Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's a New World

Wow!  It's been an few weeks and I have lots to share.  Where to start?  First, the workshop I am teaching for my guild next month.  Several readers and members of my guild have asked to see the Freeform Feather Workshop samples.  I have also received several questions regarding the differences between cotton, wool, and silk batting.  Here are the class samples using the various type of batting that I recommend.  The photo at the top of my blog is silk dupion fabric, quilted using Tuscany wool batting and 100 weight YLI silk thread.  Below are a few more class samples.  I added captions to describe the materials I used. Notice that the feathers stitched with wool batting are the fullest with the least amount of wrinkles.  That's why wool batting is my favorite. 

Commercial cotton fabric quilted using Tuscany silk batting and YLI 100 weight silk thread.

Commercial cotton fabric quilted using Tuscany wool batting and YLI 100 weight silk thread.

  Silk dupion fabric and YLI silk thread but using Tuscany silk batting.

Silk dupion fabric and YLI silk thread but using Tuscany wool batting.

Simplest feather - Silk dupion fabric and YLI silk thread but using Tuscany wool batting.

A few Pros and Cons based on my experience:

  • Wool batting is more expensive than cotton batting.  Silk batting is even more expensive. Definite CON for wool and silk.
  • Wool batting fluffs up to fill unquilted spaces to give a trapunto effect without all the extra work of trapunto.  My favorite PRO for wool.
  • Cotton batting lays nice and flat so it's easy to mark quilting designs even after the quilt is layered.  Both silk and wool batting are too fluffy to allow you to accurately mark a layered quilt. Definite cotton PRO.
  • Wool batting can be compressed very tightly so it's very easy to roll and maneuver a full size quilt in a domestic sewing machine.  Silk batting is even easier to compress.  Silk and wool PRO.
  • Silk batting drapes like fabric.  A definite PRO for clothing and wearable art projects.
  • Cotton batting can be heavy.  Wool batting is very lightweight.  Silk batting is light as a feather.  Can be PRO or CON depending on the application.

Secondly, I would like to share that I have officially published my first applique pattern.
"Enchantment Under the Sea" is a Hawaiian-style pattern that finishes 40 inches square and features Seahorses, Dolphins, Starfish, Seaweed, and Coral.  The packet includes a full size pattern, a 6 page traditional Hawaiian hand applique instruction booklet, and a 4 page bonus booklet that explains how to convert ANY Hawaiian style applique pattern from hand applique to machine applique without using any fusible or adhesive products.

I'm also making available copies of my "Freeform Feather Workbook" that I wrote as a companion for next month's workshop.  The booklet includes basic instructions on how to draw a feather and 20 plus feather designs to fill several different shapes (circles, squares, triangles, rectangles, etc.).

The pattern and workbook are available on the shopping cart page of my new, still in progress, website; www.NewWorldQuiltCompany.com  Because I have many original designs that I hope to also make available in the near future, my husband and I decided to start this small company dedicated to publishing my quilt patterns.  Our website is still under construction.  However, at your request we rushed the shopping cart page so that it is now available to take your online order for either Enchantment Under the Sea or the Freeform Feather Workbook.

To all of you that requested these items - I hope you are not disappointed and enjoy your pattern and workbook!

Until next time...

Best stitches,
Mercy in Miami


  1. Oh my gosh you made the pattern and you're selling it, I can't stand it - I'll be buying this one soon, it has totally captured me and I MUST make it. I know I'll never be able to quilt like you, but I'm dying to make that quilt! Also, a question for you, how does wool batting wash up? I wash even my art quilts.

  2. I read on your blog that you chatted on-line with other 830 owners! can you supply me with site names please? I own a 820 and I also struggle with thread, needle and tension combinations.

  3. Congratulations on your new venture! Love the applique Under the Sea, and admire the feathers (still a little hesitant about FMQ but am trying) and now off to your new site! Sandy in MD

  4. Thanks everyone for the wonderful compliments! I really appreciate them all so much more than I can express in words. I apologize for my slow response and the time between postings. I am currently serving on Jury Duty. For some reason every time I am summoned, I am selected to serve. So along with my 9-5 job responsibilities, my family, and my quilting, I've been spending the last 5 days as a juror. Oh well, it is my civic responsibility.

    My feathers are a direct result of a few classes with Diane Gaudynski. As awesome as her work is, her greatest talent is the ability to teach others. Really and truly, FMQ results are a direct result of how much time and practice you put in and the quality and type of materials you use. Put your toe in the water! It may not be perfect but believe me each time you try it does get better and better. If you zoom in on my photos you will see the feathers are FAR from perfect - but I know each time I try they improve.

    My 830 Chat group is an Yahoo Group. Click on the 830 icon on the right hand side of my blog page and it will take you to the page to join the group. They are excellent. Post any question and lots of owners, dealers, etc. will respond with answers, info, and sometimes even links to "how to" on some topics. I find them extremely valuable.

    Thank you also for the kind words on Enchantment Under the Sea. If you are not a hand applique person or if the project is a little overwhelming to tackle by hand, I did include a 4 page booklet on how to complete this project by machine with NO ADHESIVES or FUSIBLE products.

    I think I have answered everyone's questions. Thank you again everyone for the kind words! Now I'm off to Jury Duty again!

    Best stitches,
    Mercy in hot, humid Miami

  5. Sorry I forgot one other thing...the Tuscany Hobbs wool and silk washes like a dream. I wash and block all my quilts after quilting and the feathers actually puff up a little more.
    Best Stitches!

  6. Hi Mercy

    thanks for the reply!! I do appreciate it! Going there straight away!