Friday, June 28, 2013

014 - Aunt Betty's (Feathered) Star

14 - Aunt Betty's (Feathered) Star

14 - Aunt Betty's (Feathered) Star


I recently won a copy of A Flock of Feathered Stars–the timing felt like a bit of synchronicity.  This quilt block, which is number 7 in the book, is Aunt Betty's Star.

While not microscopic–the author's suggestion for day 14–this block is quite small.  Here it is on the design wall with some of my other feathers to give you an idea of the scale of things.

Feathers on the Design Wall


The patterns in the book are made using paper foundation piecing. 19 individual units are first pieced and then puzzled together to form the 12 inch block.  The foundation piecing technique helps the quilter maintain all the points on those triangular "feathers" in the block.

The book contains foundation patterns for sixteen 12-inch blocks and one 24-inch block.  I will likely be making more of these as part of this #365 project as well.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

013 - Pen and Ink Feather on a Tea Bag

013 Pen and Ink Feather on a Tea Bag


The author's suggestion for today is:
Use tea leaves or tea bags (used or unused) or even just liquid tea (in a cup or not) to create something today. 


A pen and ink drawing on a dry, used tea bag (Good Earth original flavor tea).  In the future this may become an element in an art quilt.

Factoid: tea bags are made from abaca fiber–a plant fiber that comes from a plant related to the banana that is also sometimes used to make faux panama straw hats.  They are sometimes labelled as Toyo  ... you'll know if you are wearing an abaca-based toyo straw hat if you are ever caught in the rain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

012 - The Eagle Feathers (Knit) Scarf

012 - Eagle Feathers (knit) Scarf
(Can you see the feather lace pattern?)


I knew I wanted to try knitting a "feather" lace pattern.  Until I was blocking the finished knit today, I didn't realize how the variations in color worked against the lace pattern and worked to camouflage the pattern.  Camouflage is today's suggestion in the book. 


I found The Eagle Feathers Scarf on Ravelry–link takes you to the directions. It is approximately 8 inches wide and 8 feet long, knit from Caron Simply Soft, an inexpensive acrylic yarn that I probably wouldn't use again ...  Here's the entire scarf, being blocked on the floor.  I'll add better photos when it's dry. 

Eagle Feather Scarf - Blocking


Here are photos taken after the scarf was blocked.

Detail from Eagle Feathers Scarf    012 - Eagle Feathers Scarf

012 - Eagle Feathers Scarf

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

011 - Watercolor with My Non-Dominant Hand

011 Watercolor Feather


Combining the authors suggestions for yesterday (water) and today (use your non-dominant hand).


The model and the watercolorI love water color, own a set of water colors, but have never learned how.

Using my non-dominant hand gave me a permission to try, knowing the result wasn't going to be great ... and it wasn't.  But it was an effort and is today's feather.

Life and some other commitments have resulted in a stressful me.  My feather efforts may continue to be small until I'm "over the hump."

Monday, June 24, 2013

010 - Feather Doodle


A number of friends have said that they couldn't make something every day, to which I have responded that it's likely that some days, I might be creating just a doodle. This was one of those days.


Drawn in ArtStudio app on my iPad.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

009 - Thread-Painted Feather

Thread-Painted Feather


The author's suggestion for yesterday (day 8) is to transform an old book. It inspired me, instead, to transform an old shirt with an embroidered logo for an old employer.


Stitching the feather to the shirtThis is my first effort at thread painting.

I used a sharpie to draw the feather outline onto a stabilizer which will dissolve in water.  I stitched the feather with cotton thread in two shades of gray and black.

Then I trimmed away the stabilizer and sewed the feather to the shirt, adding more stitching to ensure I had completely covered the logo.

Shirt with Feather

Saturday, June 22, 2013

008 - Judy's Bird Quilt Block

007 - Bird in Flight Quilt Block


Curves in Motion - Judy DalesI recently won a copy of Judy Dale's book, Curves in Motion in a blog giveaway–thanks again, Angie!

Until I was flipping through my prize, I had forgotten about the classic block, The Bird, which served as the class project in the workshops she taught on her technique. What a lovely bit of synchronicity.

As soon as I saw Judy's bird, I knew I would be attempting to make one of these feathered beauties for my 365-Feathers project.


