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Thread: Is it just me or are feathers becoming too common?

  1. #26
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    I'm not a long arm quilter, but I find the tone of your post condescending. There are lots of quilts other people do that are not to my taste and I'm sure the reverse is true, but I don't feel the need comment on it or pass judgment on what somebody else likes. Quilt fabrics and styles go in and out of fashion just like everything else. No, I don't have a single feathered quilt...

  2. #27
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    As a longarmmer, I prefer that my customers give me some type of direction on the quilting that they desire. However, so many of them do not even though I ask. Sometimes, feathers are the best thing to fill in an area. With that being said, I do think sometimes that feathers are overdone.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby the Quilter View Post
    Mctavishing is really pretty - would love to learn how to do this on my Tin Lizzie.
    She has books on how to........Karen McTavish is the original designer of this technique.....
    Last edited by Geri B; 12-20-2014 at 06:56 AM.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by terriamn View Post
    I love feathers, wish I could do them but I pretty much only meander because that's what I'm good at.
    There are many books, CDs, tutes on how to do feathers....just some scribble paper and a pencil, and some doodle time and you will do them......think half heart..........

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mdegenhart View Post
    I'm not a long arm quilter, but I find the tone of your post condescending. There are lots of quilts other people do that are not to my taste and I'm sure the reverse is true, but I don't feel the need comment on it or pass judgment on what somebody else likes. Quilt fabrics and styles go in and out of fashion just like everything else. No, I don't have a single feathered quilt...
    I really don't read any condescending or judgmental comments in this thread......we are expressing opinions.....and isn't that what this board/ thread is about........this is just a written conversation.......someone threw out a scenerio and these are the responses......pro and con

  6. #31
    Junior Member rndelling's Avatar
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    I am a hand quilter and belong to the school of "less is more" when it comes to the quilting. I see so many quilts that are, in my opinion, over quilted and so many times I can't see the quilt for all of the quilting.

    There are times when I think that the heavy quilting works....especially when it's used to high light an applique, etc. but for the most part I'm with you on the "too many feathers".

  7. #32
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susann View Post
    I had a quilt that, even though we discussed the simple pattern I wanted done on it, the LA ruined with all the feathers and swirls. Her design took away from the beauty of the piecing.
    Any LAQ that I hired, that used her own idea, instead of what was agreed upon, would either be taking it out, and redoing what was requested OR paying me for the fabric and time lost, and NEVER USED AGAIN. She/he was hired by you, to do a job you were paying for, how dare she/he even think to go off on something else. Inexcusable in my book. I love seeing all the wonderful quilting here, especially the ones posted that enhance the piecing. I do realize that some of us can be a little unrealistic (you can quilt that out right?) but if I agree to pay you to stitch straight lines all over a quilt, I will not be paying for anything else, however I am open to better suggestions during the negotiations process. I think of it this way- If I pay my mechanic to fix my Kia, I will not be paying for any Volkswagon parts "used" instead!
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  8. #33
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Depending on the quilt and the preferences of the person whose quilt it is, sometimes the quilting needs to be front and center. Other times, it should enhance the piecing.

    Here's an example: I built a labyrinth quilt, I didn't use the 10 colors or whatever the pattern called for, I did it in three marble batiks without prints on top of the fabric. With only three colors, the huge expanses of fabric needed something to make them interesting. That quilt became a quilting canvas with lots of feathers.

    A friend gave me her beautiful red French braid. The fabrics were so interesting that I had a hard time not just SITD the whole thing and giving it back to her. I wanted to see all of the fabrics and no quilting. She insisted she wanted my custom work though because she'd seen the labyrinth. There's not a single feather on that quilt. I actually put Asian looking fans on it, curlicues and swirls and because I did SITD all of the braids, I was able to keep it really sparse for the rest of the quilting. Of course, that also means I did the hardest thing. SITD on a LA is not the easy job it seems like it should be. It's easier on a domestic machine.

  9. #34
    Junior Member Basketman's Avatar
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    I am pleased that most people understand that I am not on a crusade against feathers, those who love them, do them, advise their use or even sleep on them...in fact my first quilt has a plethora of them as a dominant motif and it still pleases me. What I was attempting to do is adding a posting that gives a forum to others as to how they choose a design, seek others to interpret their indecision, how the professionals view both their artistic responsibility and financial obligation and allow others to simply add their two cents and not have some caustic reply drive them back to using private messages to express their opinions... so as not to bruise an ego.

