Saturday, April 18, 2015

Starry Night Mini Quilt (Thread Painting)

Yesterday I shared my process of how I made this quilt, today I am sharing the finished quilt!

Starry Night mini quilt, measures 8" x 9"

A few months ago I had a giveaway on Instagram (@quiltsnfeathers) where I offered to make something unique for the winner.  Bria (@thegoodsmeller) won, and told me to surprise her.  I looked through her IG photos and pinterest, both of which had pictures of the Starry Night painting as inspiration for other swaps she was in.

Starry Night painting I used for reference on color and shading.

Making this quilt was a roller coaster--some moments I would feel confident about how it was coming together and other moments I would question every part of it.  It was tricky to plan ahead each layer of thread, and keep the vision in my mind of how it would look.

Starry Night swirl detail.

In the end I was completely in love with it.  I love quilts that have so many tiny details.

Starry Night tree detail.

The binding is Kona Pepper.  The backing is a large scrap of fabric--it is black with little flecks of blue.  Next time I'll just use a solid color, because it will just get coated in thread anyway:

Starry Night quilt back (the blue specks are on the backing fabric--not from poor thread tension).

This is a very stiff quilt, and had some warping.  I tried making it a damp and then pressing with something heavy overnight, but that only helped a little.  In the end I pressed the entire quilt with a warm iron and it laid flat perfectly.

Starry Night horizon detail

This was one of the hardest quilts to let go of, but I'm glad it went to a good home!  Bria loves it!

Starry Night moon detail

I used mostly Aurifil 50wt threads and didn't have any tension issue with them.  They layer really well and have the prettiest sheen in the sunlight!  Here is a full list of the Aurifil colors I used: 2740, 4241, 2800, 6010, 5004, 2887, 2360, 5022, 2150, 1148, 1135, 2130, 2715, and 2692.

Starry Night town detail.

The only colors of Aurifil I didn't have for this quilt were the redish brown in the tree and a medium blue, so I used some C+C I had on hand (the only medium blue I had was actually a variegated, which was a problem in a few areas).  Believe me those colors are on my Aurifil list now!

Starry Night thread painted mini quilt.

If you see this and can only think of Dr Who, then go check out these quilts I made:
The Doctor's Starry Night pieced bed quilt and The Pandorica Opens quilt.

Linking up with:
Show Off Saturday

Friday, April 17, 2015

Making of a Masterpiece

Ever since I made a pieced bed quilt version of the Starry Night I have wanted to revisit it in another form.  I've also been planning to do some thread painting quilts, and those ideas came together recently to make a mini version of the Starry Night. This post is just to show you some of my process and just how much thread and layering I did.  Tomorrow I'll have the finished quilt to show you!

Beginning of thread painting the Starry Night.

A couple of months ago I saw a program by Jennifer Day on her thread painting at the New Mexico Quilter's Association meeting, and she shared just enough of her process to give me an idea of how to do my own.

Filling in the blue on the Starry Night.

I started with printing a low quality version of the Starry Night painting onto some white fabric (using freezer paper as a backing--google "how to print on fabric" to find lots of tutorials).  I should have pre-soaked the fabric in Bubble Jet Set, but forgot, and decided to do it after it was printed.  Some of the color rinsed away, but all I really wanted was a good idea of where to add thread, so the faded version was fine.

Nearly finished with the sky and hills on the Starry Night.

I then basted the quilt with a piece of heavyweight scrap I had (the plum colored fabric you see bordering the white in the photos) and a layer of batting.  I started with the outline of the major elements in the painting, and then went back in using different colors of thread to fill in.

Done with the swirls and stars on the Starry Night.

I tried to think through layers of color and light, and then layered them accordingly.  It really did feel like painting sometimes the way I tried to blend colors and add texture and flow.  I had a picture of the original up on my computer the entire time I was working on it and studied each area in detail.

Working on the tree and town on the Starry Night.

The quilt took about a week to make, and was the only project I worked on.  Tomorrow I'll have the finished quilt and a list of all the thread colors I used!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WIP Wednesday

This week I'm working on Laura's traveling quilt.  She sent three rainbow rows and requested we add more.  Every time she posts a photo of the book she is reading it almost always has a hot mug of tea or coffee next to it, so I knew that's what needed to happen. 

Beginning of Laura's traveling quilt--I'm adding the teacups.

I used this free tea and coffee cup pattern collection.  I love the accuracy and fun patterns you can get from paper piecing, but I hate the massive mess it creates:

Paper piecing area, low volumes only.  Iron just out of the photo on the left.  Larger cutting area to the right, covered it bags of scraps to use or put away.

 I tried to only have two colors of fabric out at a time, and then put them away when I thought I was done with them.  Since I was using low volume fabrics for the background, they stayed out the entire time and spread out as I searched for the right size or fabric.

My next project I decided to go a little out of my comfort zone with the colors:

Fabric pull for next project.

 Yellows and pinks, especially together, are not my regular palette, but I have a plan for them and think it will come together nicely!  Hoping to start cutting it out today or tomorrow!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

TARDIS IV Quilt

TARDIS IV quilt, measures 36.5" x 65".

