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

Displaying IMG_20170425_181148.jpg
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!