The pieced block measures 8 by 14 inches.

Under ConstructionAfter enlarging the pattern, I used freezer paper to transfer the pieces of Judy's pattern to quilting cottons.

I struggled with the curves and will likely make another bird to see if I can improve my technique.

Below you can see the author's perfect bird and my first attempt.

The Bird in the book and my effort

Friday, June 21, 2013

007 - Stenciled Feather

007 - Stenciled Feather

Textile paint on silk noil fabric.


For Day 7, the suggestion in the book is to make a stencil and use it in your work. Here's the freezer paper stencil I made.

Freezer Paper Stencil


Textile Paint AppliedThe stenciled feather measures approximately 8 by 24 inches.

I cleaned up and resized a feather image on the computer, printed it across three sheets or letter-sized paper and used the enlarged print as a pattern for a freezer paper stencil.

I ironed the stencil to some silk noil fabric I found in my stash–I confess I was looking for some white cotton canvas, but when I found this, I changed my mind.

I painted the fabric with Jacquard textile color.

Detail of 007 - Stenciled FeatherI wasn't sure how well the stencil technique would work on the rough woven fabric.

I'm really pleased with the result.

I had hoped to re-use the stencil on some cotton for use in a quilt, but it didn't come off the silk in one piece.  If I decide I like it enough to cut another one, I'll be back with another stenciled feather.

When the paint has completely dried and cured, this fabric will become a pillow cover for a 10 by 28 inch sofa pillow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

006 - Knitted Feather

The back-up knitted feather


The suggestion from the book for Day 6 is:
Look in the kitchen and work with the first fruit or vegetable you spot.  It coul dbe in the form of juice, jam, or even canned.
For some reason, fruit or vegetable registered as food and I immediately thought of my first-thing in the morning, coffee, and immediately knew I wanted to try some latté art to produce something like the image on the left ... unfortunately I failed miserably (my effort on the right.) Perhaps with more research and daily practice, I can perfect the feathery rosette.

  The goal - feathery latté art  My result - not very artful

Another daily suggestion that had grabbed my eye when I flipped through the book before beginning this adventure was Day 40:
What can you do with yarn? You don't have to know how to knit or crochet; you can try yarn painting or just experiment.  
Since I do know how to knit, last night I knitted the feather shown with my failed latté art and again, below.


When I did a search for feather on Ravelry, I imagined I would find projects using feather stitches in lace patterns like the Feather and Fan.  But what popped to the top of the search results was Heather Buelow's knitted Feather pattern.

Honestly, how could I resist?   This one measures 2 1/2 by 9 1/2 inches and is knitted from worsted weight cotton yarns from my stash.

005 - knitted feather

Any suggestions on what one does with a knitted feather like this would be appreciated.  Made in a thinner yarn, I think it could be curled around a wrist for a fiber-y, feather-y cuff.  Made wider, it could become a long coaster (for a pair of drinks?) Stuffed with cat-nip, the cats would love it ... and likely destroy it in minutes.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

005 - Second Feathered Star Quilt Block

005 - Another Feathered Star


I knew I would make at least one more feathered star quilt block ... I just didn't know that I would be motivated to do so right away.  The prompt for Day 5 is to use some thing you collect ... and like many quilters, the largest collection (by far) at my house is my fabric stash.


This feathered star is made from the same pattern as that described in day 2. I was curious to find out if the second (and subsequent blocks would go faster and be better.  For this one, I also re-organized my process into 4 discrete tasks, so that I could work on it in smaller chunks of time

  1. Select and cut fabrics
  2. Sew the triangle squares
  3. Sew the strips of feathers (triangle squares plus extra background triangles and diamond points)
  4. Sew the 9 sections (adding feathers to background pieces)
  5. Assemble the block.
Here's how it looked after step 2.  I also decided to add up the number of pieces in an individual block–there are 161, 132 of which make up the feathered points which give this style block it's name.

151 Pieces make a Feathered Star

Look closely at the block and you'll see that while I have improved a little, I could use more practice ... expect to see at least a couple more feathered star blocks from me. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

004 - Cat's Toy (Sketch)

0004 - Cat's Feather Toy


The Day 2 prompt from Noah Scalin's book suggests using your pet as inspiration.  

