Saturday, March 16, 2013

Never in a million years...

...would I have thought I'd enjoy longarm quilting so much...NEVER. 

Since my post back in February, I've been practicing more.  I did another three charity quilts for a friend's mom.

Quilt #8 - For this quilt I used the curvy tear drop shape I learned in Angela Walter's class Machine Quilting Negative Space on Craftsy. 

Quilt #9 - Here is the tear drop shape again.  This time I didn't make it curved.  I could quilt this shape all day long.  It's so quick and easy.

Quilt #10 - For this quilt I practiced more shapes from Angela's, leaves and pebble.  The quilting on this turned out awesome but unfortunately it was really hard to see and photograph.

As soon as these three were done, I began thinking about what I wanted to tackle next.  And my mind immediately went to feathers.  On my little domestic machine I've been able to do very simple feather shapes but only after drawing them with a  blue pen onto the quilt top first.  My first attempt on a longarm was less than acceptable...see below...sigh.

I did this partial feather back on Quilt #5.  I had no idea what I was doing...obviously.  Isn't that spine horrible?  ACK!  I was so disgusted with it that I was going to rip it out and then I reminded myself that this was a learning experience.  Everyone has to start somewhere.  So I just moved on. 
Here are better photos of the quilting I did that day on Quilt #5.  The ones from my previous post weren't very good so I wanted to share better ones.

As you can see, I didn't do to bad working with other shapes.  They're not perfect but they're acceptable as far as I'm concerned.  But seriously...what was I thinking?  Did I really expect to be able to do perfect feathers on Quilt #5?  Some quilters might have been able to...but not me.  I was still learning (and still am) how to precision control my machine. back to feathers.  Fast forward to last week.  Once I had made up my mind that I was going to conquer feathers, I dragged out my sketch book at just started drawing.  Here is the first sketch I did on Sunday, March 10th, right before my friend and I went to the Dallas Quilt Show. 
I have to admit.  I was pretty pleased with what I saw and I was amazed that I drew what I thought was a pretty good feather.  While at the show I met Irena Bluhm.  Let me tell you.  She is a very talented quilter.  She's been quilting since 2004 and only been longarm quilting since 2007! After much discussion about all over quilting and feathers, she recommended these books to me which I happily purchased.
Irena's books are filled with SO MANY  great quilting ideas, that after browsing through them I was ready to do some more sketching.  Here are a few of the sketches I did.

After all this drawing I felt ready to give feathers a go on the machine.  Here is the result of all that drawing.
Quilt #11 - FEATHERS!

I couldn't be more freakin' pleased!  Practice sketching really does pay off.  My spines still suck as you can see from the third photo.  They were the first feathers I tried.  After the third spine I quilt doing them and just focused on making pretty feathers.  To do it I would draw a curvy line with my blue pen and then just start feathering it. 
I found that working from bottom to top works best for me.  There is another way of doing feathers and are a little different stylistically but I have a really hard time doing them.  So I stuck to what I was comfortable with.  Maybe after more drawing practice I'll be able to do the other style.
Up next?  Quilt rulers!  While at the show I bought these rulers from The Gadget Girls.
I plan to use them in connection with Kimmy Brunner's Craftsy class Machine Quilting With Templates.  I've already watched the class once.  And now that I have the necessary templates I'm ready to watch them again and get started!
Till next time...


Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Wow! Look at you go!~ I think your feathers are awesome!

marie said...

Those feathers look pretty good to me. I'd send you a quilt to practice feathers on.

Dora, the Quilter said...

Lovely. I did my first long-arm feathers yesterday and was surprised at how well they turned out. Lots of fun!

Karmen said...

You are awesome; I love how you show your progession. You make me think I'll give it a try and rent time on a machine to see what it's like.

Hanka said...

Lovely quilting! I wish I could see the machine too. Was always wondering how it's done.

Jenny said...

Your quilting is absolutely amazing! And I love looking at the drawings in other peoples sketchbooks - it's always so fun to see how ideas and designs develop.

Mary said...

Great feathers! Oh you're hooked now :^) Have had my long arm for 2 years now, and I will *always* have one now, just like I will always have a domestic sewing machine.

Sinta Renee said...

I didn't know you started quilting... every picture I kept saying, wow! WOW, amazing... beautiful. I have a friend that started LAQing a year ago... she needs that class!!! You really rock!

Yvette said...

You are doing great! I missed something here. Did you get your own long arm?

Ruth said...

The feathers are gorgeous! The Craftsy class with templates looks interesting. I'll hope to see how you use the templates. I know you just moved, but hope you can get started quilting again soon!