Feathers, and pebbles, and triangles, oh my!

Hi! A few days ago, I had this quilt basted and ready to go. Since then, I’ve scoured the internet, and your comments, for new free motion quilting designs to try out. It was a real hardship to look at beautiful quilts, over and over.

Of course there was going to be a feather
Of course there was going to be a feather

Just under half of the quilt is done at this point… hopefully I can come up with enough ideas! Since learning the feather shape I pretty much want to put them everywhere, so I knew there was going to be a feather. I chose this section with the golden honeycomb batik because I thought it would show up best, and because it’s one of my favorite fabrics in the top. So much so, that after I made this top, I went back to the quilt store and bought another yard of it.  True love right there.

crop circles and feathered pebbles

I’m a big fan of using the fabric design as a guide for the quilting — no marking! On this pearl bracelet section, I did a sort of crop circle thing (not sure what it’s ‘technically’ called). In that orange section (an older Simon + Kabuki print) I did a new-to-me design. I’m not sure of the name, but I keep calling them feathered pebbles. I thought it was pretty easy, but then again, I like feathers, so doing several little ones would be fun for me. And we all know my history with pebbles.

The back of the crop circles section
The back of the crop circles section


The back of the feathered pebbles section
The back of the feathered pebbles section

I love watching how these designs show up on the back, some more prominently than others. I used to hate the idea of the thread showing up on the back. Now that I’m more confident in my quilting abilities though, I love that part. It’s kind of like a badge of honor, and way to easily show you what I’ve quilted.

puzzles, flow, woodgrain

Another new-to-me quilting design: puzzle pieces! They were super fun, even though I had to mark the top. I played it safe and marked with a chalk pencil (I don’t trust those blue ones!) It was a little painful as the chalk wore off, but since it was just a simple grid it wasn’t too bad. The yellow section was done in a sort of column of c’s method. I did them on an angle since the fabric has such a horizontal design, I didn’t want any irregularities in my squiggles to fight with the fabric. The orange up in the corner is a dense woodgrain, which is just super fun, and one of my favorites.

wavy puzzles flow

This orange section was done with a wavy cross hatch, again using the fabric as a guide. Easy, but a little tedious. It has a fabulous texture to it though.

scissor back, wavy puzzles flow woodgrain

I love seeing the different color threads on this print.  I was a little nervous using up the last of my scissors on the back of this quilt, but hey, this summer is about sewing for myself. And if I can’t use the good stuff on me, who can I use it on? It really works well with the quilt and the quilting so far, so no regrets!

metallic pea pods

I did this section in a peapod design, as taught by Christina Camelli. The metallic thread is so hard to capture! It’s a bronze color, and I used a dark brown in the bobbin. It definitely took a little finessing to get the metallic thread to play well with my machine, but it’s worth it. I have plans to use it on a few more sections of this quilt.

layered triangles

This, by far, is my favorite new-to-me technique. Leah Day calls it a pointy paisley, but I think of it as layered triangles. It is very fast (faster than a regular paisley, at least to me) and very, very forgiving. All of those lines going in different ways make your eyes bounce around, disguising any sections that aren’t quite perfect. Definitely a good technique to have in your toolbox.

Here is what the back looks like:

layered triangle back

I mentioned above that I don’t trust marking pens… I know this will have to change someday. Do you have any that you love, that work well? I know the blue ones are popular and there’s even a blue marker remover product, but I’m still hesitant. Any wisdom to share?

(Linking to Freshly Pieced and WIP Wednesday)

15 thoughts on “Feathers, and pebbles, and triangles, oh my!

  1. Looking wonderful so far! I have to admit my favorite part is the wood grain~just my preference though. How interesting the triangles are. I agree the they do appear to be more of a layered look than a paisley and yes quite confusing to the eye! I must say I do like the look of the feathered pebbles too! All in all wonderful as usual my dear.

  2. I love the texture you are getting from all the quilting! The feathered pebbles might be my favorite, but they all look great. I do use the blue Dritz Mark-B-Gone marker on occasion. I have had no issues getting the marks to go away; sometimes it takes a second dose of spit, I mean water, to fully get them removed, but when I wash a quilt I have never had any issues. It’s when you plan to leave it unwashed that it takes a bit of time and patience to remove the marks (in my experience).

  3. Yay Sarah! These all look so good! I am loyal to my Hera marker… There’s no ink being added, but marks take a little while to disappear and aren’t super obvious.

  4. This quilt is a smorgasbord of textures and I love it! I want to beg for more pictures because your quilting looks so great and I want to see it all 🙂

  5. I think the quilting is fabulous – those feathered pebbles are wonderful, and I always love a good crosshatch! 🙂 I’ve had some issues with markers, so I tend to stick with chalk but it can be a pain. If I’m quilting a top for myself I will use a Frixion pen but only on a small area at a time. I love them, just don’t trust them.

  6. Love the variety! Crop circles, logs, it’s all good! 🙂 I don’t trust marking pens either. The silver quilter’s pencils seem okay but I tend to use them sparingly so I can’t speak to heavy usage. All the pens freak me out. Hera for straight lines. The best part of this quilting for me (other than it looks cool) is that it feels like you’re having fun!!

  7. I’ve never had a problem with the blue markers, so I still use them. But then I made that ABQMQG banner that is nearly all white and wanted to mark it up, but not wash it afterwards…so I finally bought some Blue Line Eraser (.com I got the all in pack to try their pens too), and am a total convert now! I love the refillable pen and the fine tip marker. Your quilting look awesome, I love the variety of patterns you’re using!

  8. Your quilting is absolutely awesome! I can’t even pick a favorite – although those crop circles are really fabulous. . . and the feathered pebbles – drool!!

    I have been very slow to jump on the marking wagon. . . for that exact reason – I do not trust the pens. I have used the blue Mark B Gone and I do have the product Renee mentioned. Both work well. I have found lately however that the purple air erasable markers are my go to marking pen – they do disappear and you don’t have to do anything to make them go away. The time it takes for them to go away can vary – couple hours to a day – test it as it will depend on humidity/temperature and who knows what else 😉 I marked a bunch one night and got up the next morning and it was GONE. . . I use them when I am marking as I go. I also have just recently started using chalk – not sure yet. . . but I also have used the ceramic lead pencils – LOVE. Bohn and Sewline both make one. All you need is a mechanical pencil and just by the refills for either the Bohn or the Sewline – it works 🙂

  9. Love the crop circles in pearl bracelets. And thanks for reminding me of the jigsaw pieces. I am about to start quilting three baby quilts and I almost forgot I planned to pinch your idea for one of them.

  10. The pointed paisley and the wavy cross hatch are certainly my favorites of this bunch too. I’m struggling to motivate with the quilting I’m doing right now. I’m so much more of a piecer than a quilter but there’s only so much a girl can do with a million un-quilted tops!

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