Without ado, a gift from me to you. Bert
Lovely feathers with a tissue paper guide.
- Iron a centre line through the middle of your quilt/panel before you pin anything on.
- Mark the alignment/centre lines on both your stencils and your quilt
- Use sticky tape and pins to hold tissue stencils in place
- Trace onto the tissue paper with a pencil dark enough, and thick enough to see to follow the lines.
- Check the tension in your sewing machine before you start to make sure you get beautiful sewing lines on the final product.
- Work from the centre of the design outwards – you end up with nice curves this way.
- Keep the quilt taut as you sew the feathers – if it’s too loose you’ll end up with puckers or at least ‘hourglassing’ of the quilt (ie the quilting resulting in a wobbly edge due to it ‘sucking in’ more of the fabric)
- Try tone on tone thread and fabric to practice with – it still looks great even if your feathers are a bit higgledy-piggledy.
- Match your feathers to the one you sew, rather than the one you drew.
- Tidy up by using some tweezers to get the very fine pieces of tissue out where the stitches are close together
- A bit of research – I love Judy Allen’s book The Art of Feather Quilting, and there’s loads of videos on You Tube and designs for free or to buy on the internet. Try searching for ‘bertcollections’ on Pinterest and you’ll find my Free Motion Quilting Board if you are looking for some inspiration.
- Use a soft (B) pencil to trace your stencil – it smudges on the paper, on you, on your thread and your fabric.
- Work from the outside edge of the design when stitching the feathers – it is much harder to see, ends up with more mistakes/straight lines/corners.
- Lean on the table or your quilting frame/machine – it puts straight lines and angles in your lovely curvy feathers.
- Panic – If your stitching goes off the lines, just make sure that when you stitch the feathers near by that they match the size and shape of the others around them – the stencil will be gone later and no-one will know about it.
- Expect it to be perfect the first time – this is a skill to practice and enjoy so remember it is fun and don’t stress about it. You’ll be surprised how much better it looks when the paper stencil is removed after you’ve stitched the design.