Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Early’

Marking a quilt is not my thing.  I try to mark as little as possible. I generally mark guidelines for the area I want to quilt.  For feathered wreaths, I will mark the outer and inner circles to designate the inner and outer edge of the feathers.

I needed to mark a white quilt, but my go-to marking tool is white chalk.  I have a fear of using one of the various tools out there for marking quilts.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to get the marks off the quilt.  If it was my own quilt, I would have tried something.  But as I was working on a customer quilt, I was hesitant.

So here is what I did.FMQ Feather Wreath 9

I took a piece of freezer paper twice as wide of the design I needed.  Folded it in half and pressed the shiny sides together.  Creating a stiff but flexible template blank.  I then marked centering lines to assist in getting the circles centers.  I drew the inner, center and outer circles for the size wreath needed. For this quilt, the measurements I used were 8.5″, 5.5″ and 2.5″.

Once the circles were drawn, I cut on the inner and outer circle lines. This created outer and inner circle templates, leaving a large donut the size of the desired wreath. Using the original centering lines, I lined the large outer circle template up within the block.  Centering the template proved difficult, so I added more lines corresponding to the quilt block to assist in alignment.  I pinned the template in place.  If I had used template plastic, I would not have been able to pin through the plastic.FMQ Feather Wreath 6

To center the inner circle.  I found using the donut left from cutting the inner and outer circle as a guide worked best.  I pinned the inner circle in place.

With that done, I used my 5″ circle template to stitch the center spine, knowing my hopping foot would add a 1/2″ to the overall diameter of the stitched circle. I have a set of nesting circles.  If you are using whole circle templates, it would be easier to stitch the center spine then pin the inner circle template in place.FMQ Feather Wreath 2

A few years ago, I took a feather class from Suzanne Early.  She had a tip when stitching free motion feathers.  It helps to draw in the first few feathers.  Otherwise, the first feather can look less feather like.  Brilliant.  But how was I going to do this with my templates?  I used the remaining donut piece to draw my beginning feathers. Then I cut the template along the line of the last feather.FMQ Feather Wreath 4

With the center spin stitched, I stitched the outer feathers next. Then I stitched the inner feathers. Once the inner feathers were stitched, I echoed the inner feathers and stippled in the center.  It is at this point I stopped to cut the threads.  So I was able to stitch the spine, outer feathers, inner feathers, echo quilting and stippling in the center without cutting the thread.  Lastly, I echoed the outer feathers and stippled around the entire wreath.

The first few wreaths took a bit to get used to. But once I got going, the rest went fairly quick. This quilt needed 24 wreaths. FMQ Feather Wreath 1

I love the way they came out.  And, I can reuse the templates.  The only thing I would change is making the outer circle 1/2″ larger than the finished size.  I found my hopping foot would hit the template on occasion. With a larger template, I won’t have to hold the template down for the foot to go over it. I also got too close a couple of times and stitched the template down to the quilt.

It may sound like a lot of work but I believe it saved me time in not having to mark out all blocks requiring wreaths.

What do you think?  Do you like the feathered wreath?

C

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