Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #43

Hello Friends, I hope you are doing well.  I am sharing with you a quilting trick I fortuitously discovered when I was quilting my Home Sweet Home quilt.  [I love that word “fortuitous” — it was a word taught to me by a dear Chemical Engineering professor in college when I would go see him in his office.  More often than not, he would give me the “word of the day” after he was done teaching me engineering stuff.]

If you look at the image below, you will see that I added little “what-nots” at the tip of some feathers to fill in the geometry of either square or triangle patches.

The reason I did that is because I was trying to fit rounded feather lobes into the geometry of a square or a triangle, and sometimes it’s just impossible to quilt a feather large or narrow enough to fit the quilting area and have the feathers still look decent.  So I came up with the “what-not-companion” approach.  See the below images to see what I mean…

You can see in the following the aforementioned “what-nots” in action.  You will need to study the images a bit to find the “what-nots” since the quilting was done tone-on-tone.

I hope the “what-nots” trick would come in handy for you when you are quilting feathers to fit quilting area of fixed geometry.  Notice this post does not deal with how to quilt feathers — that topic is already covered here.

Thanks for stopping by!  A huge quilty hug to all my friends!


23 thoughts on “Thread Talk from my Sewing Machine #43

  1. Wendy, I think the wha-nots were the perfect addition to overall stitch design. I tried to imagine the quilt without them, and realized there would have a large space there that would have looked like someone forgot to finish stitching something there in those spots. Great job!

  2. Your “what-nots” become “curlie-cues” in my sewing room!LOL! Those unstitched little nooks and crannies can really detract/cause the eye to focus on them and away from the quilted pattern. That’s why, as I was quilting on a QOV today doing a swirl pattern, I kept my eyes on the “negative” space (space between the stitching) which results in a more even/pleasing stitch arrangement. Your method of stitching feathers is the only one that works for me. I have tried so many other approaches/techniques and that “bounce-back”/back tracking on the tip of the previous lobe to form the next seems to be a natural! I, also, prefer the overlapped look rather than the separated lobes (when I do them, that is……Diane Gaudynski’s feathers are “to die for” but aren’t “me”)! Thanks so much for the tip AND I love that you used the red/green combo—-how perfect for the season! LOL! Hugs, D

  3. Very clever of you to make/design ‘what-nots’ – it really brings the quilting together. Thank you so much for the hints and photos of what to do.

  4. Hi Wendy,

    Love your what knots!  Love the ideas and I will use them too if you don’t mind!  I thought I would send you a recent picture of my free motion quilting attempts.  This is only my second attempt at doing FMQ on a quilting project. The first picture is obviously the baack side of the project and the front is the second. This project is for my best friend and she has already seen the first placemat without the quilting.  I would love any feedback or pointers that my may consider giving me. I would like to thank you for all your encouragement and sharing your knowledge it makes my journey as a beginner quilter far more interesting and fun. _JULIE BEARD: JULIE714@ADAM.COM.AU._

  5. Hi Wendy! Liked the what-nots very much. It was like a little flashbulb went off in my head…”Oh Yeah!” It works! Didn’t get a chance to comment on your greeting cards quilt. It is quite lovely. And, I do see lots of other design uses for it, too. I am one of those people who change patterns around to suit me. But I have to say that Rebecca Grace’s comment about making flags out of the “cards” was a true inspiration! I really like that idea. It would make a great gift for a child/adult who has traveled the USA (state flags) or the world (country flags). Or just historical flags of the USA. That pattern has a lot of versatility to it and it is darn cute, too! The tiny sashings are great for the pattern. I do use thin sashings quite often and they are easy to do….as long as you can make a straight seam.
    Take care! Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Miss Baby is a sweetheart and a blossoming artist.
    donna j from Kansas

  6. Dear Wendy, I am sorry but I did send you my pictures at the time but for some reason they did not come up at your site!  I also tried to send you an email via site and it bounced back.  Is there another site I can send you the pictures.  What is the address of your facebook site! I would love to be able to send you them.  Until next happy quilting Julie Beard. _JULIE BEARD: JULIE714@ADAM.COM.AU._

  7. Pingback: In the Meadow in THE QUILTER (April/May 2013) | Ivory Spring

  8. I love your placement, great ideas. Your quilting abilities are awesome! Learn a lot from viewing your work! Thank you. George Vision 26

  9. Pingback: Final “Feather Follow-up Friday” on Saturday………. | Treadlemusic

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