July 21, 2019

Geese and Flowers - July Island Batik Ambassador Project

Note, the fabric, batting and some of the thread for this project were given to me by Island Batik and their industry partners as part of the Island Batik ambassador program.

The Island Batik ambassador challenge for July is called "Artsy-Fartsy" and we were asked to make an art quilt using Island Batik fabrics and three different Aurifil thread weights, providing at least three pictures to show how the threads were used. Well, I have no problem using Island Batik fabrics or different weights of Aurifil thread and, as you'll see, providing three pictures is no problem. But the art quilt part definitely had me stumped. In the end, I'm not really convinced anyone would call my little mini "artsy-fartsy," but it is kind of cute, so we'll go with that 😊
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
While I was piecing the July block for the Monthly Colour Challenge, hosted by Jen of Patterns by Jen, I was also contemplating what I would make for this project. I decided I could piece some kind of a simple background and then add flowers to it somehow (you can see how specific I was being). But what would I piece for the background? That's when I looked at what was in my hands and thought "this would work!"

With all the amazing fabric Island Batik has sent me over the last two years, it wasn't at all hard to find a couple of bright colours that would coordinate with the aquas I had used to piece the block. Then the question was, would I find Aurifil threads in different weights that coordinated with the fabrics? My Aurifil stash isn't nearly as extensive as my IB stash, but I was pleasantly surprised to find exactly what I wanted.

To make the flowers, I traced around a glass to give myself a guideline, then free motion quilted the basic petal shape. Maybe I should call it free motion embroidery at this point, since it was only the one layer of fabric. For the pink flowers I used Aurifil 1200 in 40 wt. I love the subtle variation in colour in this fabric, which is left over from my Murrina quilt.
free motion embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
I used Aurifloss in 6722 to hand embroider random short lines to create the flower centers. I tried french knots first, but they were too bulky looking so I switched to the random lines.  Then I roughly cut out the flowers.
flower embroidery by hand and machine | DevotedQuilter.com
Since it was only one layer of fabric, with no stabilizer or interfacing, the stitching made the flower curl a bit, which is exactly what I had been hoping would happen. See how nicely the 40 wt thread and the Aurifloss sit on top of the fabric?
flower embroidery by hand and machine | DevotedQuilter.com
At this point, I set the flower aside and went back to the block. I basted it, using Hobb's 100% cotton batting and another aqua Island Batik fabric for the back and then I stared at it for a while. How should I quilt it? I was making this whole process up as I went along, remember, with no idea what would be coming next. I started off by using Aurifil 5005 in 50 wt to outline the flying geese and then went back and added back and forth lines to them. Then I used 5005 in 12 wt for some big stitch hand quilting around their edges.
free motion quilting in flying geese | DevotedQuilter.com
Then I added the flowers, stitching inside each petal and around the flower center with the same thread I had used already. 40 wt 1200 for the pink flowers
free motion flower embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
and 28 wt 2430 for the purple ones. This was my first time using the 28 wt thread, so I checked out Aurifil's recommendations before starting. They recommend a denim needle and using 50 wt thread in the bobbin, which worked perfectly. This purple fabric was one of the 5" strips included in my box back at the beginning of the year and I love how rich it is.
free motion embroidery and quilting | DevotedQuilter.com
Just look at how much thicker the 28 wt looks compared to the 40 wt, with the Aurifloss being even thicker again.
free motion flower embroidery | DevotedQuilter.com
The flowers are not attached right to the edges of the petals, so they retain the slight curl from the initial round of stitching, giving the mini quilt a fun 3D element.
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 I finished off the quilting by using 2311 in 50 wt to quilt a simple stipple in the background, lifting each of the flower edges as needed so I could stitch under them just a little. Here's how it all looks on the back, with some triangle hanging tabs and my label.
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
free motion quilting in flying geese | DevotedQuilter.com
I took the mini for a walk on a local trail to get these pictures and along the way I found this perfectly painted rock placed just off the trail.
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
 My little Geese and Flowers mini quilt seems right at home among the lupines, don't you think?
geese and flowers mini quilt | DevotedQuilter.com
Here are all the threads I used - 50 wt (2311 and 5005), 40 wt (1200), 28 wt (2430), 12 wt (5005) and Aurifloss (6722).
Aurifil threads at different weights | DevotedQuilter.com
While it may not be worthy of being called an art quilt, I did have fun playing around to make my Geese and Flowers mini quilt 😊 Have you ever made an art quilt?

6 comments:

  1. Perfect for the challenge - different uses of threads and making a traditional type block artsy fartsy!

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  2. This is amazing. Well done!! I love how you made the flowers. Mine is now finished and it is not what I would call artsy-fartsy, but I did my best.

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  3. Wonderful little piece Leanne! With such tightly woven fabrics, the 3D appliqué flowers are such a great idea!! Must remember... Love the on-location shot, those lupines are stunning!

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  4. It is adorable and does qualify as artsy fartsy...

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  5. I think an art quilt is whatever the maker wants it to be. I don't know how I would even begin to define it. This is really pretty Leanne and I particularly like the 3-D flowers. It will look lovely hanging on the wall each summer!

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  6. Art quilts are very much in the eye of the beholder, and it looks like an art quilt to me Leanne :)I like how the different weight threads played out over the quilt too!

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