Feathers, feathers and more feathers!

I've run out of practice space!    I am taking an online class with Suzanne Early on MQResource.   The class started 3 weeks ago and I have been drawing, drawing and drawing but this week was the first chance I had to load some muslin and start stitching those feathers.  Whoa, that's another beast.  Just when I thought I was making progress with my drawings, now stitching and they are a mess.  Missed backtracks, touch and goes, potato chips, hot dogs, hanging bananas and most likely a few that have never even been named.   But by the end of my small section of muslin, I felt I had made progress.  Suzanne reminds us that she has had years to perfect her work and we should not expect to be perfect in just  a few weeks.    We have 100+ in the class, some are 2nd time around and believe me those people that are posting their work from that 2nd time group are getting it.  If they needed 2 X's and a year between to get this good, then I will certainly keep on working and hope to be as good as they are 1 year from now.   I'm going to show a few pics, if you just glance at it, you think WOW that looks pretty.   But if you study it you will start to see all the missed backtracking lines, messy touch and go spines, bad feather designs.....   Mind you this is all freehand - no patterns to follow.  We just chalk out a meandering spine then the goal is to fill in all the space with feathers.   I have to add some registration marks on my curves to know where to plan on turning the direction of my feathers but that is about all you can do.  Wing it!

Here is it on the frame.

Here are some of my drawings and sketches on the white board.

This is the backside rolling up on the frame, notice it looks better cause the thread is more off white and the top thread is a darker tan.  The more closely the thread matches, the better your quilting will look when you are in the learning phase.  See that long shape at the top of the tight curve - that's one I don't have a name for.  Not quite a hot dot, not a hanging banana but certainly not a rounded top skinny bottom feather.  Those just above it are most definately potato chips!   When I first started stitching on the muslin (this example), I was stitching out my designs much larger than I had been drawing them and had to really reign myself in.  Made some little boxes and registration marks so I could stitch more like I had drawn and that did help me some.

And here are some of my helpers!

Halloween Kitty caught on the table (Kricket)

nap time in daddy's lap

The new cat tower.  That's Kricket on top, Kadie in the middle and Angie on the bottom.  Tigg does not get on it at all.