Journal 20

Wild Side Graffiti Pillow

Once I knew I was going to make a pillow using Libs Elliott new collection Wild Side for Fall 2017 Quilt Market, I had to decide what to make. Obviously thread painting using the coordinating Aurifil Wild Side thread box had to be included. I didn’t want the thread painting to be a center focal point in the pillow, I wanted the fabric and thread to be equally represented.


I pondered the line for a few days and wanted to somehow include graffiti quilting. So why not literally create graffiti. This idea also felt like it represented my impression of the collection and Libs Elliott.

I chose to also incorporate geometric shapes using improv half square triangles. So I decided to piece the background with the neutrals prints and throw in a few triangles!


The main focal print in the line is the skulls in three color ways. I loved the way the skull print is just simply an outline made of geometric shapes.


I had to figure out how I was going to literally create graffiti. And I definitely have never spray painted graffiti before. So bring out google, and I googled graffiti. Not surprising images brought up graffiti alphabets in different styles. So I picked a few styles and practiced drawing out my phrase. I chose the phrase “release your Wild Side” because it played on the name of the fabric collection and brought the fabrics full circle. I drew a different style of graffiti lettering for each word.

I wanted the thread painted skull to be similar to the fabric by using the geometric outline and letting the background shine through. I added bits of fabric to the geometric shapes created in the skull.


Then I thought how cool it would be for the phrase, “Release your wild side” to be coming from the skull, almost like he was saying it.

I wanted it to feel eclectic and use most of the fabrics from the line. I traced my graffiti letters onto wonder under and ironed them onto the fabrics. I placed the phrase on the pillow and thread painted around the edge of the letters to hold them down and add texture.


I thread painted a few other designs from the fabric including the lips, moon, and eye.

IMG_6426IMG_6430I graffiti quilted the background of course!


For the back, I pieced together 5” charm squares and did matchstick quilting.


A zipper and leather label was added and the 20’ pillow was complete!


Thank you Andover fabrics for the opportunity to be inspired and create!

Happy Quilting!!

Xx Casey

Journal 19

Blue Freewheeling Single Girl Quilt

In Spring 2016 I attended Sewtopia in Atlanta. One of the classes was with Denyse Schmidt to make the Freewheeling Single Girl Quilt.

For the rings, I used a variety of blue prints from Carolyn Friedlander to Alison Glass and Cotton and Steel. For the background, I used different grays, blacks, charcoals and metallic Essex Linen fabrics. The piecing was done using Aurifil 50 wt thread.


For the quilting, I echoed the shape of the rings in the background, while leaving the rings unquilted. When I was tired of quilting echoed lines, I decided to throw in a few other free motion designs. I think the various quilting designs add texture to the quilt. The quilting was done with charcoal grey Aurifil 50 wt thread.

IMG_3753 2IMG_6320 2IMG_5855 2IMG_0377IMG_6287IMG_7542IMG_9788 2IMG_3488 2

I used the blue octopus Cotton and Steel fabric for the backing. The quilt was bound in scraps left over from the blue fabrics.

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Finished Quilt: Throw Size

Happy Quilting!!

XX Casey

Journal 18

76 Thread Painted Mini Quilt

So I have been busy lately and have not blogged in awhile. I wanted to share the full photos and process behind the 76 collection by Alison Glass.

Back in the fall of 2016, I was asked to create a thread painting for Fall Quilt Market for Andover fabrics. I knew I wanted to thread paint the focal motif from the line and the dark pink/grey colorway was my favorite!


I used the tone on tone dark gray print to serve as my background for the thread painting. I stabilized the fabric using double sided fusible Peltex and SF 101.
Next, I free handed the design onto the fabric using a white chalk pencil and then outline the lines using coordinating Aurifil 50 wt thread. I started thread painting each section with the coordinating threading using the 76 collection Aurifil Thread Box.




For the piecing of the mini quilt I decided to shrink down the Luminary Quilt pattern by Jamie Swanson and Alison Glass. I wanted it to appear as if it radiated around the thread painting. I used various grays, pinks, purples, greens, and blues from 76 and other handcrafted lines.


I built it out starting with the grays to the pinks and purples and then finally to the greens and blues. Due the size of the thread painting, I had to add more pieced luminary diamonds and a pieced border to match.

For the background I used a tone on tone white fabric from the 76 fabric collection.



Next I had to figure out what shape/size I needed to cut from the priced starburst to fit nicely around the thread painting. I attached the piecing to the thread paitning by ironing under a 1/4 inch and stitching it down with a blanket stitch.


