As the quilt was nearing the finish line, one of the final touches was hand quilting the feathers. I had long wanted to give hand quilting a try, and this was my chance to dip my toe in the water. First, I marked the feather stencil (purchased from local Mennonites), with a water soluble marking pen. For three of the feather circles, I used Valdani variegated perle cotton, size 12 (detail photo), and for the large feather circle, DMC metallic copper floss. Quilting through two layers of wool batting was a dream, and the loft was just right to show off the hand work.
The final element of this quilt's story is an ugly duckling/swan hand embroidered on the main panel. A small piece of my eco-dyed silk was used to accent the swan's head. When I was working on this part of the story, I was thinking of one of my idols, Hans Christian Andersen. If you haven't read his tale, The Ugly Duckling, give it a go this weekend. It's a good one at any age.
plucked from one's natural habitat
pinned into position with an exacting hand
stored in the deep shadows of a drawer
examined at will
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