am at the mercy of all you wonderful quilters to help me improve....I love to see the creativity of everyone's quilting.

  5. #15
    Super Member grammysharon's Avatar
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    Try drawing them on paper first!!!!!
    A quilt is a blanket of love. Sharon

  6. #16
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I agree with Holice. It would be most helpful to draw it out on paper so you can train your brain. Then get a stencil, or trace a free one of the internet, right on your practic piece. Use a pen or pencil since it is just a practice piece, you need to be able to see it well. Or print it from your computer and pin it on top of your practice piece and sew right through the paper and fabric. the paper will tear away when you are done. You won't be able to stay on the lines 100%, but trust me, with practice it gets better.
    Take a deep breath, relax, and remeber, you're just starting. You can't just hop on a bike and not crash a few times.

    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    are you using a stencil or pattern for the feathers or trying to "wing it" Your example looks like you need more control over the motif. I realy don't believe you can successfully just sit down and do the feathers without a plan and pattern to use as a guide. I don't know what practice you have done leading up to this. I suggest you practice just doing loops in about the size of your feather. Work for control of the needle. Go slow. Draw the design and follow it Dont try to make the design freehand until you have enough practice. Looking at your sample it appears you need a lot of practice to do it successfully. I do feather differently than others. Most double stitch the spine. I double stitch every other outside curve. It makes for more even lines for me. Get yourself a stencil, preferable one that is for continuous line feathers and practice.

  7. #17
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    one thing I notice is that the bases of each feather frond is wide - I usually see them coming to a point - rather like a teardrop with the pointy end at the center of the feather frond - in doing this, the arc of the stitch helps you end up on the centerline...does that make sense? find a picture and run your pencil over it several times to get the feel of it.
    Kate

  8. #18
    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    not that I am an expert at doing feathers (i too am learning) but I am expert at reading about it!
    What I have read so far is to use a thinner 60 weight thread (say bottomline, there are others) and use a thread that blends in more with your fabric and your mistakes errr design decisions wont be so visible..see... problem solvered.. at least until you practice more...lol..and anyway I think you first practice piece is pretty good so just keep practicing!
    True friends are like diamonds
    They are precious and rare.

  9. #19
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I can't free motion to save my soul but I can see one thing that you could change that will make a difference on your next practice piece. You didn't 'Close' your feather fronds. Yours are like little U's along the spine. If you look at some of the pictures posted you'll see what I mean. You did a thousand percent better than I ever have - good job!

  10. #20
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bunniequilter View Post
    Best way to learn FMQ feathers is with pencil and paper, play and get the flow of the feathers, train your brain on paper first and you will find it much much easier when working on a quilt.
    I totally agree with bunniequilter! LOTS of practice on paper until you can DRAW feathers you like BEFORE you try to stitch them worked for me.

    For your inspiration; here's a sample of my feathers after MONTHS of drawing, followed by MONTHS more of stitching practice:
    Name:  Bag-IPad-Blue-back-web.jpg
Views: 368
Size:  301.8 KB
    Wendy

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