Today I'm sharing my fourth finished TARDIS quilt.  I hope you guys aren't getting tired of seeing these, they are a lot of fun to work on and bring in a little money to support this hobby.  I'll keep my words brief since most of you have probably heard it all before.  There are links at the bottom of this post to my previous TARDIS quilts, which have lots more information and pictures.

TARDIS quilt custom Gallifreyan panel.

TARDIS quilt, quilting detail.

TARDIS quilt sign detail.

TARDIS quilt woodgrain panels

TARDIS quilt star border quilting detail.

And now for the back:

TARDIS IV quilt back.

TARDIS quilt back, sign quilting detail.

TARDIS quilt back detail.

TARDIS quilt back, Gallifreyan panel

TARDIS quilt back, woodgrain detail

Fabric
Quilt front is a panel from Spoonflower.
Quilt back is a blue I found at Joann's,
Binding is Kona Pepper.

Thread
Front--Aurifil #2740 (dark cobalt) and #2692 (black).
Back--Aurifil #5004 (grey smoke)

Batting
Warm and Natural

Links to my previous TARDIS Quilts:
First TARDIS quilt (with 5 Gallifreyan panels and weeping angels in the windows)
TARDIS II quilt (designed and pieced by me)
TARDIS III quilt

Quilt label from TagsToGo on Etsy.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Triangle Transparency Blog Hop

I am so excited to finally be able to share this quilt with you!  I pattern tested the Triangle Transparency pattern for Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl:

Triangle Transparency

I made this as a baby quilt for my friend Alexis, who is currently a week overdue with her second.  So when Yvonne asked if I was interested in pattern testing I decided it would be a perfect for this baby!  

Triangle Transparency quilting detail of a pebbled corner.

I really wanted my friend Alexis to love this quilt, so I took her fabric shopping--all the fabric on the front are from Joann's.  She chose all the purples and center marbled fabric, and I suggested the order, black background and teal binding (to coordinate with the teals in the marbled fabric). 

Triangle Transparency quilting detail.

The quilt top came together so fast!  I spent a total of 8 hours on the quilt top over three days.  I was done with the backing and quilting within a week of starting!  I love a fast pattern.  My hours spent making the quilt top:

Cutting: 45 minutes
Marking & pinning squares to make HST: 30 minutes
Piecing, pressing and trimming HST: 2 hours
Piecing together the blocks: 4.5 hours
Joining blocks together: 15 minutes
Total time: 8 hours

Triangle Transparency, piecing each quadrant took just over an hour, and finished at 30.5" square.

It took a while to decide on what to use on the back, but finally I decided to use this fishy panel I'd been saving for a special baby quilt:

Quilt back.--Sea Breeze panel by Amy Shaw, surrounded by Kona Cornflower.

When it came to quilting it I had a lot of issues due to the thread--I used Superior Threads So Fine in the bobbin (the only thread I had in the right color), and mostly Aurifil on the top.  But I fought with the tension constantly!  I had to rip out an entire quadrant when the tension suddenly went bad without warning and I didn't realize it for a while.

Really, really bad tension.  Cue obscenities and the seam ripper.

I'm not sure why I had so many issues with the thread, I don't remember having that many problems with Superior Threads before!  When I tried using the So Fine in the top it was impossible to get the right tension on the top and bottom, so I switched to Aurifil and just had to accept that I couldn't get it to be perfect (and believe me I looked through my Aurifil threads for a similar blue to use in the bobbin many times).

Quilting detail--poor tension, bobbin thread poking through.  Better than those terrible eyelashes on the back!

The other quilting issue I had was with the patterns I chose.  I thought large pebbles would be perfect for the medium purple, but ended up hating the process!  I don't like making regular sized pebbles (dime-sized), and it turns out I like making bigger ones even less (at least the size of a quarter).

Quilting detail, pebbled corner (prewash).

So I decided to do the pebbles on diagonal corners and then loops with hearts on the other diagonal corners.

Quilting detail, loopy corner (prewash). 

In the end I love the way the quilting worked out and think it compliments the triangle pattern really well.  It also adds a neat texture to the back!

Quilt back quilting detail.

Quilt back center detail.

I really enjoy this size of quilt, and think it will be perfect for a baby!  The quilt top finished at 60" square.  After quilting it was 58.5" square, and after the first wash it shrank to 55" square (I used Warm and Natural batting).

Triangle Transparency quilt pattern.

I think this pattern is very well written, and would be appropriate for a beginner.  As an advanced quilter I found the pattern thorough yet simple, easy to read and really enjoyable to put together.

If you're interested in getting the Triangle Transparency pattern, it is on sale this week for only $6 in Yvonne's CraftsyEtsy, and Payhip stores!


Triangle Transparency Quilt Pattern Cover

The other pattern testers made delightful versions of this quilt and are definitely worth checking out!  Here are all the stops on the Triangle Transparency blog hop:
Linking up with: