Friday 10 April 2020

Creativity and Hope

Creativity, the process of making something new. Hope, a feeling of expectation and a desire for certain things to happen.
I hope that we will return to normal or a near normal life.
Usually I'm busy preparing to have my family together for Easter. With 'Stay at Home' orders we will connect via phone calls or messaging. It will be different but necessary to help stop the spread. My oldest grandson Tyler sends random messages, they help to brighten my day. What I miss most are the little things like walking into a store to pick up one or two things and not feeling paranoid while doing it. The big thing I miss most are grandkid hugs!

 I just wanted, no needed to play with fabric, colour, thread in other words be creative. An idea came from a quote I read on the internet it is from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

Usually I start a new project in EQ, this time I played in my graphics program. At first I was just going to do a small trapunto whole cloth with the word hope, but I wasn't really feeling it. The feather kept tickling me. Then it hit me why not use a feather, thankfully not very hard. How?
The ideas flowed after that. But how was I going to add that feather, with thread of course after all the original idea of a whole cloth was still there. I had never done a whole cloth before. There's a first time for everything and I was going to jump in feet first.
tracing the lettering and feather using my lightbox

I printed out the layout I came up with, it took four pages, then I taped those pages together. I used a blue wash out marker to trace it onto a piece of Kona Cotton.
stitched with washout thread

I placed a piece of polyester batting for loftiness of the trapunto, and before you ask why I didn't use wool I have a wool allergy. I stitched the outline of the words and feather with wash away thread, then cut away the rest of the batting.
I layered the backing, Hobbs 80/20 batting, another piece of poly batting and the top.
backing, Hobbs batting, poly batting and top

Next up thread decisions, I auditioned Aurifil threads.
Aurifil thread selection

I was a little worried about stitching the feather and making a total mess of it. So I started with stitching Aurifil 2024 around all the lettering and the spine of the feather first. I thought micro stitching around the letters would make them pop, it does. BUT it is slow going and I figured after half an hour in I must have been off my rocker to be doing it. It was slow going but I do like the look of it.

That feather was taunting me and I thought it's now or never. For the feather I laid down a base using 2024 followed by 2311. I'm sorry I didn't take any step by step photos, I was too into the feather to even think about photos. I used 2304 and 2902 both 40 wt next.
I like how the feather turned out

Instead of a traditional binding I did a faced binding. This is the tutorial I used. I hand sewed the sides and the bottom corners but left the top corners unsewn, I am using them as hanging pockets.

the back 
I am happy with this my first whole cloth project.
no sun this morning

Would I do another whole cloth? I think so? Did it help fill my need for creativity? Yes!

I hope you are remaining positive and finding joy in the simple pleasures... maybe it's the smell of fresh bread, a phone call or message from a loved one or friend or maybe a sunny day.


  1. What a beautiful quilt, Cindy. Isn't it fun to try something new, especially when it all works out! The stitching on your feather is so pretty!

  2. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!! That's me singing the FMQ Gloria. Ha! You did a fanTABulous job, my friend, and man oh man you make me want to DrEAMi and make one right now... Glorious job in quilting and that feather, the colours, the stitches, oh my I just love it.

  3. This is stunning, Cindy. I agree that micro quilting takes a big commitment, but the result here is amazing. I'm so glad that you kept at it and I love how the feather and letters pop out in different ways. Happy Easter and be well!

  4. Oh my GOSH -- this is your FIRST wholecloth attempt?! It's stunning! The feather is exquisite, really could not look any better. This is amazing!

  5. This is amazing! Well done. I miss just running to the store. Making one weekly trip is hard. But on the plus side, a tank of gas lasts forever LOL Happy Easter.

  6. Hard to believe this is your first whole cloth quilt. It's stunning. I'm always looking to improve my facing skills. Thanks for pointing me to Robbi Joy Ecklow's tutorial.

  7. After seeing pictures of this project on Instagram, I had to come read about it. The result is amazing - honestly - amazing! I didn't know something like this needed multiple layers of batting - thank you so much for explaining your process. How many hours is the micro stippling take, do you think? The feather looks so perfect. Really Cindy - this is spectacular. I hope you treasure this and take pride in it.

  8. Your Hope quilt is beautiful. I really like the feather. It turned out spectacular.

  9. You like? You LIKE how the feather turned out??? Oh my goodness, Cindy. If it was any better it would be a real feather. This blogpost was definitely joyful. Stay safe Cindy. Sending lots of hugs, best wishes and continued creativity in these difficult times.

  10. Cindy, Your quilt is gorgeous. I absolutely love the feather.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks. Your quilt is this week's featured project!
    Love, Muv

  11. Well Wow! That is so so pretty. I have an idea for putting some trapunto on a big quilt but I must stew on that a while. This is so beautiful.

  12. Wow! I am delighted that I found your post through Allison at New Every Morning! Your project is beautiful and inspiring!

  13. Your quilt is gorgeous <3 I always liked that quote, and you brought it to life. May you be filled with hope.

  14. I saw your quilt first on Sandra's linky post, Cindy. This is just exquisite. Such a delicate work. When I first saw the thumbnail, I thought the feather was real. Thank you so much for sharing how you made the quilt. My condolences in the loss of your husband. I do hope you will have many opportunities for support and comfort with those you love, where you can share memories, and grieve, and even laugh together though you may not be able to be together physically.

  15. It is a win win in my book Cindy!! I am so sorry to hear you lost your husband, but you have many memories to hang on to.

  16. I saw your absolutely incredible feather on Sandra/mmm quilts post. What a work of art! I am so sorry to hear of your loss.


  17. Cindy, that is gorgeous! Not only that, but the message and all it entails. Well, it's sure to be a treasure for years to come. Beautiful!


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