  10. #35
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    McTavishing is four curled spikes together and the next four taking off in another direction. It's a filler pattern invented by Karen McTavish who specializes in whole cloth quilts.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  11. #36
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
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    Ha! I'd rather do feathers any day than SID on my longarm - you're so right about SID being the most tedious and difficult on a long arm!
    Michelle Guadarrama

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecozy View Post
    Wait, so by saying that I don't have the skills or mindset to accomplish anything to your taste, you weren't actually slamming me or my work? And by calling peoples work a puppy mill and a canvas for excess you felt that was necessary to your question?
    IMHO the different choices we make in our work is why we are interested in seeing each others work. It is a pleasure to share ideas and projects here because of the support we get and the veried ideas and styles.it is sad to hear peoples skills and efforts being insulted like this.
    By the way I think feathers look soft and traditional and I like them.
    True, its all a question of taste. Thank goodness we are all different.

  13. #38
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michellesews View Post
    McTavishing is four curled spikes together and the next four taking off in another direction. It's a filler pattern invented by Karen McTavish who specializes in whole cloth quilts.
    Hers was one of the first fills I liked. She says she came up trying to mimic traditional hand quilting but on a machine. I think that's perhaps why a lot of her work resonates with more traditional quilters so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michellesews View Post
    Ha! I'd rather do feathers any day than SID on my longarm - you're so right about SID being the most tedious and difficult on a long arm!
    Exactly! I think the SID took me 3 full days on that braid. I think I narrowed it down to having to anticipate when you were going off course before it happened, and manage to not over correct all the while trying to manage any wave from the fabrics too. There's really no such thing as a long straight line to follow. That might be why sometimes LAers will "pull a face" and charge heavily if you want a lot of SID.

  14. #39
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    I really like feathers and am drawn to them when I look at quilts. I haven't done much quilting myself yet because we had custody of my granddaughter for the past 15 months and I didn't get much of any hobbies done. She's back with her parents now. Maybe 2015 will be better in this wayj.

  15. #40
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    Vertical and horizontal straight lines on l/a are easy...can do freehand, but diagonal..need the ruler.......

  16. #41
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    I love feathers especially on log cabin quilts. I have been practicing feathers on my domestic machine. They do cover quite a bit of space but require practice. I like swirls and that has come easier. However, I don't like panto's on quilts
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  17. #42
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HouseDragon View Post


    Oh! And the last thing I'd pay for would be a computerized design! To me they are too perfect and have no soul.
    When I quilted by check I knew nothing of the process, so asked her what did she recommend? She showed me a panto graph that perfectly complemented my quilt and saved me a lot of money, which I don't have much of. I think they are only too perfect if they are too obviously wrong for the design of the quilt. Your statement of having "no soul" tells me your are a true artist, and as such I understand your feelings, but I just like to make hugs to leave behind when I am gone, and I love piecing, just have no desire to be an artistic quilter. I respect those that are, but there needs to be something available for newbie LAQs, fixed income customers, and people like me who just want to keep the layers together. I have even been known to tie quilts. (Gasp!) After saying all of this, I do love to see the quilting artists displaying their art at shows and here, because I now know what it really takes to do it. Peace
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  18. #43
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    phbbbtt. that's funny. but the thread has been enjoyable.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  19. #44
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    As a long arm quilter, I try to find out what the customer is thinking--both design, thread choice, etc. Often they don't really have a clear design in mind--so I'll suggest a couple of designs. But first and foremost is finding out her price range--like most quilters, I charge more for hand quided vs. panto, dense quilting vs light meander/stipple.

    Regarding panto--while I much prefer to work at the front of the machine and do hand guided/custom, sometimes a complex piecing quilt is best highlighted by a panto or edge to edge.

  20. #45
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingshorttimer View Post
    As a long arm quilter, I try to find out what the customer is thinking--both design, thread choice, etc. Often they don't really have a clear design in mind--so I'll suggest a couple of designs. But first and foremost is finding out her price range--like most quilters, I charge more for hand quided vs. panto, dense quilting vs light meander/stipple.

