Monday, June 19, 2017

Out of the Woods (Meadow Quilt) progress

Last year I took Lizzy House's Meadow Quilt class, but had so many issues with the templates she gave out in the class and her instructions that I deconstructed the template and made a bunch of changes so the block would sew together smoother and lay flat (click here to see the tutorial I wrote up).

Out of the Woods (Meadow Quilt): block corners all cut out.

It was really frustrating, so I only worked on the quilt in small bursts.  This week I felt like doing some piecing (especially after that big whole cloth I just finished!) and got out this quilt again since it was already cut and ready.  I was mostly please with how the blocks sewed up, but there were quite a few (out of 20) that still came out wonky and a little wavy (though significantly less so than with the original template Lizzy gave out!).  This one wasn't 12.5" square, and had a few small waves:

Out of the Woods (Meadow Quilt): problem block.

I took it back to my ironing board, re-sprayed it with starch and pressed it while gently pulling it slightly into the right shape.  Not an ideal solution, but it worked well enough that I could trim it to 12.5" square:

Out of the Woods (Meadow Quilt): re-pressed and trimmed block

Piecing all 20 blocks took only one day of work!  Today I worked on making border blocks, and now I'm ready to sew it all together:

Out of the Woods (Meadow Quilt): quilt block layout. Should finish at 72x84".

This quilt is being worked on by shear stubbornness and determination to actually finish it.  The colors, mixed low volume and quilt pattern aren't at all my style.  I'm trying embrace it and enjoy the process though.  Plus I'm using up a decent amount of my stash fabrics!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wings Alight Finished Quilt!

Wings Alight Quilt: Finally finished!  70 hours of work spent on this quilt.

You can see my previous blog post about this quilt HERE, it summarizes the process in making it!  Today's blog post is mostly photos of the finished quilt, but you can see all blog posts related to this quilt by clicking: Wings Alight Wholecloth.  

Since I love before and after photo, here is the Michael Miller Luxe in Charcoal quilt top:


Wings Alight Quilt: posing with my quilted wings!

Aurifil Threads generously sponsored the threads for this quilt, and boy did I go to town with them!  I used 32 very full bobbins!  I used all 50wt in the bobbin and background, but the wings are outlined in a 28wt and filled with 40wt.

Wings Alight Quilt: the quilting alone took 56 hours on my domestic machine!

The idea for this quilt was originally inspired by this interview with street artist/muralist Kelsey Montague (IG: kelseymontagueart).  I contacted her for permission to use her artwork as inspiration for this quilt since I intend to show it, however the wing outline and filler patterns are my own (or inspired by FMQ designs I've seen around the internet or suggested by friends!).

Wings Alight Quilt: center mandala, a suggestion by my friend Sara!  Can't imagine the quilt without it now.

Since my last blog post I was able to block and trim the quilt.  It now measures 93"wide x 88" tall.  Here it is laid out on my queen bed:

Wings Alight Quilt: resting on a queen sized bed!

I love how the wings wrap over the edge the bed!

Wings Alight Quilt on my bed.

This quilt should be should cozy to sleep under once it's done with being shown, I used Quilter's Dream Orient batting!

Wings Alight Quilt: quilting detail.

The back of the quilt didn't end up being as interesting as I'd hoped, but overall I'm pleased with it!

Wings Alight Quilt: the back!

If you want to see move of this quilt, you can see my previous blog posts here and my Instagram posts about it here.

Wings Alight Quilt: back detail.

If you get a chance to pose with this quilt while it's at a show, I'd love to see the photo!  On Instagram tag it with #WingsAlight or #WingsAlightQuilt and me @quiltsNfeathers!

Wings Alight Quilt: my 5 year old insisted on posing with the quilt again (she posed in front of it at the bottom of this post too).

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wings Alight: Art With Fabric blog hop

Wings Alight: large whole cloth quilt, measures about 94" x 103".

About a year ago I came across this interview with street artist/muralist Kelsey Montague (IG: kelseymontagueart).  Immediately I was inspired, and my brain started working out how I could turn those wings into a quilt and how it would look.  Once I realized that I was serious about making it into a quilt I knew I needed to get artist permission, especially since I'd like to show this quilt!  I emailed Kelsey and explained my idea and asked if using her art as inspiration would be okay.

Next I asked Aurifil if they would be willing to sponsor the thread for such a large wholecloth quilt.  They said yes and sent me several large spools of thread.  I finally got started on this quilt this April by first creating a line drawing of some sandhill crane wings as they come in for a landing (hence the name of the quilt, Wings Alight [a·light: descend from the air and settle]).

Wings Alight: wings drawings--left is on tracing paper, center is printed from a digital file, right is the transparency.

Then I used a projector to enlarge and copy the wings onto my fabric (Michael Miller Luxe in Charcoal):

Wings Alight Quilt: Me with the projected wings.

