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Help trying my luck at feathers

Help trying my luck at feathers

Old 09-20-2018, 10:23 AM
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Default Help trying my luck at feathers

I am trying to branch out and try a few different FMQ designs, I got the swirl designs down pretty good but now want to try my hand with some feathers.. I have been watching videos on the internet on how to do feathers and have been practicing on paper..I finally tried doing some on a table runner, I know it's not very good but it's for me so that's ok..
now my question on the feathers, how many times do you go up and down the spine? I am doing what is called bump back feathers, I make the spine and then come down it to start the feathers on one side continue to the top of the spine and then back down to do the other side when I reach the top I come down again, so that would be 4 times going up and down the spine. To me that sounds and looks like a lot of traveling up and down the spine.. So what am I doing wrong? to many times go up and down the spine? How would I eliminate all the traveling up and down?
Thanks

here is a picture of my feathers, I do try and go slow when coming down the spine but most of the time i am off a little and it really doesn't look to good..I guess I just keep practicing and that would be the best thing..
Attached Thumbnails img_1198.jpg  
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Old 09-20-2018, 10:50 AM
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I am practicing feathers too. Yours look great. I haven't mastered the bump back feathers, but, will keep practicing. Although it is my weakest link, I enjoy the FMQ part of quilting the best. So I keep at it.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:02 PM
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In my experience, you will find what works best for you and what you like the look of best with more practice and doing more featherwork. I know you have posted you quilt on a sweet 16 but I can't recall if it is frame mounted or sit down. If you feel you are getting too much thread buildup or just don't like the look of all the back tracking there are several things you can try.
1. Don't quilt the spine, simply mark it. Then do your bumpback feathers coming down to the drawn line. As you progress with the feather plume they create their own spine.
2. Again, don't actually quilt the spine but make both sides of your plume as you work your way up. First do your two bump backs and as you come down to your spine mark make two feather bumpbacks on the other side progressing your way up the spine.
3. Tie off at the top of the spine and start anew for the other side on the bottom again.
4. Use a finer thread like decobob, invisifil, microquilter or silk. You can do a lot of backtracking with these fine threads and not get obvious thread buildup.

I like my feathers to actually have a space in the spine like the feathers pictured on this quilt: switchback-feathers.jpg

I usually make the spine about 1/8 to 1/4" wide and I do quilt it out and make the feather plumes on one side then tie off and restart on the other side without backtracking. But I have backtracked the spine other times.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:15 PM
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I also mark my spine but like to do the feathers that are kind of heart shaped with a center vein. The only way to get better is practice but your feathers are looking good.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
In my experience, you will find what works best for you and what you like the look of best with more practice and doing more featherwork. I know you have posted you quilt on a sweet 16 but I can't recall if it is frame mounted or sit down. If you feel you are getting too much thread buildup or just don't like the look of all the back tracking there are several things you can try.
1. Don't quilt the spine, simply mark it. Then do your bumpback feathers coming down to the drawn line. As you progress with the feather plume they create their own spine.
2. Again, don't actually quilt the spine but make both sides of your plume as you work your way up. First do your two bump backs and as you come down to your spine mark make two feather bumpbacks on the other side progressing your way up the spine.
3. Tie off at the top of the spine and start anew for the other side on the bottom again.
4. Use a finer thread like decobob, invisifil, microquilter or silk. You can do a lot of backtracking with these fine threads and not get obvious thread buildup.

I like my feathers to actually have a space in the spine like the feathers pictured on this quilt: Attachment 601373

I usually make the spine about 1/8 to 1/4" wide and I do quilt it out and make the feather plumes on one side then tie off and restart on the other side without backtracking. But I have backtracked the spine other times.
very helpful! Thanks!!
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:24 PM
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Oh My your feathers are beautiful, i so want to be able to quilt like that someday.. I guess practice is the only way to get better,...Thanks so much for the advice...I am quilting using a sweet sixteen sit down machine, which I love! Thanks again for all the great advice, I try and use it..


Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
In my experience, you will find what works best for you and what you like the look of best with more practice and doing more featherwork. I know you have posted you quilt on a sweet 16 but I can't recall if it is frame mounted or sit down. If you feel you are getting too much thread buildup or just don't like the look of all the back tracking there are several things you can try.
1. Don't quilt the spine, simply mark it. Then do your bumpback feathers coming down to the drawn line. As you progress with the feather plume they create their own spine.
2. Again, don't actually quilt the spine but make both sides of your plume as you work your way up. First do your two bump backs and as you come down to your spine mark make two feather bumpbacks on the other side progressing your way up the spine.
3. Tie off at the top of the spine and start anew for the other side on the bottom again.
4. Use a finer thread like decobob, invisifil, microquilter or silk. You can do a lot of backtracking with these fine threads and not get obvious thread buildup.

I like my feathers to actually have a space in the spine like the feathers pictured on this quilt: Attachment 601373

I usually make the spine about 1/8 to 1/4" wide and I do quilt it out and make the feather plumes on one side then tie off and restart on the other side without backtracking. But I have backtracked the spine other times.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:40 PM
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Yes practice makes a huge difference. These were my first feathers when I first got my LA. That blob with humps coming off it in the middle. LOL
first-la-attempt.jpg
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:07 PM
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Your feathers are looking good! I'm a newbie quilter, too and haven't attempted feathers yet. I think it's important to remember we are in a learning process and we must not be too hard on ourselves. It's going to take practice to have our pieces look like feline fanatic's. And what a nice gesture to share how to get good feathers. Thanks feline fanatic!
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:33 PM
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I am just happy to do FMQ. No desire to get fancy.

Feline is a wonderful quilter. Good luck to all the new feather people.
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:52 PM
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I just draw my spine in and qult the feathers off the chalk line. One big tip I got from Jamie Wallen class was to keep the stem of the feather on both sides point down--when you start doing feathers that curve, etc, I sometimes ended up with one side of the feathers going up and the other side down! So I did as Feline said and did one side and either tied off or echoed back down and then the other side.
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