I have been a very bad girl. Last year didn’t end too well; I felt rather distraught and stressed and therefore not in the mood to sew the bee blocks for the Euro Siblings Together Bee. Yesterday I finally sat down at my machine and started the Anna Maria Horner feathers that Allie had requested. I didn’t manage to finish them but the second I dropped Little Miss Bossy-Boots at Kindergarten today I sat down again and finished them. They came together alright, although I’m not sure I will ever make a feathers quilt.
The colours requested were ‘cockerel’ colours so I had to dig very deep in my stash where pinks and blues are the most prominent colours. My biggest problem, however, is the lack of a long ruler. My longest ruler is 14″ long which just isn’t long enough for these 18.5″ blocks we produce in this bee. I have therefore decided to send them untrimmed and let Allie sew them together.
The feathers were November’s block *hangs head in shame* so the second they were finished I turned my hand to December’s block, a nice simple star in pink and blue for Helen.
This one was so quick and easy. It would have been even quicker if I hadn’t had to get the seam ripper out when I sewed together two squares the wrong way. Little Miss Bossy-Boots loves this one and has asked me to make her a quilt like that for her bed.
This month we’re doing improv trees for Agnieszka. I’m really looking forward to getting them done next week as I hate being late for bees. Before I sew the trees, though, I have to put together a desk and finish my Doll Quilt Swap 14 quilt.
Life here in Switzerland is still going in the slow lane. I have no internet, no phone and no tv at the moment and although I miss being connected to the quilting community I’m quite happy with the tv break. It’s funny how much more you can do when you’re not stuck to the laptop or tv (not that I watch very much tv in the first place).
However, I’ve been ‘stealing’ my mother’s wifi a few evenings last week and have been watching various courses on Craftsy, one of which is Ann Petersen’s Beyond Basic Machine Quilting. Yesterday evening I was watching her quilt fabulous feathers and was so inspired that I got my pencil and pad out and started practicing. This morning I sat down at my machine and tried to do it on a practice sandwich.
I used the Aurifil 50wt in 2024 that was already in my machine. It’s easy to see that the left side is easier for my brain to wrap itself around. My stitch length was also more consistent on the left.
I then decided to change to a slightly thicker thread and changed my top thread to Aurifil 40wt in 2150, a nice bright orange, leaving the white 50wt in the bobbin.
I love the thicker thread and am now itching to go and order lots and lots of different colours. Both these feathers were free form and I loved having a bit of ‘air’ between the fronds. However, I thought I really need to try them without space too and drew a circle on another practice sandwich. I was trying really hard to retrace my steps and keep the fronds together.
I first did the outside feathers and it’s fairly easy to see where I started in the top righthand corner. The inside was fine until I got to the last frond. Poor planning meant that my angle was off and it looks really messy. Alas, it’s only a practice piece and I don’t mind it one bit. After all, they do say that practice makes perfect and you learn from your mistakes. I’ve absolutely loved making all my mistakes and I now want to make a quilt that I can quilt with feathers in all shapes and sizes.
Ok, I’m off to watch the rest of my Craftsy course. I’m sure I’ll find more I need to try out soon.