Wolf –

I attended a workshop by Lorraine Turner to learn fabric collage and thread painting two weeks ago. It was a long two day workshop and the location was a bit far from my home but I wanted try those two techniques for a while so I dived into it.

Lorraine makes beautiful animal art with textile and at the workshop we made a picture of wolf which delighted me even more.

It’s probably a Japanese mind set to think wolves are special mystical creatures. Their Japanese name means great god but we killed all the Japanese wolf a long long time ago. I don’t know exactly how to explain but there is something special about wolves. Maybe we are just very sorry.

Anyway, this is the result of two days.

I learnt new things and was generally happy with the result especially those eyes. I wasn’t particularly happy with his jaw line and tip of the nose. I tried to fix it and it came out a bit better but still looks a bit funny. I also added more feather like fur on his chest after removing the lace.

Since there was not much space left for adding anything to the wolf any more, I had to stop there. And then I realised what was bothering me most, the lack of quilt bumps. Because there is no wadding, there couldn’t be any quilt bumps which made whole thing so flat.

Option 1, remove stiff backing fabric and piece other fabrics to make it bigger and quilt around the wolf.

Option 2, insert a cut out piece of wadding in between two layer of fabric and quilt it.

Both looked like a tedious work so I chose option 2 thinking may be easier to remove those wrinkles.

I quilted the background with feather motives with various colour thread which was extension of his chest decorated with feather shaped fabrics.

All the wrinkles were gone after quilting and I could finish it there but it needed a nice border I thought.

For last few months I see quilts with feather design more often. They are applique or foundation pieced. I made one five years ago and recently thinking about revisiting it. Talking about feather, I thought this is a good time to quilt mandala/dream catcher design which was in my mind for a while too. Why I haven’t done before? Because this requires a lot of marking and planning ahead on top of good quilting with rulers. I bit a bullet.

Above is the first one and this is a view from the back. I normally use matching thread for top and bobbin to hide thread tension problems but for no particular reason I decided just use this orange thread for bobbin. The tops are all different colour in each section and not always thread tension was right so a bit of bobbin poking there…

Most shapes and division of the circle went alright. Bit uneven here and there but that’s human, isn’t it?

And then I quilted two more mandala which were not full circle. The rest of background was quilted with feathers again.

Then I stitched down the wolf with free motion quilting witch blended with the rest of quilting.

Dream catchers needed some feathers hanging. They were appliqued free hand with raw edge and stitched down as I quilted.

I quilted outline of the wolf since the whole piece was floating from the background/border. I tried to quilt under his chin to give some definite line/quilt bump but it didn’t work since it has so many layer of fabric and thread already and has became very stiff.

And all the quilting. Next time I will be brave enough to do just this quilting!

By the way this is how the wolf piece look like from the reverse side. To do thread painting, bobbin thread wasn’t changed according to the top because that takes too much time. Top thread tension was looser side in order not to show bobbin thread as well as not causing shrinkage.

And here is the whole quilt.

Hopefully there won’t be many sad story about wild lives.