About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label Patsy Thompson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patsy Thompson. Show all posts

Monday, March 3, 2014

the stenciled, feathered, {brown eyed queen?} finished ~

hi there ~

i don't know why, but i just couldn't make a decision on binding for this piece.  i guess because it was difficult to choose a color, and fabric style for this binding, but i finally said, "just do it!  and so i chose a multi-colored binding, one of the first fabrics i grabbed. 

this little quilt sample has risen up from the depths of the ufo pile, which kind of came to a  halt last fall.  it's a beautiful fabric dyed by talented hands of  vicki welsh.

a while ago, i wrote a post about trying out some beautiful stencil designs, created by feather diva, ms. patsy thompson, from patsy thompson designs, {click here}.






i like it!  i think i chose this binding color, as it encompassed all the thread colors, and brought out a little bit of the pink tones in the hand dyed fabric.  

and better... 
it. is. done! 
{and even listed in the etsy shop

have a sweet one ~
blessings,
leslie

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

feathery stencil play from patsy thompson ~

hi all!

i've been wanting to play with some of patsy thompson's stencils for awhile now, and finally the right time came along, so I snatched up a couple when she had a sale last month.  the particular stencil below has been on my wish list a long time... isn't it pretty?
i used my favorite chalk "sewline" pen to mark the fabric.  I don't usually mark for feathers, but this has a 'perfect circle' as the center i did not want to mess up!  and a bit more of a complex design than i was used to, and it proved to be really easily done than i'd expected!
and the stitching begun:
i  wasn't sure what colors of thread to apply when i chose this brown hand-dyed fabric... but i decided to {be brave} and began with a periwinkle blue magnifico thread from superiorthreads.com  and then a pink for the second round:
and a lighter pink for some highlights:
i think i like it.  it's different.  a bit unusual, perhaps.


i was a little intimidated by the complexity of this pattern at first, but after choosing my two main thread colors, and studying it for a few minutes first, and then 'ghost-traced' it with my fingers for my first couple thread paths. {how da ya like that new term 'ghost-traced?'} lol. then all yi needed to do was execute, which was as simple as skip, repeat, skip ~ repeat!

then i'll do backfil quilting in a dark chocolate brown, and bind it up for a nice little sample or decorative table topper... will show it when it's finished.

i love this stencil, and i'm anxious to try it again, and perhaps... even one day... make a larger quilt with it?   

the back burner is getting full again...

xo














Tuesday, July 30, 2013

hints and tips ~ feather play

hello ~

at long last... i have put together what i think you may find helpful when it comes to my experience stiching feathers... so here are some of my best hints and tips!

tip #1:  use an open-toed free motion quilting foot.  this happens to be the bernina foot #24.  {learn more about bernina's feet on their website and click link above to see short 30-second videos on every foot!} i use this foot alot, and love it more, because it gives me the edge on precision and visibility for placement of stitches, especially in tight curves, and tiny spacing.
tip #2:  don't crowd your stitching!  open space is an important consideration, as it allows the eyes to "rest" and enhances the other, more important details of your stitching, such as the feathers!  the space i quilted in between the feathers is much too crowded, so much so, that you cannot hardly adjust your eyes to what the design actually is, so it basically gets lost.  at the very minimum, i would have liked this better had i only outlined the feathers once... not multiple times.
tip #3: after much quilting time, patience, and practice... i have learned that i need to be more aware of the 'edge space' - that is to say this.  keep your original feather design at least 2 inches from the outside edge.  by the time i wish to echo the feathers, or add other motifs around the feathers, i've run out of room... and these end up getting cut off when it's time for me to square things up.
tip #4:  even though i have a large bed to quilt on with my beautiful bernina 830 machine, it is vital that i 'roll up the edges' of the quilt.  when i forget and then, all of a sudden i'm quilting along, very focused, and my stiches go awry because the bulk of the quilt is hitting the machine, and causes interruption of the smooth stitching line. {rip it, rip it!} 
tip #5:  this is such a good rule of thumb! i'm not one for always going by hard and fast rules... but this is one of them... and a good discipline to cultivate! always pause at the end of a stitching line. {no matter what motif/style you are quilting}... never pause in the middle of a curve!  you will find it very difficult to keep up the smoothness of your line if you stop in the middle of it.  so stop at the end of the line, before you begin another different line... breathe... make a plan, telling yourself what the next 'travel lines' are going to be {focus and concentrate}... and then GO!