After basting it (same fabric on the back, but in the light grey/Fog color, and I used Quilter's Dream Orient for the batting) I got started quilting.  I spent 56 hours quilting this beast on my Janome 6300 (it only has a 9" throat)!  You can read more about my process by going back through the Wings Alight Wholecloth posts here or on my Instagram feed: @quiltsnfeathers.  Here's the before and after pictures:

Wings Alight Quilt: Before--107" wide by 99" tall.  The wings are drawn on with a chalk pen.

Wings Alight Quilt: After (cropped photo, sorry!)

That's ALL Aurifil threads!!  The after picture does not do the quilting justice, so here are some close-ups:

Wings Alight Quilt: detail of the feather free motion quilting designs.

There are over 100 feathers on each wing, and although I tried to mirror-image the wings, it was hard coming up with that many appropriate fillers.  I got inspiration from my previous quilts and drawings, pictures on Instagram and blogs.  Maybe you see something that was inspired by you!

Wings Alight Quilt: more free motion feather designs!

Wings Alight Quilt: shoulder and background quilting detail.

I ended up only using 4 different Aurifil threads: Light Jade (1148) in 28wt for the feather outlines, Aluminium (2615) in 40wt for the feather designs, Dark Pewter (2630) in 50wt for the background quilting and bobbin, and Jade (4093) in 50wt for the mandala.  The background quilting and bobbin work used 2 large spools of 50wt thread!!

Wings Alight Quilt: wing and mandala--all free motion quilted!

Unfortunately all of that dense quilting in the center of the quilt created a wavy quilt, and I will need to block it before I can bind it. 

Wings Alight Quilt: the back!  oh those wavy edges...

Once I get it properly blocked and bound I will get new photos and share on my blog and instagram (@quiltsnfeathers)!

Wings Alight Quilt: my 7 year old standing in front of the wings!

Go check out some other awesome art created with fabric!  Today's blog hop participants are listed below:


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wings Alight: Update

Oh wow it's been a while since I last posted an update for this quilt (you can go read it here)!  I've been slowly continuing the quilting on it, with short breaks to rest my sore neck and shoulders.  Once I did two outlines of the wings with Aurifil 28wt, I drew a bunch of circles between the wings and then quilted a big mandala:

Wings Alight: drawing circles

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Wings Alight: quilted mandala, hand for scale.

Once the mandala was quilted I used my laser square (this one from Amazon--I use it mostly for squaring quilts and love it) and a long ruler to draw straight lines radiating out from the center of the mandala:

Wings Alight: Laser level for long straight lines!
Wings Alight: The first set drawn on.

I quilted the lines with a matching 50wt Aurifil thread in Dark Pewter (2630):

Wings Alight: Lots of lines!  Terrible photo, seriously, my camera hates this quilt.

Next I started filling in the feathers with lots of different free motion designs.  I used Aurifil 40wt in Aluminium (2615).  I tried to match feathers on each wing so they are nearly mirror-image, but the wing on the right has more feathers, so I call those wild-cards.   

Wings Alight: Filling the feathers!

In retrospect I wish I had used the Aluminum for the feather outlines and the Light Jade for the filler, but oh well.

Wings Alight: Some of the free motion quilting fillers so far!

Filling the feathers has been way more time consuming that I anticipated, but I'm nearing the end!  

Wings Alight: current state of the quilt, with my 5 year old for scale.

I will be back next Thursday will the finished quilt as part of the Art With Fabric blog hop!


Friday, April 21, 2017

Wings Alight: Threads and Wing Outline

You can see my previous blog posts about this quilt here.

Before starting the quilting I had to decide on thread colors for both the top and the bobbin.  Aurifil generously sponsored the top row of large spools:

Wings Alight: Aurifil threads--a mixture of 50, 40 ans 28wt.

I made a mini quilt sandwich from the quilt trimmings and tested out each thread weight (using 50wt in the bobbin) to find the best tension and stitch length for both straight line quilting using my walking foot and for free motion quilting using my darning/FMQ foot.  In the picture above you can see the back of my practice quilt and under that are my thread and tension notes.  In the end I decided to use matching color int he bobbin, which will make this a neat double sided quilt!


Wings Alight: Starting with my walking foot and the long straight lines.

The wings are outlined using Aurifil 28wt in Light Jade (1148), and will probably get a second layer. I used my walking foot for the longest straight lines, then switched to my FMQ foot for the rest of the feathers.  It took at least 30 minutes to quilt the left wing (you can check out a time lapse of that quilting on my Instagram--click here!).

Wings Alight: Finished left wing.

The right wing took a longer, but I finally got it done!  Here's how the quilt looks now:


Wings Alight: Really wishing I'd put the wings higher on the quilt...too late now!

And here's me in front of the wings, I guess this is a thing now:

Wings Alight: I do wish I could have made the wings bigger...although they are already a challenge to get through my machine (a Janome 6300 with a 9" throat)!