|Bat Falcon Quilt: measures 42.5" x 31.75"|
I'm so happy to finally be blogging about this finished quilt! I started it back in October, and while I've shared a lot of progress pictures on my instagram (@quiltsNfeathers), I have been lazy about sharing it on my blog. So here is the entire 40 hour process of making it!
|Original photo, taken by me when I worked/volunteered at a local wildlife park.|
I took a class taught by Rod Daniels (go check out is gorgeous work!) through the NMQA on turning a photo into an applique quilt. I had seen some of Rod's quilts in person at ABQMQG show and tell, and was excited to try a new method to turn a photo into a quilt. The first thing to do was pick a photo. I chose the photo of the bat falcon because I consider it one of the best photo I took while working and volunteering at a local wildlife park. My leaving the wildlife park was really ugly and hurtful, and I wanted to reclaim this photo (though let there be no doubt that it is mine) and my happy memories.
Next was printing out the photo and then tracing a basic outline of the colors and shadows (I printed extras in grayscale and edits to try and get the most accurate outlines). The bottom right is the final version:
Then I took my traced outline to the copy store and enlarged it. I had no idea what I was doing, so it turned out huge, haha. Then that big version was traced onto a thin muslin, and I started placing appropriately colored fabrics on the quilt (glueing them down when I felt confident with my choices):
|Bat Falcon Quilt: Pre-lunch progress in Rod's class.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt: Post-lunch progress in Rod's class.|
I knew if I didn't finish it right away it would be a horrible WIP to come back to. So the next day I dedicated all of my available time to finishing it! In total I think I spent about 12 hours just creating the quilt top, and 99% of that on the bird's head!
|Bat Falcon Quilt: Pre-lunch progress, Day 2.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt: post-lunch progress, Day 2.|
The background colors are Kona Silver and Kona Cornflower. My biggest regret is how the blue on the right side dips down too sharply at the bird's shoulder. But I wasn't about to re-glue anything! So I accepted it as a design element, haha. At the time I was also working on a lot of other projects and knew I didn't have the time to quilt and finish it, so I carefully rolled it up and put it in a safe place.
Finally last month I basted it (using one layer of Quilter's Dream wool)! Here is a look at the 22.5 hours of quilting (I took a photo after most of the 14 bobbins I used!):
|Bat Falcon Quilt 1: Basted and ready to quilt!|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 2: started on the face and smaller pieces so they wouldn't shift! Yeah I was pretty intimidated to quilt this guy, just look at the glare!|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 3: filling in around the head and chest.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 4: worked on the back and wings (the black areas).|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 5: Decided it was time to work on the background before things got more distorted from quilting on just the bird. I marked out a 1/2" grid on the silver and did an echo on the blue.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 6: I have never quilted such a large area with such tiny orange peels!! I spent 8 hours and 4 bobbins on JUST quilting those tiny orange peels.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 7: four year old for scale.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 8: I was definitely questioning my sanity on quilting so SO many tiny orange peels! But I really love bokeh they create!|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 9: Finally done with the orange peels!! My husband and I estimated using various methods that there are at least 6,000 orange peels (as in each little pumpkin seed shape)!|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 11: back to working on the bird--mostly on the grey feathers here.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt 13: (photo 12 was indistinguishable, though I know I added stuff!). This is just before I called it Done. You can see around the bird the quilt is really warped! I soaked in in the washing machine all afternoon to remove the marking and dissolve the glues. and then spent an hour and a half blocking it and ironing the face flat (you can see a photo of that on IG!)|
Here is the before and after quilting:
|Bat Falcon Quilt: Original photo, before and after 22.5 hours of a quilting!|
Obviously the finished quilt wouldn't be so amazing without all of that quilting to add depth, texture, blending and shading! Here are all of the Aurifil threads I used--mostly 50wt because my machine prefers it for dense quilting/overlap, but some 40wt (green spools) because I didn't have those colors in 50wt.
|Bat Falcon Quilt: Aurifil threads used! I bought Dark Pewter (#2630) to use on this quilt and love it for a nice dark grey! It's the third darkest from the left!|
Check out this gorgeous "ghost" on the back!
|Bat Falcon Quilt: the grey thread is Aurifil #5004 (the 4th darkest grey in the thread photo), backing fabric is Kona Espresso, binding is Kona Chestnut,|
Just look at this gorgeous grey thread! I love how the direction of the stitches translates the image so well on the back. The Aurifil does a lovely job of catching the light and giving life to the "ghost" on the back!
|Bat Falcon Quilt: back quilting detail.|
Okay, let's look at the front up close!
|Bat Falcon Quilt: detail of the shadow side and background.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt: detail of the light side of the face.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt: detail of the sun-lit wing feathers.|
|Bat Falcon Quilt: eye detail|
All that's left is the hanging sleeve and displaying it in my living room between shows!
Finished size: 42.5" x 31.75"
Hours spent working on it: 40 hours