For the quilting, I did not want to take away from the threading painting or piecing. So I micro stippled around the thread painting and quilted straight lines radiating from the center using different color coordinating Aurifil threads. I bound the quilt in the white tone on tone fabric.


The next photos were taken by Giuseppe (@giucy_giuce) with Andover Fabrics!

Casey AG Mini 1Casey AG Mini 2Casey AG Mini 4Casey AG Mini 5

Finished Size: 26 inch x 29 inch
Happy Quilting!!

XX Casey

Journal 17

Sunflower Thread Painting Christmas Gift

this year I started a new job in Forensics at my local police department and met a great group of friends. One of my coworker’s Ashley saw my thread paintings on social media and said she would love to have a sunflower. She also had a brilliant idea to try framing the thread painting instead of making a mini quilt. So I decided to surprise her for Christmas and do both, make a sunflower thread painting for her and frame it in a rustic frame (to match her home decor). She mentioned that she liked blues so I found the most perfect blue background fabric that makes it appear to be raining on the sunflower. I chose a Rashida Coleman-Hale print in her fabric collection Raindrop called Precipitation in teal (metallic) for Cotton and Steel.



I decided to make the thread painting look somewhat realistic. I started by drawing out the design on paper to see what i thought, and then i drew a similar design on my fabric with a Frixon pen. I backed the fabric with Peltex on 72F Double-sided Fusible and SF 101.



I started in the center and tried to create the bumpy, bead-like texture of the sunflower center. I used Aurifil 50 wt threads in greens, tans, browns, and gold. For the petals I used three different golds/yellow Aurifil threads.



I added a stem and a few leaves to give the flower a life-like appearance. I used a few shades of green and tan Aurifil threads.


For the overall quilting I freemotion quilted (using Aurifil 50wt threads) a stipple pattern in the same direction as the rain in the background.


I bought a frame that matched the escthetic perfectly by pairing the golds/ tans/ greens with the rustic qualities!


I absolutely love the way the thread painting turned out, frame and all!


Happy quilting!!

XX Casey

Journal 16

“Magic” Thread Painted Pillow

I was so inspired when I met Sarah Jane at Spring Quilt Market and saw her new whimsical line “Magic”! The collection truly embodies children’s fantasy and imagination with a parade, unicorns, castles, dragons, mermaid and narwhals. 

I love how Sarah Jane always tries to incorporate sweet border prints in her collections, so that is where I drew inspiration!

Now which character to choose…I decided on the little wizard because what is a better representation of “Magic” than a cute wizard!

I knew I wanted to put my thread painting in the center of a Feathered Star block by Jessie Ziegler (Threaded Quilter). I made the 16″ star which means my thread painting would be in a tiny 4″ square…whew! I wanted to include both blue and pink fabrics from Magic. So for my thread painting I used the color scheme of the wizard for the white/blue color way and put it on a soft pink background.

I started by drawing the design on the fabric with a pencil. I then began thread painting outline with black Aurifil. Next I threaded painted her face, hair, and stars using peach, pink, and yellow Aurifil. 

Then I thread painted the light blue around the stars in the cape and hat. 

I felt like the thread painted still needed something, so I added birds for her to cast a spell on.

I went back and forth on which fabric should go up against the thread painting and star points (which would be mermaids on blue). I tried lucky stars on white, lucky stars on navy, magic folk on white, magic folk on navy and baby dragon on grey. I felt like the whites blended into the mermaids too much, so that was out. The grey fabric just wasn’t the right fit. 

I like the navy stars because I pulled out the stars in the cape but I went with magic folk in navy because it pulled all the blues and pinks together!

I fussy cut the mermaids for the star points (trying not to repeat the mermaids). 

For the feathers on the stars I used baby dragons in pink/ baby dragons in blue and fussy cut the dragons and gold specks. For the diamond points on the star tips I used unicorn forest in pink and fussy cut the unicorns. 

Since the star was made up of mostly light colored fabrics I chose to use castle plans in navy for the background. I love how the star jumps off the dark background!

For the back of the pillow I used magical parade in white and lucky stars in white, so they star appeared like they were in the sky above the parade.

For the quilting I wanted to keep it simple but create texture so I used 2 layers of Quilters Dream Wool batting and 1 layer or cotton batting on the front. I stipples around the thread painting and echoed the shape of the star points/mermaids. 

For the rest of the star I stitched in the ditch and left them unquilted so they stay poofy!! For the background I echoed/carried out the shape created from the feathered star. 

Look at the cool quilting from the back!

For the quilting on the back I used a walking foot and created a grid.

The final touch was a bright pink zipper and an Ikea feather pillow form (super soft). Here are a few final photos.

