Monday, April 1, 2019

Creating My Own Missouri Spring

Missouri Spring by Linda Bratten

I love it when everything outside starts to come to life in the Spring!

My favorite flower, the lilac, blooms during this time and the fragrance it emits brings joy to my days.  It is no wonder that I have chosen to use the lilac in many of my art quilts.  The quilt pictured above, "Missouri Spring", was created for an art show hosted by the Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City, Missouri.  It is an original photo that I transferred to some ready to print fabric using an inkjet printer. I then used free-motion quilting techniques to thread paint and enhance the motifs.

I enjoyed the process so much, I have decided to use another original photograph of a lilac and a swallow tail butterfly to create a 12"x 12" piece as an auction donation for SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates.  This is a non-profit organization that promotes art quilts through education, exhibits, professional development, documentation and publications.  You can find out more about SAQA at The online auction will be held later this year.

Original Photo Used by Linda Bratten

I thought you might like a behind the scene look at how I am creating this piece.  First, I looked through my photos and found one that appealed to me.  I then used Adobe Photoshop to enhance the photo and get it ready for printing.

I use June Tailor Sew-In Colorfast Fabric sheets and my inkjet printer to transfer the photo to the fabric.  Next I add borders and create the quilt sandwich.  Since this was a square piece, I wanted an asymmetrical look to draw attention to the focal point butterfly.  I also used a green and purple fabric to leave the yellow color of the butterfly as the accent color and keep it as a focal point.

Missouri Spring #2

Now the fun part, deciding which thread colors to use.  I love using a polyester machine embroidery thread.  The polyester has a slight give as I am quilting. The weight allows me to build up and define where I like, and to recede into the background when necessary.

 On smaller pieces that I plan on thread painting the focal point of the quilt, I will actually quilt the outer portions first.  This will help to maintain the shape of the piece as thread painting can draw up the fabric.

As I was quilting this, I created a fun Lilac Leaf border motif.  I will share the tutorial later, but be sure to subscribe to my newsletter, Linda B Creative where I share all of my current tutorials, classes, presentations, and patterns. Use this Link to sign up!

Now off to finish the tutorial and this piece!

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