Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Quilts at Shiisa and a Fun Technique for Machine Quilting Feathers

It's always an extra added bonus not to feel rushed in the morning -- it's especially good to have a few minutes with a cup of coffee in one hand while the other hand is reaching to caress an exceptionally attractive bolt of fabric. Since Jan and I were at Shiisa Quilts over an hour before class started, I had plenty of time to prepare to teach, but also time to look!

Every so often this morning I also paused at a rack or table to pick up and read the packaging of a new notion or examine something else that I hadn't seen before. It's always fun to see what quilters are coming up with to make our sewing easier and more fun!

But, for me, it always comes back to the fabric:

The great holiday colors stacked inside the chest tempt me to make another Christmas quilt!

That stripe just makes everything sing.....

This is a page from a book from AQS Publishing called "Cuddly Snuggly Quilts" by the self proclaimed "Crafty Ol' Broads", Linda K. Johnson and Jane K. Wells. Shiisa Quilts is sold out of the book right this minute, mainly because of the wonderful quilt they have on display in the store that was inspired by this pattern.

Bev L. made this quilt using the above Africa panel for the center of the quilt instead of the small blocks. She sashed it with an orange giraffe print and then finished out the quilt using the pattern directions.....

....and came up with this stunner! Needless to say, my fabric is already cut and the book ordered!

This quilt is hanging behind the cutting table in the shop. Alice Ridge pieced "Sarah's Star" after finding the pattern in the Winter 2010 issue of Fabric Trends magazine.

It was quilted by Kathy Kessler. I'm having dinner with Kathy tomorrow night -- I love her quilting and am really looking forward to meeting her!

Today I taught the second day of my Fluff & Stuff machine quilting class; the second day always concentrates on free motion. This afternoon, we were playing with various styles of free motion feathers and Alice Ridge showed me how she jazzes them up a bit. Shiisa Quilts is a BERNINA dealer and we were all sewing on BERNINA 830 machines. If you are familiar with the Artista line and/or the "8's", you will recognize the screen below...
Alice is very particular about how her quilting looks when she is finished, so after she sews her feathers, whether they are free hand or marked with stencils, she sometimes adds a decorative stitch to the spine of the feather. This not only adds additional dimension, but also disguises any places where the feathers aren't perfect.

Since we were using the BERNINA Stitch Regulator with the open toe sole plate, Alice showed me how she can remove the BSR foot and install the open toe walking foot without having to take the needle out of the fabric; doing it this way eliminates additional stitching to anchor the threads.

Then, as shown above, she selected stitch #14 and adjusted the width of the stitch to 2.1 mm and the length to 2.0.

Then she sewed along the spine of the wreath that she was working on.

I did a demonstration in class showing various types of feathers that could be sewn freehand. After I sewed these feathers, Alice showed the class how to switch the feet and sew stitch #14 down the spine of my feathers.

This looks like something that could be a lot of fun and would be worth exploring with some other decorative stitches!

1 comment:

  1. We are having such fun with Paula at Shiisa Quilts!! Today.... machine applique! Can't wait!


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