Happy Quilting!
XX Casey

Journal 15

“What Shade Are You?” Flying Geese Quilt

I could not believe it when RJR Fabrics emailed me about participating in their Cotton Supreme Solids block hop. No one had ever asked me to participate in their blog hop, so I was very excited!

When I received the color card in the mail I was blown away by just how many color choices they had to offer. I don’t normally work with strictly solids so I had no idea what to make or what colors to choose. I decided to pull a color palette with greens, blues, red, pink and mustard as my color inspiration! I chose 15 colors (including 5 background colors):
Tickled Pink
Proud as a Peacock
Kelly Green
Golden Topaz
Linen White
Kona Coffee
Sand Dune

Wow when the fabrics arrived I could not get over the vibrant hues and how soft and how much body they had.


I knew whatever I decided to make, I couldn’t just use solids, I had to toss in a few Cotton and Steel Black & white prints (obviously). Here are the prints I used:
Bear hug metallic
Flock metallic
Hoos there
2.5″ Gingham Black
Petite Plus
Sprinkle Black Cat
I wanted to create a unique pattern with improv and modern piecing. While I was way outside my comfort zone, why not draft a large paper piecing quilt pattern… So, I created my own flying geese pattern that graduated in size from 12″ wide to 1/2″ wide geese. For the centers of the flying geese I pieced together slivers of solids and B&W fabrics creating fabric to cut from.



For the background I used a graduation of neutrals from light to dark.



To give the quilt a modern feel I left a bunch of negative space in the background.


For the backing I pieced together leftover colored solids, Cotton and Steel B&Ws, and background fabrics.


Since there was a ton of negative space, why not play around with graffiti quilting to enhance the body of the fabrics and the texture of the quilting? To continue with the modern/improv feel I quilted using Aurifil 50wt thread in a variety of colors that coordinated with the Cotton Supreme Solids.






I bound the quilt in leftover solid scraps and B&W fabrics.




Finished Quilt Size: 52 x 60

Happy Quilting!

XX Casey

Journal 14

Thread Painted Poppy Pillow
When I first saw the gorgeous Handcrafted Patchwork fabrics by Alison Glass I was blown away. I love how these patterns lend themselves more to quilting since the designs are closer together.

 Of course I wanted to use the fabrics as the base for a thread painting but what? Then I thought of my poppy design that I drew a few years ago.

 Since poppies are found in grassy fields, I pulled the fabrics with mostly greens for the background. I chose to piece a herringbone pattern that would be something different and allow for various fabrics to be showcased (pieced with Aurifil 50 wt).

I wanted to make sure my poppies stood out from the busy background so I decided to thread paint them bright red and magenta/purple with Aurifil 50 wt. I recolored my design to give the petals more of an ombré effect (a technique I mastered in the Tula Pink owl). I thread painted the black outlines first and then came back and applied the colors. 

Once the poppies were complete Mom told me they looked strange floating in mid air so after polling Instagram, I added grass!

 I actually like how the grass turned out. I like how it appears more as a shadow effect with a few different shades of green.

 I didn’t want to make another mini quilt so I ventured out and this was my first attempt at a thread painted pillow. So I decided not to use the Peltex Double Sided Fusible that I typically use to stabilize the thread painting for fear it would make the pillow too stiff, instead I used a couple layers of fusible batting and SF101. Using the batting however made the thread painting pucker slightly so I knew whatever quilting I chose in the background needed to be heavy enough to quilt out the puckers. I wanted to accentuate the handcrafted fabrics not take away from them so I tried quilting with Aurifil Monofilament thread in smoke (on top and regular Aurifil 50 wt in bobbin). I quilted each herringbone section differently and quilted around the fabric designs to make them pop! I absolutely love the way the front of the pillow came out and I actually think I like the quilting better than the thread painting!! Lol

For the back I used Olive Essex Linen with a pieced strip using leftover handcrafted scraps from the front. I wanted to play around with free motion quilt designs so I graffiti quilted the back testing out patterns. I practiced my feathers/ feather variations, pebbles, checkered, and swirls etc. 

I enjoyed the graffiti quilting and definitely want to do more in the future! I quilting the back with Aurifil Monofilament thread in smoke. The thread blends in perfectly with olive Essex, but I had known the quilting would have turned out so well I would have chosen a thread that stood out. (Oh well, there is always next time)

The pillow came out beautifully! I am very pleased with the result and I will be making more thread painted pillows soon!

Happy Quilting!
Xx Casey

Journal 13

2 for 1 double gauze quilt!

