Dandy and Dejavu Art Quilt

This month Island Batik Ambassador Challenge includes two topics very close to my heart; art quilts and land conservancy. Meet Dandy and Dejavu, two of the seven invasive species eating goat ‘employed’ by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy where I volunteer. Read more about the goats in the Traverse City Record Eagle. Industry partner Aurifil Thread joins Island Batik this month for an art quilt challenge requiring the use of three Aurifil thread weights.

step 1 goat.jpg

Dandy and Dejavu were selected for this quilt as they were most willing to pose for photos. Being totally social creatures, the group are often too close for good pics. As with kids and grandkids, favorites aren’t allowed but Ducky (not pictured) would be a likely candidate. Air erase fabric markers are used to sketch critters on Island Batik Rice fabric from their Neutrals Foundation Collection.

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Expressive eyes are my favorite place to start with humans and animals. These two curious and social creatures provide such inspiration. Inktense pencils are used to capture their expressions and moods. I splurged on the box of 72 and tend to use every possible color.

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With Inktense Pencil and Inktense Block colors complete, textile medium is applied with a variety of brushes. This intensifies colors to make them come alive. Materials are then heat set to make them permanent.

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Detailed thread painting on Dandy and Dejavu was stitched with 30, 40 and 50 Aurifil weight thread. As with Inktense colors, add unexpected thread colors to provide depth and texture.

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Using Aurifil 40 wt cotton in my Baby Lock Sashiko 2 machine, the wire fence around Dandy and Dejavu was quilted. Sashiko machine produces a hand stitched appearance. Aurifil Floss is couched on the corners of fence posts to add structure.

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Here’s the completed art quilt. So many thanks to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy for their forward thinking response to invasive species in local preserves. Their goat program provides a chemical free irradiation of unwanted plants, an opportunity enjoy these creatures and the perfect personalities to bring this work to life. Shout out to Aurifil threads for encouraging art quilting by sponsoring the July Challenge, to Island Batik for the fabrics, Hobbs Quilt Batting for the wool batting. Special thanks to CS Sewing who stepped in to save the day when my long arm had a hiccup right in the middle thread painting.


Close up of thread painting, couching and Sashiko stitching.