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Taking off with feathers

I have recently started another of Angela Walter’s free-motion quilting challenges…..feathers this time!!!

I have always had a love/hate relationship with feather designs. One side would look great but the other one….well, let’s just say that bird wouldn’t be able to fly!!!

Although it isn’t a requirement, I purchased her panel…..

…and the Glide thread collection that went along with it…..

With a bit of fear and trembling, I stitched the first feather…..

It was a simple feather, where the petals don’t touch.

OKAY….that worked alright!!

Let’s try it again on a thinner section….

That was actually easier!!

Then it was time to move on to the harder type of feather. Angela calls this the custom feather but I have also heard it called the “bump back feather”. It is harder because there is a section of each petal that you have to travel back along the previous stitching.

This one wasn’t as good but I tried the same feather again and it looked much better….

The final design that she taught was a “fern-looking” feather….

This was fairly easy to do, but I did have trouble heading in the wrong direction when I got to the outside edge of the feather….

This one had to be un-sewed and then redone with the curve heading in the right direction.

That looks better.

I am happy with my first feather foray….

and can’t wait to try more!!!

If you are interested in the challenge, you can check it out HERE….

Are you in a rut with your machine quilting? Sure, you know HOW to do FMQ and you have 4 or 5 patterns that you do well. BUT, you are bored with those designs and need a push to try some new things. If so, please join "MOVE-IT.... a Free-Motion Quilting Boot Camp"!! I will take you on a FREE 10-week journey to learn new designs and become more comfortable with just MOVING IT!! You can sign up by clicking HERE.

The plot, like my gravy, thickens

One of my favorite scenes from “The Big Bang Theory”…..

And yes, the plot is thickening in the December installment of the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.

She kept the December clue easy and, since I didn’t get around to it until January, that was probably a good thing.

This month we were making a Square-in-a-Square block.

The first step was to cut one set of squares in half on the diagonal and I got confused by this and wondered if I really wanted to do it!! I HATE working with bias seams!!! I finally cut two squares in half and made one of the blocks. When I felt more certain of what I was doing, I cut the rest…..

Next step was to sew one triangle on two alternate sides of the square…..

You didn’t have to trim the corners but I did anyway….

Then, you add triangles to the two opposite sides…..

Now it was time to trim this block to 3.5-inches. I find this hard to do and still keep all of the inside corners 1/4-inch away from the outside. There is almost too much to look for!!

THEN, I remembered the ruler that I bought at Houston….

Deb Tucker’s Square Squared!!

You can use this ruler for the entire process of making a Square-In-A-Square block, but in this case, I just needed the right-hand section for the final trim.

It works like this….

You line up the inside 3-inch square with the dashed lines on the ruler

Trim it….

Then line the trimmed edge up to the 3.5-inch lines…..

Note that the inside square still matches the dashed line square drawn on the ruler.

The result was that I have 12 (well actually 13 but they don’t photograph as well) perfect Square-In-A-Square blocks…..

…and I learned how to use another new ruler…..

A Win-Win……