Last November I met the talented and inspiring Katy Jones who is the editor of Quilt Now magazine. After realizing how much quilty-greatness is inside each issue of Quilt Now magazine, I knew that is exactly what I should get mom for Christmas. Enclosed in one of the first issues was not only one great quilt pattern but a 2 for 1! Even Better!


I found this pattern very simple but perfect for busy fabrics with big, bold designs.


I had a bug to try working with a new (to me) textile, double gauze! I started with a great bundle of Nano Iro from Trailer Stash Fabrics and added a few additional pieces to have enough fabric for the pattern. This quilt would be solely double gauze fabrics from Nano Iro, Heather Ross and Cotton and Steel.


I had a feeling this fabric would be a bit tricky to work with and have a lot of play. To my surprise the piecing wasn’t too difficult with a little starch. The quilt top went together very quickly. Once it was all together I could now tell the blocks were a bit wonky due to the play in the fabric.



6 months later I am finally ready to quilt this soon-to-be cuddly quilt. I wasn’t sure how I should quilt it. I ended up choosing a very simple design that would not take away from the bold prints but also not too tight that might distort/destroy the delicate nature of the double gauze fabric. On the small triangles on each side of the flying geese pattern I straight line echoed inside the triangles. On the larger center triangles I continuously echoed the triangle design about 1/2 inch apart.




The quilting was going quickly but it was getting a little boring so I decided to mix it up. On every column I changed it up by adding a different design to one center triangle block.




After only 2 days of quilting it was finished! The blocks appear more wonky than I would like but i still love it.



I bound the quilt in the leftovers from the back. After I threw it in the wash it was SO crinkly and cuddly! And what was even better was that the wonky blocks were not near as noticeable as before. I am so happy with how it came together (wonky blocks and all) and it is the softest quilt I have ever made!


For the back I used a large piece of my favorite from Nano Iro and Cotton and Steel (and selvage)!



I hope this quilt inspires you to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

Happy Quilting!

XX Casey

Journal 12

Halloween Fancy Fox Quilt!

So this time last year (2015) I had the idea to make a halloween-inspired quilt when my Cotton and Steel halloween bundle arrived. I knew I wanted to make the Fancy Fox pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, so why not combine these two ideas into one?


I gathered my new fabric bundle, a few additional halloween fabrics by Sarah Watson and Tula Pink, and some of my Cotton and Steel basics. I decided to pull all of the low volume and text print fabrics we (Mom and I) had together to use as the background fabrics. For the muzzles I went with essex linens and for the eyes/noses I used solid black (unless the fabrics were predominantly black, then I used metallic fabric).



As I was creating each fox I loved each one more than the last. It took 42 foxes and some time but the top was complete.



Fast forward 8 months and I was headed to Atlanta, Ga for Sewtopia quilt retreat. One of the outings at Sewtopia was a tour of the Cotton and Steel studio, so I brought my fox quilt top along for the Cotton and Steel designers to sign. I also got Elizabeth Hartman to sign a block (pictured below)!


Last week I finally got around to quilting it. I had the idea from the start to quilt it in a spider web free motion design, so in each quilt block i quilted a spider web. The quilting took a little time but I absolutely love the way it turned out.




I bound the quilt in leftover dot/skull fabric (Cotton and Steel) from the backing.





Here is the back! I used the dot/skull fabric from Cotton and Steel in two color ways tan and mint. I joined them together and made sure to keep the GREAT selvage (of course)!


I used one of my first leather white labels!


Now it’s finished just in time to enjoy at this year’s halloween!

I hope this quilt inspires you to make a Halloween themed quilted as well!

Happy Quilting!

xx Casey

Journal 11

My Thread Painted Quilt Goes To Market (Spring 2016)!

I was awe struck when I first met Tula Pink in November. But I was even more overjoyed to find out that she loved the thread painted mini quilt I made her so much that she said she would be in contact with me.

In early January I was so excited to open my email and find a message from Tula Pink. It felt like a dream! In Tula’s email she explained that she wanted me to make a thread painting using her newest Ultimate Thread Collection for Aurifil Threads. She sent me the design for the cover of her thread collection and I immediately recognized it as the owl from Full Moon Forest. She said I had to include the owl as the focal design and maybe incorporate flowers from various lines, but that the ultimate design was up to me. 

I got to work on my design and actually used my Tula Pink coloring book to figure out how I wanted to color the designs and which flowers to use. I decided to include flowers from Chipper, Elizabeth, and Moonshine. I thought it was important to utilize as many colors as I could in the design to best represent the vast range of colors in her threads. My favorite colors are pink and aqua so I wanted those to be the main colors in the thread painting with splashes of purple, orange, yellow and green. Tula mentioned that it would cool if I could thread paint the colors with an ombré effect, so in almost every large section that’s exactly what I did! I was very nervous to send her my colored design because what if she said she didn’t like it and I’d have to start all over again. I felt a huge sense of relief when she said she liked my design.

