Interior Beauty – An Island Batik Challenge

This month’s Island Batik Challenge is one that is sponsored by one of the industry partners, Aurifil thread. I used many weights of the threads and will show you them all! The fabric, thread and batting were given to me by Island Batik and their partners, Aurifil Thread and Hobbs Batting.

First, making up my mind was hard. I had a lot of ideas but this tulip kept coming back to my mind. I really wanted to do something, but what??? As I was thinking about it, I decided to take a look at a Bluprint* class called “Threadpainting Essentials for Photo Realistic Quilts” by Pam Holland. Well, that it set it in motion and the quilting began.

A tulip that came apart in my kitchen one day

First, I printed my photo on the grey Island Batik. Island Batik solids are perfect for this as they are so smooth. I didn’t what it to be as intense as the picture, mostly because the available threads were not so intense. The fabric was backed with a fusible web made for printing by called PrintNFuse*. It is really lightweight and it performed perfectly.

I the fused the photo to a red batik background. In hindsight, I didn’t love the background so you will see what I did later. Sandwiching the quilt was next; I used a leftover piece of grey batik for the back and a piece of the Hobbs bleached cotton batting*.

A Schmetz 110/18 Chrome Universal needle was put in the machine and a Grey 50wt Aurifil in the bobbin. I started sewing.

I worked first with the 12 wt. threads, the Lana Wool and the Cotton in the Dark Carmine Red color. I was surprised how happy my machine was. Then, I proceeded to the the next sets of thread, the Cotton 28 wt, 50 wt, 40 wt and 80 wt. I was hoping as it got finer, the red would change. It mostly worked. As I said, this red was not so intense, so I know this will not be an exact replication of my photo. My Bernina 440 loved the threads, and the only adjustments I made was using a darning foot #29 and lowered the foot pressure to 20 from its normal 40. It was really easy to do!

Next up, I didn’t have yellow. So, I decided to use the two 50 wt. orange shades I had for the yellow, one for the darker bits #2318 and a variegated for the other parts, #4150. The purple blue was a 40wt. cotton, #1200. I loved the way this one looked.

The experiment did not work

Then, I thought some variegated black/grey/white, a 50wt #4652, might do the trick with the red in matchstick….NO! I didn’t like it so I was off to figure it out.

In the end, I decided to make it just about the tulip and not mess with the background. NOW I am traveling as you read this, so I didn’t have time to redo the piece. So, I trimmed it down and fused a frame on the piece. I added some blanket stitching around the edges of the frame with a black #40 wt cotton that is 3 ply and meant for machine quilting. I loved the way this worked and the definition the thread gave to the blanket stitch.

All in all I used 7 weights of Aurifil thread and 12 different spools to complete this project! The table below shows them all!

Thread Weight/ContentThread NumberThread Name
12 wt Wool
2460Dark Carmine Red
12 wt Cotton
2460Dark Carmine Red
28 wt Cotton2460Dark Carmine Red
40 wt Cotton 3 ply2692Black
40 wt Cotton 2 ply
Blue Violet
Dark Carmine Red
50 wt Cotton
Dark Carmine Red
Creme Brule
Licorice Twist
80 wt Cotton2460Dark Carmine Red

As I was rushing, I didn’t take tons of pictures but, you will see this again. You see, I am not an artist, but I feel like one with this. There is another picture I love, but as this was an Aurifil challenge I needed the threads to be from Aurifil. I will do this again. It was fun and fast and a great way to use a favorite picture for a fill in the lines with stitching! Check out my fellow ambassadors too…here is a link to all of them.

“Interior Beauty”
6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″
Original photo by Kathleen McCormick
Island Batik Grey
Aurifil threads (see chart)
Hobbs Heirloom Bleached White Cotton Batting

Coming Up on the Blog:
Island Batik Artsy Fartsy Challenge – July 27
Sew Let’s QAL Block 11 – July 30
Dream to Reality

Linking Up With:
UFO Bustin #67
July UFO/WIP Link Up
What I Made Monday
Wednesday Wait Loss
Favorite Finish Monthly Linkup
2019 FAL Quarter 3 Finishes

Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


    • July 28, 2019 / 12:54 PM

      Thank you, Nancy. It really was fun and I liked the way the batik worked.

  1. July 28, 2019 / 10:41 AM

    This is beautiful! I have a friend who just started thread painting and now I want to try it. Thanks for sharing!

    • July 28, 2019 / 12:56 PM

      Thank you! You really should it was fun and easy.

  2. July 28, 2019 / 12:48 PM

    Hi Kathleen! Wow, what a beautiful technique. It sure gives the whole piece depth. I’m also glad to hear you enjoyed the experience and would do it again. I agree with Carol – now I want to give it a try as well. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • July 28, 2019 / 12:55 PM

      Do give it a try! It really is a fun way to replicate a photo!

  3. Cindy Pieters
    July 29, 2019 / 6:45 AM

    This is beautiful!

    • kathleenquilts
      July 29, 2019 / 10:09 AM

      I am so glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Barbara T
    July 29, 2019 / 7:29 AM

    Love the picture, your thread painting, your quilt *and* your post! :))

    • kathleenquilts
      July 29, 2019 / 10:06 AM

      So very sweet, thank you!

  5. Vicki in MN
    July 29, 2019 / 7:48 AM

    You definitely let the artist in you come out of the box with this piece-nicely done!

    • August 5, 2019 / 7:47 PM

      You are too kind, Vicki! It is a really fun technique and I look forward to studying more and revisiting it soon.

  6. Lisa J.
    July 29, 2019 / 7:22 PM

    This is absolutely stunning. Well done.

  7. July 29, 2019 / 10:48 PM

    Fabulous! You are clearly an artist, no matter what you say. Thanks for linking up to What I Made Monday.

    • kathleenquilts
      July 30, 2019 / 9:09 PM

      Becca, you are too sweet! Love to have something to link up – it is always so much fun to play along.

  8. August 1, 2019 / 8:32 AM

    I really enjoyed reading your post and seeing how you achieved the results you did. Your tulip is gorgeous!

    • August 1, 2019 / 9:14 AM

      I did have a good time doing; definitely more in my future.

  9. August 5, 2019 / 1:20 PM

    Kathleen, that turned out wonderfully!!

    • August 5, 2019 / 7:45 PM

      I am really pleased with it, and look forward to trying it again!

  10. inquiringquilter
    August 5, 2019 / 4:41 PM

    No wonder Aurifil featured this! It’s gorgeous. Thanks for sharing on Wednesday Wait Loss.

    • August 5, 2019 / 7:20 PM

      Thanks, Jennifer. Always fun to link up to Wednesday Wait loss.

  11. August 6, 2019 / 3:33 AM

    Great idea to use a photo to launch your thread painting from. You did a terrific job Kathleen.

    • kathleenquilts
      August 6, 2019 / 8:00 AM

      Thanks, Dione. It was a safe approach and very easy….the background was scarier so that is for the next challenge.

  12. thedarlingdogwood
    August 6, 2019 / 7:35 PM

    Wow, Kathleen! This is great! I’m also glad you showed the print and fuse, I haven’t seen that before and will keep an eye out for it! Love your tulip!

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