Feathers Squared

Finished Quilt Top Basted and Ready for FMQing
I am still amazed at how some free motion quilting can totally transform a quilt top!!

To the left is the finished quilt top pieced from the log cabin blocks I brought home from the UFO exchange.  Even though this was the first of my UFOs quilt tops to pieced and basted, I was unsure how best to quilt it.  So I moved onto other UFO exchange projects as I allowed my brain to percolate different FMQing motifs to bring this quilt to life.

Thanks to some purposeful procrastination, here is the transformation created through some free motion quilting...ta da!!
Feathers Squared Quilted and Bound
Practice Makes Perfect!

So while I claim to have been stumped as to how to quilt, in actuality, I knew all along I wanted to replicate the feather design from the border fabric into the quilting and was inspired by Angela Walter's plume fern/feather design for my cream center cross.  Using my handy dandy sheet of plexiglass, I did several practice doodles to work out the flow and develop muscle memory.

Close up of Center Section

But this center feather design still left me with 4 log cabin squares in need of some kind of fun free motion filler designs--and these are what really stumped my forward movement.  But I've learned to simply divide and conquer larger spaces to make it much more manageable.  So using my walking foot, I stitched an arc along each side of the log cabin blocks, creating an orange peel effect.  These arcs were echoed and then filled with loops and figure eights.  And then I just had fun creating different center designs using pebbling, McTavishing, back and forth and even a fun checkerboard.  I didn't plan out any of the designs in advance but rather just started stitching and just tried to have each block center be totally unique.   

Quilt Label and Quilt Backing Fabric
Another helpful lesson learned was the repetition of design elements throughout the quilt top.  More feathers were quilted in each of the 4 spinning borders and the chain of pearls motif stitched in the feather spines were carried into the green inner borders.  These repeat designs really helped to create a cohesive look and help the viewer's eye move around without becoming totally overwhelmed.

Once I started to divide and conquer smaller sections of the quilt top, the quilting was completed super quick.  In total, this only took a day to complete all the free motion quilting, label and binding!    

I went with the name "Feathers Squared" since feathers were incorporated in both the fabric and quilting, as well as feathers helped to frame the four log cabin squares.

And here is one more finished pic framed by our blooming yellow rose bush...
Feathers Squared Framed by Golden Roses