Now I had to figure out exactly how large to blow up the design so that the the thread would make an impact from far away (but also that I could realistically thread paint in the time I had and with the amount of thread I was given). My next challenge was determining how I was going to transfer this large design onto my fabric (Tula Pink True Colors grey daisies). I thought my best bet would be to use a light box, except that the light box was very small compared to the size of my design. I decided to keep tracing even though it was like seeing through mud and every time I moved onto a different area I had to shift the design/fabric on the light box (this was very frustrating since most of the time my previous lines did not match up!!) Despite my frustration I finished tracing onto my fabric with pencil. 

After adhering the Peltex 72F (double-sided fusible stabilizer) and SF101 to the back of the fabric I retraced the design with frixon pens. Now I was ready for the thread to arrive!

I was relieved to know the thread colors were very close to the colors I used in my design (because I had no idea what colors were in the collection when I made my design). Wow it is gorgeous!! 

I began the actual thread painting in mid March. I started by thread painting the thin grey outline on the owl. 

I began filling in the owl in all the blue sections. If they were ombré I always started by applying the darkest thread first and ending with the lightest thread. I was tired of thread painting blue and was so glad when I could move onto all the pink/purple sections. 

I filled in the pink and purple sections and even the smallest sections near the eyes. Whew, those were tiny sections that only needed 4-5 stitches to cover!

Next, I added the coral, orange and yellow accents.

Now to add a gorgeous rainbow of color around the paisleys (which means 24 different thread and bobbin color changes!) But I absolutely love it, it’s one of my favorite parts of the thread painting.

Next up was the green leaves around the side and head of the owl. 

Time to start the flowers! For the middle flower from Elizabeth, I chose my darkest colors, navy, purple, and dark pink. I started thread painting the petals first instead of the navy outline. By doing it this way the dark thread of the outline can go over and hide any imperfections in the petals. I love how the dark navy outline makes this flower appear to be popping off the fabric!

 I moved on to the flowers from Chipper in pink, coral, and orange with hints of blue and yellow to transition between other flowers.

 For the flowers from Moonshine I thread painted them in yellow and orange with hints of pink. 

Now the thread painting was complete! It took me almost an entire month (on and off) to thread paint just the owl. In total it took me around 50-60 hours to thread paint the entire design. 

I had 2-3 weeks left to piece and quilt the mini quilt. I wanted to keep my piecing to a minimum to draw the attention to the thread painting. I decided to modify Tula’s Stacks quilt pattern by adding flying geese (my favorite paper piecing designs) and shrinking it down. Tula and I both thought rainbow order was the obvious choice for the borders. 

So I began pulling all my Tula Pink stash out and making sure it was in rainbow order. (Wow I own a bunch of Tula fabric!) I used some of my mom’s stash too and combined we had nearly all of her previous lines represented (also some treasured fabrics like my Prince Charming Frogs). 

I made the cutest micro 2 inch pinwheels! 

As I was laying out my strips, pinwheels, and flying geese, I was surprised at how many pieces I had to add to make my sides the correct length. (Thank you mom @kbcjohn for helping with the layout) I actually had to go buy fabric that would go in specific spots to add length and remain in color order. In the corners I chose major focal fabrics since these were larger squares. I wanted the stacks to look as if they were floating so I used the same tone on tone grey daisy fabric.

Time for quilting! I knew I wanted to attempt feathers that would wrap around the owl thread painting to create a cohesive finished design. But I had never done feathers other than on a few samples. I watched Angela Walters feather tutorials on Craftsy to get the motion down. I decided I didn’t want to free hand the feathers so I used a water/air soluble pen to draw the feathers on the quilt top. For the remainder of the grey background I quilted simple straight lines. In the stacks I sampled all different quilt designs, from pebbles to swirls. I left the pinwheels and flying geese unquilted to add dimension to the quilt. I hand bound the quilt in the same grey fabric so it wouldn’t distract from the thread painting/borders. The quilt finished 28 inches by 30 inches. 

I absolutely love the way it came out. This is the largest and best piece I have ever created! 

I’m so honored that Tula asked me to make this piece to represent her Ultimate Thread Collection. (This photo is the thread debut at Schoolhouse)

 I can’t believe that my quilt will be hanging in the Aurifil booth at Quilt Market and then go on to tour with Aurifil at quilt shows. (This all still feels like a dream!) I can’t wait to see it hanging in the booth!

See you at Market!

Happy Quilting!

Xx Casey