Sunday, February 5, 2012

FMQ Tutorial, by Diane Gaudynski “Echo Feather Plume”

I'm participating in 2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge hosted by Sew Cal Gal.   February's design is feathers by Diane Gaudynski.  In free motion quilting,  feathers have been my nemesis for a long time.  I so admired them on the quilts of others and failed miserably in my attempts to replicate a feather with my sewing machine.
I'm what Diane Gaudynski calls "feather challenged". 
I have always admired Diane's feathers and often told myself, "I want to quilt feathers like hers when I grow up".  Her tutorial is extremely well written and photographed.  It is excellent!  I read over the instructions several times and studied the pictures.
 Then I practiced drawing feathers.
Drawing feathers and tear drops.  I made a whole page of just tear drops in various directions and sizes.
 I tried to keep the feathers tear drop-shaped and the lines smooth.
 I practiced more.
 I added stems and extra plumes.
 I drew approximately 80 pages of feathers.
 I'm posting these drawings to show my feather shapes got better the more I practiced.
 Finally, I was ready to add the sewing machine.
Again I practiced on several scraps before doing my quilt block on my challenge quilt.
This is the front side.
The back side is unbleached 100% cotton muslin, the purple vareigated thread is 100% polyester, the pink is Coats trilobal 100% polyester embroidery thread.

Enough practice time to quilt my block.
I used my Pfaff Creative 2 sewing machine, with a dynamic spring motion quilting foot, dropped feed dogs, set the stitch length to zero, a straight stitch needle plate and 80/12 Schmetz universal needle.
 The white side is the back.
While quilting this block, I decided that sewing the feathers was way more fun than echoing so I added more plumes as I echoed.
 This is the finished block.  I'm delighted with it. 
 Close ups of top stitching
 Happy quilting all.


  1. 80 pages wow! It really paid off, your feathers look great. I'm going to keep drawing in hopes that I can get mine looking half this good!

  2. Love seeing all the work you have done! Great final block!

  3. I am also practicing on paper and some on the machine. I had planned on doing a lot today but got side tracked with super bowl preparations. I will be back on my mission tomorrow! Your feathers look wonderful! Hope mine improve sometime soon!

  4. Gorgeous work! I'm amazed at your dedication and heartened by your progress (it gives me hope for the future of my feather-wanna-be efforts!)

  5. What an excellent collection of prictures of your feathers. Drawing on paper really did seem to help you, so I'm off to grab my sketchbook and pencil.

  6. Wow. You've made tremendous growth in such a short time. I love your sequence of pictures. They really show how practice makes such a difference. Your quilting on the pink fabric looks great. Well done.

  7. Your feathers look great! AWESOME!


  8. Amazing!You are really coming along fast. 80 pages of drawing, I would have died by 20!I love all the pics of your kids too, beautiful! This is a fun challenge, I love it.
    from Cathy at the

  9. All that practicing did pay off...looks fabulous!!! You are my inspiration now!

  10. Great to see the progression from paper to fabric! You've done a great job!

  11. Nicely done Tammy. Thanks for showing your progress as you worked through. Lane

  12. I think you did a very good job on your final block. It really pays to put in the time practicing and getting those movements committed to muscle memory.

  13. Your practice paid off. The block looks great. I'm still in paper-practice mode. Wish me luck.

  14. Great chronicle of your progress Tammy. Looking great.

  15. You have been practicing and the evidence shows it! Great job on your feathered plumes!

  16. WOW, I think this certainly shows that practicing sure does help. Your last feather look fabulous!

  17. your feathers looking great. Nice to see how you practiced. I need to get on to that too.

  18. woooow I really liked it thank you you inspired me.


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