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Joshua, the quilt in progress and done! #6

With this blogpost, we will end the series on how I made the quilt of my son playing guitar.  I had fun with the quilting, too.  Here’s the bucket and bag of threads I used for the quilting:

And here is the completed quilt; notice that the proportions have changed a little.  The finished size for the exhibit is 36 inches wide by 48 inches long, so I needed to remove some extra, especially in the length.  If the quilt hadn’t been in this exhibit, I might have let it go a little longer, but I think in terms of design and composition it is still fine the way it is.

While I was mulling over how to quilt the walls, there was yet another discussion on either QuiltArt or SAQA (or both?) about the line between traditional and art quilting.  As usual there were those who want nothing to do with traditional quilting.  I, however, am proud of our traditional roots and proud of this as an art form that began with women’s work.  As someone recently said to me, Quilt is NOT a four-letter word!

This discussion led me to the idea of using traditional feathered vines for the background quilting.  As you can see from this next photo, though I chose a thread I thought would show up on the background, it was too subtle.  I decided to echo-quilt around the feathered vines, then pencilled in the resulting space/channel to define the outlines of the vines with Prismacolor Pencil (which I later covered with a combination of a textile-friendly varnish and water to seal it to prevent it from rubbing off).

Here is a wider-angled shot of the wall area showing the feathered vines…I just love them!

This shows the quilted quilt with the threads distributed over the top where they were used:

Here are two close-ups of the quilting of Joshua’s face and torso:

I love the backs of my quilts, the line drawing look, so took this (alas blurry) photo–you can see the feathered vines clearly on this semi-solid background fabric, and that the entire quilt is stitched 1/4″ apart or close… a lot of thread!

And to end where we began, but arrayed nicely, all those beautiful threads ( all but one of them Superior Threads):

PS–I am reminded by the comments to add that Joshua –hallelujah!– actually likes the quilt!  Given how picky teenagers are, especially of pictures of themselves, I am so thrilled that he of all people likes it.  Hugs to my firstborn!  Now…. what will the years bring that I can do another quilt, this time of secondborn son?

21 Responses to “Joshua, the quilt in progress and done! #6”

  1. Nan Boudreau Says:

    What an amazing piece of work Sarah. You are so talented. Joshua will be so happy with this quilt.

  2. Sandy Says:


  3. Sandy Says:

    WOW it’s wonderful. Congrats

  4. Jamie Says:

    That is an amazing piece of art work! Congratulations on finishing it!

  5. Vicki W Says:

    It’s fabulous!

  6. Wendy Says:

    Gee, all those spools on his head make him look like his hair is in rollers! LOL (You might not want to tell him that).

  7. rae suckling Says:

    That is absolutely amazing. You are a very talented lady. Well done..
    Cheers Rae (NZ)

  8. Ilana Says:

    Sarah, the quilt is incredible. Thanks so much for this step by step series. It’s been really informative and inspiring.

  9. sherry Peterson Says:

    W O W ! What a treat, and a treasure . I am looking forward to your machine quilting class at the NQA show in columbus next month, I wish it was next week. sherry

  10. Maggie Szafranski Says:

    As always, your tutorials are inspiring! You ROCK!

  11. Gloria Hansen Says:

    It’s fantastic, Sarah. Your son must be incredibly proud!!

  12. Deborah Says:

    Those feathers looks like ideas swirling around in Joshua’s head. I really love that so much!

  13. Linda Shafer Says:

    Sarah, what an amazing piece! All your work produced a masterpiece.

  14. Shirley Says:

    oh what a wonderfull way you’ve quilted it, I like the downsizing you had to do, it feels like we’re almost breating down his neck. Like the back too, a lot!No fabrics distracting the eye from Joshua. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Robin Parton Says:

    This turned out really well, another winner I am sure. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  16. Maggie Magee Says:

    Sarah–What a wonderful piece–masterful!

  17. mariya Says:

    Its really good Sarah. I am just thinking what kind of imagination you have and very well used in quilt.
    Its fabulous

  18. Kathy Says:

    Amazing! Thanks for showing all the detail shots. My favorite is the photo with all the threads sitting on top of where they were used.

  19. Art and Quilting in Camden » Blog Archive » If you love quilted Feathers…. Says:

    […] quilting motifs.  In the quilt of my son playing his guitar (final post with finished quilt here) , I used several large feathered vines to quilt the background, and think with the inspiration of […]

  20. Art and Quilting in Camden » Blog Archive » Windows Postcards Says:

    […] I found the stone print fabric in my stash, so thought I’d make English (or Irish or Scottish) stone country cottages with windowboxes and shutters.  Then of course every good cottage needs a cat (or several!).  I had a print fabric with kitties in green leaves, so I fused up a chunk, then fussy cut the kitties and some of the leaves.  In my stash of fused fabrics, I had some leftovers from previous projects, and used the prints to cut up more leaves and flowers for the window boxes and for the “wood” of the boxes themselves.  The coral windowframes are the same fabric I used to make the guitar in the portrait I did of my son, here. […]

  21. Art and Quilting in Camden » Blog Archive » Quilting at last! or….Rituals, #1: Strength and Calm Says:

    […] (and which has moved on to Houston and beyond for the past two years).  My earlier entries were the portrait of our son, Joshua, for the “Beneath the Surface” challenge and a self-portrait for “The Space […]