Deonn, your feathers are wonderful.
Welcome to the Quilting Board!
Deonn, your feathers are wonderful.
Practice on paper, and draw your spine then when working your way down the side think of half a heart, That helped me. Make sure when you stitch back to your spine you follow it down for awhile before making the next feather.
I took the Craftsy.com course from Ann Patterson--Beyond Basic Machine Quilting. It helped me tremendously. They have it on sale for half price frequently, but it's not expensive at the regular price, and it's worth a whole lot more!
Take a piece of paper and draw a curving line. From the bottom of the line start making your feathers on one side. (practice and see if you draw a better feather starting at the bottom of the feather and finishing with the top. Then try the other direction. What do you think? Does one look better for you than the other?) Once you have finished the one side, give it a flourish at the top. Now follow your curving line, maybe a quarter of an inch or less down to the begining again. Now start going up on the other side. Usually we only make the feather well in one direction--go figure! For me it is going up. The book Hooked on Feathers is helpful, and will surely make you loosen up. It also gives you great ideas for embellishing the hook. Work on a practice piece once you think you have your feather right. Then go to your project. You may want to put a gentle curved line in chalk before you do it with your machine. Once again, your choice. Keep your sample to look back on. You can go back and run your finger over the feathers. This too is causing your head and muscle to remember how to make a feather.
It doesn't hurt a bit to make a sample quilt with lots of motifs, feathers grids and meanders. You can take out your sample and have ideas come to you on a block from basic stitches.
Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain
Thank you ALL for the great tips and advice, especially thinking "half a heart". I think my biggest problem was in not moving down the stem before starting the next frond. I love the pictures you posted, too. So beautiful and inspirational! I would love to get that good... I will look for the Hooked on Feathers book. Thank you so much.
Check out Linda Jackson Thielfoldt at the Patchwork Goose on Facebook or on youtube....she's a long-armer who does Longarm Lifelines for The Quilt Show ( with Ricky Tims and Alex Andersen).....her feathers are the most beautiful I've seen...and she's a lovely person as well....pictures of her quilts on Facebook are exquisite....you won't be disappointed. I recently told her even though I'm 60 now, when I grow up I want to be half the machine-quilter she is!
A mind is like a parachute...it works best when open....
I too had such problems with my free motion feathers. I would practice feathers on my dry erase board for about 30 minutes then head to my sewing machine. My feathers never looked good.
A friend of mine suggested I take Angela Walters Free Motion Quilting Feathers video class on Craftsy. Wow, what a difference my feathers look after taking her video class. She has a fantastic technique and I firmly believe that anyone who takes her class will be free of free motion quilting feathers woes!
The class was $40 but if you go online and register as a Craftsy member, from time to time they offer classes for $19.99. Once you sign up for a Craftsy class, you can view the video as many times as you want. There also printouts that you can print. She is an excellent teacher. I have signed up for several of her classes.
I suggest you check out the Craftsy website. Your confidence level will go from 0% to 99%!!
Just think half hearts on both sides of the vein you have put down first.....practice on paper first to get your brain on track...