Friday, August 11, 2017

Cherrywood Fabrics Van Gogh challenge - a finish!

I have really enjoyed seeing the last two challenges hosted by Cherrywood Fabrics.  There was the Wicked challenge (see pics HERE) and last year, the Lion King challenge was phenomenal!

Lion King Cherrywood Challenge at Road 2 CA

While at Road to California in January, I was intrigued with the idea of entering this year's challenge - inspired by Van Gogh.  But I don't think I actually purchased the fabric bundle until QuiltCon in February.  I lacked the confidence and was worried about lack of time as well.  In the end, the colors won me over.  Who could resist the lovely blues??

In true "Jen form", I waited until nearly the last minute to start my challenge piece.  I chose Van Gogh's "Starry Night over the Rhone" as my inspiration and got to work.  Here are some progression pics of the process I used.  I basically used the same technique as My Monet quilt, you can find the tutorial HERE, but I'm sure you will get the gist from the pics below.

My rough plan:

Van Gogh: a rough outline of my project

I like to draw out a rough plan, like a road map to see where I am going.

Van Gogh: the first few pieces in place

I started blocking in the background colors. I even kept some of the "fringe" edges where the fabric had been ripped.  I figured that rough edge would help me with a blended look along the horizon.

Van Gogh: background pieces in place

Finally, I started laying down the first "brushstrokes".  These were pieces of fabric fused with Steam a Seam Lite and then cut into random wavy strips.

Van Gogh: first layer of "brushstrokes" down

I just kept adding more and more layers of these little pieces.

Van Gogh: brushstrokes in progress

More and more layers of detail.  As you can see, I started with larger pieces and moved on to smaller pieces to add details.

Van Gogh: I need starlight

Once everything was where I wanted it, I fused the pieces in place with my iron and started quilting in long wavy lines.

Van Gogh: a few more details and the start of stitching

Normally, I would have added tulle to the entire quilt before quilting on top of those tiny fused pieces, but I wasn't sure if tulle was allowed in the challenge and I really didn't have time to find out.  Boy, does tulle make things easier!!!  It keeps all your pieces in place and lets the quilting foot just glide over everything.  Without the tulle, some of my fused pieces wanted to flip over and get caught.

Van Gogh: just keep adding layers!

In fact, I started free motion quilting this project, but after a few minutes of my pieces getting mangled by the foot, I switched up to my walking foot.  I ended up quilting nearly the entire quilt with my walking foot.

Van Gogh: people close up

When I first started quilting, I was a little mad at myself for "ruining a perfectly good quilt with too much stitching", but as I added more and more layers and colors of thread, I felt that was in keeping with what I was trying to accomplish as Van Gogh inspired.  I love how it turned out in the end.

Van Gogh: finished

What do you think?

I found out today that my quilt was juried into the finalist group.  But I have to send it off to be judged and only then will I know if my quilt was accepted into the traveling exhibition.  I'll find out sometime next month.  I really have my fingers crossed.  I just think it would be so neat to have a quilt traveling around for a year to a bunch of shows!  I may not sleep until I know if it was accepted.

Thanks for reading today!  I hope you found it interesting.



  1. WOW! I love following your design process. While I have not (yet) tackled anything that intricate, I have started designing my own quilts to some extent. It's really interesting to see how it goes from design idea to finished product. Very inspirational, especially since Van Gough is a favorite of mine.

  2. Just an awesome quilt Jen - congratulations!!! Fingers crossed it gets accepted !!

  3. what an amazing piece you have created, interesting reading about the tulle as I was at a quilt show and was drawn to a quilt that was made in a similar fashion to yours and it had tulle on top now I know why.

  4. Wow! This really is stunning. Your fused image is amazing and I love the way you've quilted it all together :)

  5. Jen, you may have waited until the last minute, but it is fantastic. You work great under pressure. I will cross my fingers too!!! You deserve it.

  6. How in the world would it NOT be juried in? It's definitely van Gogh! Had he been a quilter, this is quite likely what he'd have done. Really, those detail slips of fabric and thread painting mimic the brush strokes. Stellar work! (pun intended of course)

  7. That is amazing! I love seeing the process. Did you ever find out if tulle was allowed?

  8. Jen, I just saw on TQS announcement that your quilt received a special recognition (for a prize) and will travel to Houston, AQS and France later. Congrats ❣️❣️❣️❣️(especially for a LB.)

  9. Just saw on the Quilt Show that you received a special recognition for your awesome quilt - congratulations and so well deserved Jen xx

  10. What do I think? I think I am in love with this art. It's absolutely amazing!

  11. This is amazing! Love seeing your photo progress, super cool. Congrats.

  12. Your art work & design is beautiful Jen. Colors perfect in value. Congratulations on getting accepted to challenge. . Keep me posted please, miss everyone at wwqg.. Love to all, MARTY ­čśÖ


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  14. I love your Van Gogh inspired quilt. It really has a Van Gogh feel to it thanks to the quilting and the little wavy pieces. Congratulations!


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