Pheasant Feathers

Pheasant Feathers is the most difficult quilt I made so far because it is made of Y-Seams! Many many Y-Seams! It almost became a UFO. I waited so long before marking the quilting patterns. It took me even longer to complete the markings. In the end I gave up outlining the orange peel pattern on the borders, and hence 2 of the 4 borders have twisting feathers from stencils instead. 

This one, like the others, is my original design based on classic blocks. I always draft the layout with AutoCAD first, set the size, and then decide on fabric colors/tones later, choosing and cutting as I go. It's a slow but very entertaining process, and the end result always surprises me. I enjoy revealing the uncertainties in my quiltmaking process. The scrappy look of the end product is visually stunning, too. 

Several different threads were threw into the quilting: Superior Metallic, Superior Bottom Line, Aurifil 50/2 cotton, Aurifil 40/2 cotton, Presencia 60/3 cotton, and YLI invisible nylon. The Bottom Line kept shredding... so I switched to Aurifl and Presencia. Indeed, I love cotton threads the most. It's supple, inelastic, and actually blend in quite well. (Update in June 2015: I finally realized why Bottom Line and Invisafil kept shredding! It only happened when I was using a size 70 or finner Microtex needle. The thread quilts beautifully when I switch to a size 75 quilting needle.)

The bobbin thread is 100% in Aurifil 50/2. I have no crew why but this thread controls tension perfectly. When the right upper thread tension is adjusted to the right amount, the bobbin thread never shows up on the quilt top. 

It's likely that this would be the last quilt of the year. Looking forward I want more variety and originality in my quilts. It's my quilt-related resolution for 2015.