Feathered Fleece throw (throw away is what I wanted to do!)

We were given an optional project to stitch out a meandering feather over fleece to make a lap quilt/throw.   The fleece is supposed to be forgiving, letting any messy stitches melt away leaving just the dimension to hightlight your quilting design.    I loved the teachers example and could not wait to get started on mine.  The plan was if this one worked out well, it was going to be a gift for DGD#1 and then I would make a 2nd in a different color for DGD#2.    I purchased a wonderful deep, dark purple called Blackberry.   Hubby planned on taking the kids off for a fossil dig and leaving me with an afternoon free to quilt.   They were out the door @ 11:30 and my fleece was already loaded on the frame the day before.  I was ready to QUILT!

Gosh did I find out I was NOT ready.   I found this fantastic thread that was a perfect match, thinner weight which is what you want on a regular quilt for doing things like feathers (you stitch over some lines several times so the thinner the thread, the less noticeable the thread build up).  I could not see where I had stitched!  I brought in additional lights, played with the light option settings on my HQ Fusion.  I even have a blacklight on my machine - fantastic lighting.  But nothing helped me to see immediately around my stitching area.   I stitched out about a 12" square area before I decided I could not continue in that manner.   I was just sick over having spent time shopping for the fabrics and thread, having a day to work on this and then everything going wrong and not knowing what to do about it.  Here is a pic of what I was seeing.  The camera actually picks up MORE detail than what I could see with my eye!

The areas in front of, to the right and left of the needle have been stitched.  You can't see it can you?
I was having to stitch a feather, hope I did not overshoot or undershoot the lines, run my fingers around and try to find the next place to match up and repeat.   Insane!

I could not think of anything else to do, posted a message on the classroom discusion but forgot they are all students too - no suggestions.  I started playing with thicker thread and higher contrast thread.   Finaly found one that I could see the definition!   A bright turqoise.  Meanwhile my first workable area had the feather spine stitched out in 3 different threads and was getting a heavy build up.   I also tried to re-trace the 1st feathers with the turqoise but missed miserably but needed to get that hint of turqoise running through them.    Finally, I'm off and running stitching out feathers.  The feathers themselves mostly had the turqoise thread sinking into the fibers but because the spine gets stitched over so many times, the turqoise shows boldly there.   I am very dissapointed in my project and it certainly will not be a gift.  But the flipside - it feels sooooo good.  I told the family we will be fighting over who gets the fleecy throw.  Brandon said there will not be fighting over it because it is HIS.   We shall see.... wish you could feel it!

Finished with fringe.  Quilt inspector checking out the stitches.

This pic is more true to color, changed the lighting in the room and closed the shades however the stitches are showing purple in this pic and they most definately are turqoise.

fleece color wrong but the thread is showing and you can see the fringe I cut

Detail in brighter light to capture the contrast.

Kricket, our new Quilt Inspector.

Will I do another one?   I don't know - I sure like the way they feel!   I just may have to try this one again.....

Edited to add that our teacher has now included info on her instructions to use LIGHT fabrics and that the darks are not only hard to see while quilting but to photograph the detail....


Laura said…
It turned out great! I bet the cats get it, not one of the humans in the house!!
Valerie said…
Thank you Laura! I believe you are right about the kitties getting dibs on it.....I found Kricket on it 2X's today.