Saturday, August 24, 2013

Feather Wreath

Since I'm on a teaching frame of mind, I thought I'd share with you how I accomplished the feather wreath on Paula Ulrey's beautiful Tavern quilt.

I love to put feather wreaths inside blocks like this.  The many small pieces to this block would make it much more time consuming to quilt each little piece with a continuous curve or stitch in the ditch. Also, treating each little star inside this block would disconnect the block (breaking it down into four pieces) and I want the viewer to see the entire block, not just the four components that make up this beautiful block.  I love how the wreath brings the whole block together and gives it some movement. 

A pet peeve of mine is to leave any part of a block unquilted.  My rule is to make sure that I do not have any open area without quilting larger than my palm.  I'm a stickler for balanced quilting and the circle wreath is a good example of the balance.  You may have seen some circle wreaths where the inside circle has no quilting in it.  I don't like the puffy look of that unquilted center. Also, that area will wear differently than if it were quilted.  In time, the batting may pull apart and end up in a lumpy mess.  We can't have that now can we?  So, I placed an inner circle and a diamond inside the center of my wreath.  I could have also stretch my feathers to touch in the center, but I really do not like the way this looks as I can't seem to make my feathers look even and balanced when I do this.  So, the diamond inside was a perfect solution for me.

Here is how I accomplished the circle wreath.  All of the templates used in this project are from The Gadget Girls.

My first step was to stitch around a 3" circle template.

Next, using a 2-1/2 inch circle template I stitched around the circle from point to point of the squares in the block, making the diamond shape.  Tip:  Start your outter circle in a spot where you can then do the point to point diamond without starting and stopping your thread.

Using a 7" circle template, I then stitched an outside circle around the block.

I then stitched the feathers around the outside of the circle I had just stitched.  Without picking up my thread, I stitched the inside feathers of the wreath.  Viola, circle wreath finished and sitting beautifully inside the block.

Now to stitch the sashing diamonds. With my Erasable Marvy Fabric Marker, I marked the center of the sashing.

With the 7" circle template I placed the curve where my stitch will go from the corner stone to the center marking.  This ended up on a dashed line on the template which made it easier to place the template for each curve I made in the sashings.  I used a small continuous curve in the corner stones to help me travel across the quilt without stopping and starting my thread.

I then traveled back across the quilt with the 7" circle template on the other side of the sashing. I love the effect this curve creates in the sashing, like a neat little bow tie.

 And there you have it.  Pretty circle wreath with a diamond. 

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