Grace cat naps while I sketch
Two days ago, I was so  eager to attempt the feathered star quilt block that it became my project du jour, but I wanted to revisit this idea because, as it turns out most of the feathers in my house are attached to cat toys–well used and often bedraggled like these. 


I created this pencil sketch on the ArtStudio app for iPad.

Grace Hopper, the cat, kept me company while I sketched the feathers hanging beneath her.

Monday, June 17, 2013

003 - Avocado Bird with Arugula Feathered Wings

003 - Arugula as Wing Feathers

I bought the arugula from the Farmer's market yesterday.  The grower told me that this was the last week for arugula because of some kind of beetles.  Don't look too close or you can see the evidence in those leaves.


Trader Joe's Wild Arugula BagWhen I saw the arugula leaves on this bag of Trade Joe's Wild Arugula, I saw feathers and wondered how I could create wings from them.  (I inserted a sheet of white paper in the empty bag to scan it.)

A few days later, when slicing an avocado in half, I saw a bird body.  My edible salad project idea was born.

The 365 book also suggest this for day 302:
Work only with, or inspired by, boxes or bags from packaged food products today.

And this, for day 62:
Make something with your dinner before you eat it
I am clearly following my own path, but will reference the book when I notice we both had the same ideas.


After arranging the arugula wings, I added half an avocado for the bird body, almond slices for body feathers, a carrot slice for a beak, some flax seeds for his beady eyes and, because at this point, I was thinking this could be a tasty lunch, a nest of halved cherry tomatoes.

 Bonus!  Add a glass of chardonnay, some vinaigrette and a lot more of the arugula and ... it was lunch.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

002 - Feathered Star Quilt Block

002 Feathered Star Quilt Block


When I started thinking about feathers, I wondered if I could make a series of feathered star quilt blocks or if they were too time consuming for a daily project ... and so I had to try at least one. It might become the first in a series ... or languish with the other orphan blocks in my studio.


This block measures 19 inches square (including seam allowance). I used Marsha McCloskey's pattern, Feathered Star I, from her book, Feather Star Quilt Blocks I: Really Hard Blocks That Take a Long Time to Make. It's really one of the easiest of the really hard blocks ... but it did take a while to make all those little (1 inch) triangles.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

001 - Pink Feather Pincushion

001 Pink Feather Pincusion

Small enough to hold in your hand


For Day 1, Noah Scalin suggests:
The first step is the hardest, so start small and make something that fits in the palm of your hand using only materials in your immediate environment.
I won't always be following the ideas in the book ... I confess that I already had such a growing list of ideas of my own bouncing around in my head that I finally wrote them down.  But I liked the idea of, at least, starting in sync with many others who have taken this adventure before me and so made my pincushion small enough to fit in the palm of my hand.
In Action


The pincushion is about the size of a business card. It measures 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. It's made from quilting cottons and filled with poly fiberfill. It has a plaid piped edge.

The feather is raw edge appliqué, or as someone I used to know calls is, fused and tattooed.

Happy coincidence!  I had completely forgotten that there is a feather charm at the end of the scissors fob until I was taking this photo of the pincushion in action this morning.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tomorrow It Begins

When Glen posted about Noah Scalin's book,  365: A Daily Creativity Journal: Make Something Every Day and Change Your Life! and her intention to begin a 365 project with a few friends, I thought it would be interesting to follow along ...

Before I knew it, a theme idea popped into my head and persisted in my imagination and I was already making my own list of things I could make with a feather theme.

As a quilt maker, the term "feather" is meaningful in a few ways and you can expect to see quilt blocks and quilting designs.

Feathers are also a familiar design for knitters.

Unfortunately, quilted and knitted projects generally take more than a day, so you can expect to see series of quilt blocks or quilting designs which are part or will be part of a larger project ... and knitted samples, AKA gauge swatches, which are precursors to much more time-consuming projects.   If all goes well, I'll circle back and show you what each of those efforts become.

Along the way, I hope to play with other media, too and just have fun playing with feathers as a design idea, as tools, and as the medium.   I also plan to connect with and follow other 365 creatives. 

Setting things up for a new adventure

Follow my blog with Bloglovin