Monday, June 9, 2008

Feather Quilting Design Class

Do you like to quilt feathers? You know, those luscious twisting and winding designs on wonderful old quilts. Do you? I like them very much, but I must confess, I don't care for the quilts that have been machine quilted so closely with feathers and other such designs that they have become stiff. Enter, my friend - Judy Rush - a great longarm machine quilter, determined to show me new methods, and actually, soft quilts!

Judy, who does a fine job of longarm machine quilting and designing, invited me to attend a class she was giving at her house last Saturday, June 7th. Now, normally, I would have said thanks, but no thanks, as everyone here knows that I am not a machine sewer...however, Judy assured me that this would be a design class only. with no sewing, and it would be a fun day. Since I have been kind of cooped up lately and no one here speaks the same quilting language I do....I thought it might be a great day to go for a drive and visit Judy and the others in the class. She lives in North Little Rock and it takes me about 40 minutes to get to her house from here, so it would be a nice drive, I'd have some nice conversations with quilters, then another nice drive home, making a good day out for me. Away I went.

She was was fun! There were ten of us, counting Judy. Sitting around her dining room table was cozy and we enjoyed each other's company. Along with Judy, I got to visit with Georgia, Charlotte, Toni, Sharon, Geannine, Wilma, Ann and another Judy.

Judy had an easel set up with a dry erase board upon which she drew feather designs in all kinds of configurations, from simple to intricate, large and small, straight and curvy, round, square and every other shape. We all decided it would be fun to keep a sketch book in which to "doodle" these designs at odd times such as waiting in the doctor's office, while watching tv, while on the phone, waiting in line, waiting in traffic......well, maybe those two - not so much, but you get the idea.

As it turns out, last night I spent most of the night at the hospital emergency room. My mother-in-law was taken there at
1:30 a.m. from the nursing home, so my father-in-law, husband and I waited. Wouldn't you know that I had a small sketch book in my tote bag. A life saver. The men slept. I doodled feather designs. And, it IS a good thing to do while waiting in certain places, but much more fun to do with like-minded people at a friend's house!!!

Hopefully, in these photos, you can see the designs that were being drawn during the class. There are Judy's on the easel, and two of the photos show the hands of Toni and Sharon drawing their great feather designs. I took photos of everyone and some of Judy's work, too, but the light was too low to provide me with adequate photos for this post. I chose the best ones and hope they are good enough for you to see what we were doing. I also included one photo of Judy's machine's just great! I must say this - She has been using wool batting and wonder of wonders, the quilts don't feel stiff....they feel like antique quilts and nothing beats that feeling!! (To see more of Judy's work, go to my 'favorite shops' list on the right side bar of this blog, click, and you'll be taken to her website! Or, go to

As a hand-quilter, I managed just fine amongst all the machine quilters and because they are very nice people...they didn't give me too hard a time about was a great day! And, Judy, my friend, you did a fine job...thanks for the invitation. Drawing feathers and getting a therapy session all at the same couldn't have been a nicer day! Pat


Sharon said...

I have been here catching up on what you have been doing. What a fun day you must have had. I have never quilted the feather stitch but it is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I am a beginning quilter and not so adventuresome as to try feathers, but the top stiching phot was simply gorgeous! I hope your mother in law recovers quickly!

Ivory Spring said...

Hi Pat,

Thanks bunches for stopping by my blog and saying hi! I am in Northwest Arkansas area.

I love feather-quilting. That's one of the reasons I picked up quilting.... :)

Ivory Spring said...

Hi Pat,

It was THAT obvious that I like feathers? ;)

Have a great day!

Geannine said...

Pat-Congrads on the honorable mention for your 2008 entry into PieceWork Magazine's Excellence in Needle Arts Awards—Pincushion! For those who haven't seen it; the entry is called "Sweet Home" and is on page 7 of the link. Check it out at
Great work Pat - your work is just beautiful!

A Bit of Heaven

A Bit of Heaven
An original designed wall quilt with my vision of heaven on earth.