if you do need to rip stitches... take them out all the way back to the beginning of where your stitching line began, or design motif started over.  it's really noticeable that you have started mid-way, kind of a 'broken' line look, by the time you add securing stitches, in the middle of a curve.
tip #6:  in order to keep your spine lines smooth, be sure to backtrack---extending that quilting line back to the previous feather... almost before the the feather motif began; {i need to do this even better} ... even beyond what you think you need to. doing this will ensure your stitching and spine line will be smooth, graceful, and one continuous line.  it's amazing how much this one little thing can affect the overall look of your spine and feathers. you may not notice it until you see the 'whole' of all of your quilting together {once you're completely done and it's too late} so be sure to "go all the way back" when you are adding 'hyper-quilting' and a different thread color as you do.  if you'd like more in-depth, and WONDERFUL advice on making feathers... buy patsy thompson's books and DVD's on feathers.  i promise, you won't be sorry!  that is how i learned the best!
below: {just another example of crowding the space with too much stitching!}
tip #7: always  s t o p  stitching before your big girl dog {our wild border collie girl georgia!} comes to visit!  she jumps to put her paws on my lap, say hi, and then guess what happens to my stitching?  'bump' goes the stitching line!!  and always... stop and pet them {cuz they love you!}  so take a break!  xoxo  {the same goes for when you feel a sneeze coming on!!} lol!
tip #8:  {a bit of  a repeat of above #2}... but when beginning... be sure to start at least one inch into the body of the quilt... again, so your feather/stitching won't get cut off by the binding, etc.
tip #9:  when echo-quilting the outside of the feathers... stop and  p a u s e  at the end of each curve... again, stop, breathe!  move the quilt top, unrolling fabric as you need to, or re-rolling.  be sure to turn the quilt so you can see the overall curve, and when you do, you will help yourself achieve a smooth outline in the echo quilting.
tip #9:  don't feel you have to go down into every nick and cranny when outlining.  don't be tempted!  leave that open space alone!!  {lol}
tip #10:  my favorite, "must-have" tool?  These "sewline" chalk pencils... with erasers! i L O V E them!  i have them in three colors; white, yellow and green.  i use them tod raw my initial spine lines of my feathers before i begin.  they easily rub off, too... and the eraser really does work.
not so much a tip, but just know... echo quilting takes lots of practice!!  mine are not always perfectly spaced... but that's okay.  perfection is NOT the goal.  excellence {and fun} IS!
tip #11:  sometimes when echo-quilting, you do run out of space, but it's important, that when this happens, you just stitch over one of the other lines of echo-quilting.  that is just exactly what you NEED to do!

{now leave well enough alone... leave that 'blank' space be!}
my favorite thread colors... i sometimes choose more of a defined variegated thread... sometimes i don't!
see what results when you crowd the edges of your quilt?  i've now cut and squared up... and these edges will now be covered up with the binding.  it's not a "big" deal, but it doesn't make the most of your pretty feathers.

thanks for hanging out in my quilting world today!  i know there is more to share... and know that i am not an expert... just a few little things i've learned, and that hopefully will help you, too! 

bless your day!
enJOY
xo
leslie

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Free Spirit Curvalicious Runner ~

Almost sounds like it could be a title to a new movie, huh?!  I think this is my newest favorite, now!  {same ol story!} lol

I'll give you a heads up ~ this post has alot of pics, and info, too.

