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:


  1. Oh my - this is just stunning!!! I had seen snippets on IG but didn't realise it was for this blog hop or that it was this BIG - it is huge!! The quilting is just divine - you must be so happy with how this has turned out.

  2. Wow, that is fantastic!!

    I'd be interested in you walking us through how you block the quilt.

  3. Your skill is stunning, Renee. Beautiful work!

  4. It's every bit as gorgeous as I expected it would be! I hope the blocking goes well.

  5. This is so stunning! I am positive that once it is blocked and bound it will transform yet again. Fabulous work. And 56 hours of quilting - I'm so impressed with what you can do!

  6. Unbelievable! Wow! How will you handle the waves? I get that sometimes on larger pieces.

  7. Wow, what a project. As an occasional FMQer, I can appreciate the effort it took to create that wingedness.
    I couldn't handle the small throat space on a regular machine so I upgraded last year so I could make the bedsized quilts without cursing.

  8. Very impressive. You have a wonderful design and have executed it with great skill. Well done.

  9. WOW! Amazing piece, and great inspiration and great message!!! Just today I was thinking about the artist to use next month for my journal doodling and I wanted a woman street artist: I think I found her! :) Thanks for participating in this blog hop and for sharing your talent and your work!!

  10. This is just fantastic! You are so very talented!

  11. Hi Renee, how amazing. I love your free motion quilting. What a great idea. I'm glad you took a picture with you (and your son) in front of it, otherwise we would have no idea of the size. It really is stunning.

  12. What a cool idea! We have a wings painting in an art village near me. The wings were painted on a wall adjacent to a walking/biking trail and I love watching people pose in front of the wings for a photo op. There's something about wings that invite participation. Love the quilting on yours. Simply stunning!

  13. This really is a fantastic quilt, and so fun to see your kiddos posing with it. It blocked out nicely, didn't it? Love when that works.