Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vermont Quilt Festival, Part 2

Last week I had a great visit to the Vermont Quilt Festival!  See this post for some awesome quilty eye candy of some of the exhibited quilts that caught my eye.

A highlight for me was the class on "Fancy Free Motion Feathers" with instructor Sue Nickels.

I had a big surprise just walking into the classroom.  I knew that the local Bernina dealer was supplying machines for this class, which was great, since I wouldn't have to bring a machine with me all the way from Florida.

I was expecting one of their "entry level" machines

BERNINA 215 Like maybe this "2 series" machine.










I WAS WRONG

How about this one, instead:


This 750 Series Quilters Edition was all set up and waiting for me, along with about 20 others for the whole class!  Wow!  What fun to have a new state of the art machine for the day!  And there were no worries about using an unfamiliar machine:  a Bernina tech was there to thread the machine, insert bobbins, and do whatever else anyone needed.  So all I had to do was step on the pedal and enjoy the ride.



The class instructor, Sue Nickels, is the author of this book, "Fabulous Feathers and Fillers", and the class was based on the techniques in the book.










Purchasing the book wasn't required for the class-- there were plenty of handouts.  But I couldn't resist getting an autographed copy!










 The day began with a lengthy discussion of all of the elements that go into a quilt-- needle size, batting, tension, and thread.  The sample pictured above was one of the many small sample quilts that were passed around the room.  It's about 16" square, and it demonstrates how different weights of thread changes the appearance of the quilting. There were also other samples demonstrating different types of batting.

Even her little sample quilts were really beautiful!














Then it was time for the students to learn how to trace the patterns onto our own sample pieces, and stitch them out.

My first fancy feathers!  There are the feathers themselves, plus a little echo quilting around them, and small stippling to fill in the blank spots.





I messed around a little on my own during a break, and did some teardrop shapes, and TRIED to get a really small stipple.

The feathers were not very difficult but getting the stippling really small is going to take some practice.  If everything is done correctly, the feathers really "pop" visually, and almost look stuffed, like trapunto.









Like this.








A few more class samples.












Big thanks to Sue Nickels for a wonderful day of instruction and inspiration!





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