    Regarding panto--while I much prefer to work at the front of the machine and do hand guided/custom, sometimes a complex piecing quilt is best highlighted by a panto or edge to edge.
    Exactly this! Sometimes - especially in times where I'm not as creative as usual - little to no guidance from the customer makes the job extremely difficult. I would rather they came in with an example or one I saw in the shop I service machines at, there was a whole plan drawn out before the guy even brought his gorgeous denim quilt in to be quilted.

    I try to start with "how dense do you like you're quilting? Do you like more traditional quilting (though sometimes the top itself will give that away) or more modern? What's your price range?" but even these questions are vulnerable to "Oh I like everything!"

    The last quilt I did, she liked everything and had a million vague ideas and was sure anything I chose would be fine. Then the final nail in the coffin: Take your time, no rush at all. The only saving grace was a mutual friend telling me what the first friend was hoping the quilt to stay in the range of price wise. I still probably worked for $5 an hour by the time you figure in the time spent auditioning designs and creating a custom panto and the SITD.

    Sometimes I find the design lends itself to an easily repeatable pattern but not a full panto. For that braid I mentioned, I created a custom panto for just the braid portions of the quilt, so I knew I'd have the same spacing on all 8 braid pieces. It doesn't look like a panto but a small portion of it is pantoed.

  21. #46
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Just for you all who wonder, my quilt was a scrappy hearts made of squares and triangles. The squares were 2" and had 2.5" sashing which was unbleached muslin on muslin (if it were white on white, I would know how to describe it). There were so many colors among the white/beige that she suggested a loop de loop with hearts stitched every so often. She even helped me name my quilt. It is called "Happy Hearts". My blocks were 10"x10" and her hearts were about 5" so it was stitched approximately 4 inches apart at most.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  22. #47
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I don't know about becoming too common or trending because haven't they been around for a very long time? Take a look at the traditional Durham quilts from England. They are not exactly very modern. Nor are the French quilts. I like them but I think the point you are making is that they can be over done and look a bit messy. I like them to fill the space without a lot of fillers or stippling.

  23. #48
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruby the Quilter View Post
    Mctavishing is really pretty - would love to learn how to do this on my Tin Lizzie.
    It takes time to learn different techniques. McTavishing is fairly easy to learn, much easier than feathers. I love doing the technique, not near as good as Karen McT. is, but customers like it.

    Most of my customers let me decide what to put on their quilts. I do have an automated system (TL18LS w/Qbot V3), but I don't use it very often. I look at the quilt and the pattern...and sometimes it takes a day or even a week just staring at the quilt...I decide what I want on the top. Sometimes, it needs a feather block or a feather border. Usually, the old gramma's tops I do, well they just need something that gramma would have hand quilted on them. I do a lot of SID (Stitch in the Ditch), also 1/4" outside the ditch on some items...it really depends on the top.

    I've gotten some really wonky quilts & I have to take that into consideration. If the person was not the best at piecing...or tension was not great on their sewing machine...that is taken into consideration. Out of about 20 quilts in the past two months...I think I used a feather border once, a block motif maybe 3 times, Qbot designs about 6 times (alternated blocks on an appliqued quilt). Right now I have a 1920's quilt that is 8" squares on point. Customer wanted the quilt "Floppy", so she could cuddle in it while remembering here gramma, who made the quilt. She wanted an allover open "squiggle, or something like that." I am using an end to end design with the robot...it's called Chantilly Lace. Very pretty when done, looks nice...and I've done it large and open...this quilt will be real "Floppy", but will not be a simple meandering line. And even though it's on point, I'm surprised that it's done well, no issues really at all.
    Marge Campbell
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    https://www.facebook.com/campbellsquiltingbymarge

  24. #49
    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    I LOVE feathers......I like other types of quilting too, but feathers just seem to make a quilt smile and they can be done in so many styles......

  25. #50
    Senior Member quiltingnd's Avatar
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    I love feathers. As soon as I am brave enough to try them on my dsm, I will probably use feathers a lot. To me, they are graceful and feminine.

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