While it's fun to post the results {they are below}, I also I thought I would revisit a few process pics of couching non-free motion style, which I've used on the table runners I've featured lately.  Enter Foot #39:
  1. In case you didn't know:  A "C" letter on Bernina feet means "coded" and all "C" feet allow for a WIDER stitch, which is specifically geared for 9mm machines {mid-range price and higher}, but ~ these wider feet {such as the one I've shown above}  also work nicely on any 5.5mm machine as well!  In fact, all of these feet, whether coded or not, are interchangeable with ALL Bernina machines {with exception of machines made 10-12 years ago}. 
  2.  FYI Coded feet cost more!  There is more metal, more to the foot, and so this cost varies by $7-10 depending on the foot.
  3. With every Bernina Mastery Class I teach, this is one of the littlest known facts of buying {ANY} machine, when comparing, or when actually buying a Bernina.  Just a little thing... with big consequences... because, if you ever decide to UPGRADE... you may have to re-purchase some of the larger {Coded} "C" feet, in order to take advantage of the larger width capacity.  Because they will cost more, it's definitely a 'heads up' if you are in a purchasing mode.
TIP: I like to thread my foot OFF the machine.  Just makes it easier in my opinion.  Make sure you leave a generous tail of thread, so you don't pull it back out of the hole, while putting your foot back on the machine.
Choose your pretty thread:
For this couching technique, use these settings:
  1. Set a zig zag stitch.
  2. width 1.0 {this is just enough width to cover the width of this type of cord, k?  If you use a slightly thicker cord that still freely flows through the hole of this foot, you may want to go to a wider width setting.
  3. length 3.0 to 3.5.  My personal opinion is that this is a setting range that adequately secures the cord, but doesn't COVER IT UP!  Otherwise... why do it at all, or use a pretty thread?  After all... you want the thread to SHOW up, and be the 'look at me' {aren't I pretty} kind of thing!!
  4. And choose a top thread that blends with the thicker thread. {or contrast it if you'd like ~ i didn't}
Now: let the foot do the work for you. The red vertical line on this Bernina foot #39 is your best guide on this tour.  Try to keep your eyes focused on the red guide, and not entirely on the thread.  The only thing your hands should be guiding is the fabric, and ever so slightly, the thread.  Just be sure to keep it in front of the foot as you are sewing.
And for the feathers on this piece, I first chalked a line with my "sewline" chalk pencils, {one of several colors I have; they are 'must have' tools in my studio}, and this was the base line I free-handed onto the fabric.
And my favorite foot for quilting feathers:  the #24 free motion, or 'open-toe' free motion foot.  Why?  Because of all the free motion feet, {and I have them all}, this one gives me {personal opinion here} the BEST open view, for precise placement of stitches/feathers.
And my favorite {and one of the BEST} inspirational source?  Patsy Thompson, of course!  Fabulous book! - {you won't be sorry you bought it} as well as any of her DVD's... which is how I learned to stitch feathers.
And now, bring on the trims, ribbons, and fun! {NOTE: I stitched the ribbons first before free motion quilting anything}
I pinned them in place first, and used the 39 foot to couch on some razzle dazzle thread on the very outside edge of each side of the ribbon.
Oh yeah, forgot to say, that I added 'hyper-quilting' {Patsy Thompson's term} in the feathers.  I tried a different hyper-quilting motif in each set of feathers.  But I kept the threads the same color, so they have a consistent look as well.







{picture below of the back side} ~ I've stuck with my favorite threads; Superior Threads Masterpiece for the bottom thread, and their Rainbow tri-lobal polyesters for the top thread.  I like the tension to look good on the back, and this means you drop {or lower} your top tension, usually I lower it one full number, or slightly more. Also notice in the pic below, the zig zag stitching in the top of the pic?  That's the proper length and width settings I was referring to earlier; they look like that:
And now a couching finish inside the binding edge... with what is called the bulky overlock foot, Bernina Foot #12. This is the uncoded version... I also have the CODED version {21C} because it's that valuable to me, and I use them both, as the larger one accommodates thicker cords, as well.
A great foot to have!  Look at what else it can do:
Above all, take your time, be precise! This foot does the job very well for you. Especially if you are only doing straight lines {like in the binding here}, or it's good with very gentle, soft curves. I also like to use a polyester in my top for strength, as it is penetrating a fairly thick cord, and 90/14 needle {which I used on this entire piece}.

Hint:  Use a slightly lengthened straight stitch, and the cord won't be smashed down like it would with a zig zag stitch.} This works much exactly like the #43 Bernina free motion couching foot, but it isn't free motion!
It's foot #12!  {wore out the number ~ so ya know it's WELL used!}
And there you go!  {Go get ya some of this foot and those cords/threads!}  I've used many different colors of Razzle... can you have too many?!  {Answer is no!}

EnJOY!
XO
Leslie
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