Finally! I have been practicing and practicing...and then going back and practicing some more...eep! I made curly feathers that don't look like crazy alien antennas! :)
Yesterday I popped over to SewCal Gal's blog to study her tutorial written by Diane Gaudynski. I REALLY tried her method of feathers where instead of backtracking you echo back up the feather - I JUST CANNOT GET my hands to DO IT! I am going to practice her method again because I really love how there isn't an accumulation of thread in the spine and the bumps of the feathers...but I'm really a backtracking girl. It's in my bones. I must backtrack. BACKTRACK!!! My feathers look CRAZY when I don't backtrack.
These are much better - I'm so happy!! Now I just really need to play and plan ahead a bit better. I'm also getting really sick of stippling and echoing as a filler/background design.
I used Superior's So Fine in the top and bobbin here and thin quilter's fleece poly batting. I had a bad experience with the first run I had with this thread - but I wasn't using it appropriately. The design I had quilted with it was more for a heavier cotton thread - this is MUCH better. I'm going to compare it next to the silk and see how backtracking looks - but I gotta tell you this thread is FANTASTIC for feathers. I'm sold Superior!!