Saturday, January 9, 2010

The First Week of the Rest of My Life

I love the opportunity for new beginnings. Sundays are my all time favorite day of the week because that is my time for refreshing and worship. I count Mondays as good too because even though technically they are the second day of the week I think of them as the first day of my work week and I'm always eager to see where the week will lead me. The first of a month is fun because I get to turn to a new page on my calendar, there's a whole clean slate and days waiting to be filled - an opportunity to write my own history. New years are the epitome of newness. All of these are opportunities to start over, to put off the past both the joys and the failures, and to look with anticipation of the new day/week/month/year. The first day of the rest of my life awaits me fresh each morning. A day full of choices. My goal is to chose JOY!

I also like starting a new quilt. And what fun when I can start a new one on Monday and watch it's progress during the week. It amazes me how a pieced top can change so much while it's on the quilt frame. Little by little, row by row, stitches are added in an effort to complete the quilt. The hard part is being patient - I want to see how it's going to turn out! But that takes diligence, focus, and just plain hard work to put all those stitches in so I can "visualize" the finished quilt. (Sad thing, unless I'm doing the binding I really don't get to see the final quilt, as the binding adds another finishing design element to the quilt, but that's another rambler story!)

It's a new year and I'm ready for new things. Can't imagine what the future holds, but I know Who holds my future! It's a trust thing for me. Faith.

I also like new design elements and fresh ideas for my quilting. It's good to review things of the past and then see how to improve upon them, to grow with my passion. That happened this week with a new little design I like to call "Feather Puffs"

The design is a spin off of one of Irena Bluhm's designs. I have to admit, it's also a spin off from a scene in the movie Avatar. A small disclaimer here, while I enjoyed the movie for it's creativity and special effects I didn't like all the hidden messages including the pantheism - that of nature and God being equivalent. Tree hugger I'm not. But! With discernment I really enjoyed the visual sites in this movie including a beautiful seed pod that floated through the air, pretty much like blowing of a dandelion seed pod as a child and watching it take flight, with the added grace of jellyfish/sea anomee like movements.

It was with these thoughts that I decided to play around with adding "feather puffs" on the quilt gracing my frame this week. The one above became the design element in the chain blocks and little minature 'puffs' were sprinkled in along the border. The movement in these elements was very joyful and freeing this week. I was quilting in my element and enjoying the process.

I also wanted to take some photos of how I do feathers. The other day I mentioned in My Garden Grows Feathers how much I enjoy feathers and have worked really hard to learn many different types. So here's a little taste of how a formal feather plume grows under my hand guided longarm.

Basic stitched stem/vine/spine

I start in the middle and work my way towards the curl.
These are formal feathers sometimes called over the top
or hump and bump because every other one has
to be back tracked over the hump to form the following plume.

I like to work both sides of the stem instead of going down one side
and then back up the other. I think it's faster and funner (grin)

Once I've reached the curl I retrace or back track over the spine back
to the center and do the other side

Once the feather design element is complete I then add background filler
so it's not just floating out there (grin)

This is the completed quilt.

and close ups

The customer picked up her quilt today and expressed her pleasure, which of course completed my pleasure. Happy ending (grin). Actually, it's just the beginning for this quilt, it now needs to be bound and prepared to hang in a local quilt show next month, which I hope to attend!

So going back to the thought of improving with time...what do you think? Here's my feather of 2010 and..

here's my feathers of 2006 from a quilt called Purple Passions Unleashed

I'd like to think that I've improved with age (big grin)
and the best is yet to be!
After all, it's the first day of the rest of my life!


Busty LaRue said...

Your feathers are spectacular!

Mrs. Sew and Sew - Karen said...

Oh, beautiful feathers! Love it! ~Blessings, Karen

SueFors said...

Great tutorial, Karen. I always love to see your quilting up close. You inspire me!

dee hill said...

Gosh Karen that is soooo Beutiful.. The Ladie's Quilt with your Quilting Will Have to Win 2 Ribbons.. Can't wait till the Show.. You will Need to Email Everyone sooo WE can go and See the quilt in Person..

Trudi said...

Stunning quilt made more beautiful with your quilting! Tthe feathers are truely beautiful! Thanks for sharing the 'how to' :)

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Beautiful feathers! I love your idea of using the puff design from Avatar as a quilt motif.

Joyce said...

Great stitching. What thread were you using? It seems to have a sheen to it.

Ginny said...

you truly are an inspiration. I have love your work. Beautiful, just Beautiful!

Karen E. Overton said...

Thank you everyone that takes time from your busy life to read the ramblings of mine - YOU are truly the blessing! As I've said, a rambler needs and audience and I am soooooo thankful to have you.

A question concerning the thread...I use poly, brands vary from Isacord, Fil-Tech's Glide, ARC (which is not available anymore) and Superior. I love the thinner thread and the way it reflects the fabric. It's my thread of choice, poly over cotton 90% of the time. Thanks for asking!

fancystitching said...

Hey KO! BEAUTIFUL feathers!! Are you talking about the Beaumont show? If so... I'm planning on going, too. A customer has entered a quilt I did for her in it, and I can't wait to see the wonderful things she says will be there. Hope to see you there!

Anonymous said...

Your quilting is simply fantastic!

Carmi said...

What a beautiful quilt. I love your quilting. I've been practicing feathers and can't wait to try them.