Saturday, October 31, 2020

Thread Painting with Auriful and Island Batik

Phew, this was a hard challenge for me this month. I love quilting thread and really enjoy the quilting part of quilt making, but I don't consider myself a thread painter. I racked my brain all month trying to come up with an idea. I tried to come up with something original on my own but had a serious creative block.  I think it was the fear of painting a photo with thread that really had my creative juices at a stand still.

So I started looking at  patterns created by others, but nothing jumped out at me to go along with Thread Painting.  It was really coming down to the wire.  By Monday Oct 26, I still hadn't picked out a pattern! It was the last week of the month and I had no project ideas to go with all the fantastic colors of 50 weight Aurifil thread I was sent.  

Finally inspiration struck in an odd way. I was cleaning out my email and came across an email I had been saving from Robynie Patterns.

It was an email notification about her new Toucan pattern. My thread colors have always been on my mind and when I saw that toucan again along with all the background space I knew this was it! I bought the pattern and got stitching right away!

I googled some images of toucans and this guy was perfect!  He matched all my threads, so I tried to copy his coloring.

I knew I was running low on time, so I used all my spare time before and after work and pieced this guy together.

I still hadn't seen him from the front till I sewed the last seam.  So when I turned him around I was pretty excited.  He looked so beautiful and colorful.

I grabbed all the Aurifil thread I was sent in my second ambassador box along with a black and got to work with the "Thread Painting", which for me was really heavy custom quilting.  

    Since this was a small project, I was able to use a scrap of Hobbs Heirloom batting I had left over from another ambassador project.

I ended up swapping out some of the threads as I quilted and ended up using seven different Aurifil colors to quilt up Mr. Toucan.

2692 - Black
2545 - Medium Purple
2535 - Magenta
2335 - Light Cinnamon
2120 - Canary
1148 - Light Jade
1231 - Spring Green

For the fabrics, I used a lot of left over Island Batik scraps and some Island Batik foundation yardage:

Petal Sunshine - Yellow Feathers
Apple - Top of the Beach
Leaf Vine - Nasturtium - Bottom of the beak
Marble Charcoal - The black feathers
Surf - Light blue in the beak and the feet
Sahara - The tree branch.
Sprinkles - The background  - one of my favorite Island Batik Neutrals.

The rest of the fabrics were pulled from my Island Batik Scrap Bin.

For the quilting I randomly added flowers to the background in canary and magenta.  

Then I filled in the rest of the background with spring green.  Quilting was a breeze using Schmetz Micro needles.  They are perfect for the thicker Island Batik fabrics.

Aurfil threads seem to have a slight shine to them and their colors are so bright and vibrant.  They look so beautiful next the the Island Batik fabric

Not quite a thread painting, but definitely more quilting than usual to show off all those wonderful colorful Aurifil threads.



  1. Gorgeous project! This was a difficult challenge, but it made for some outstanding quilts in the end. Your quilting is gorgeous on this!

  2. Pretty! I love the toucan and I really like the flowers in the quilting.

  3. Wowza! What a cool mini quilt!!! Very nice dense quilting, love the flowers in the background and the motifs on the beak!