Project Quilting 13.2: In Silhouette

When this week's Project Quilting "In Silhouette" challenge theme was announced, I thought there might be potential to use this as a jumping off point for one of my Prism Play regional exhibit entries. On Monday, inspiration struck and I went to work designing my 15" x 45" composition featuring silhouettes and spring green fabrics. While I absolutely love the direction of this piece, the design process took significantly longer than expected and as of Saturday morning, there were several areas that needed attention before I could even finish the construction or start quilting. Rather than rush the design process, I decided to start a new and smaller piece to finish in time for Project Quilting. 

Saturday night, around 5 pm, a camp song popped into my head: A Boy and a Girl...
"Just a boy and a girl, in a little canoe
with the moon shining all around.

He applied his paddle so,
you couldn't even hear a sound.

And they talked and they talked,
til the moon drew dim.
Then he said "You better kiss me or get out a swim."

So whatcha gonna do, in a little canoe,
with the moon shining all a,
boys swimming all a, and 
girls paddling all around." 
My project actually started with a photo of 4 women paddling in the annual Palisades Parkway Canoe Regatta open to all summer camps located within the Palisades Park in New York. That's me in the bow (front of the canoe) as part of a mother/daughter staff team with Chief Camper, Tweety, and Baywatch in the stern. Note: these are their camp names.  After I scanned the photo, I printed out an enlarged copy to trace onto the paper backing Pellon 805 Wonder Under fusible. 

My apologies to my fellow racers for the creative editing to create a boy and a girl in a little canoe. The fusible with the outlined image was ironed onto a scrap of solid black fabric. Once the outline was carefully cut out, I started to audition potential backgrounds. The navy fabric had some wonderful water-like ripples, but I worried that it was too close in value to the newly cut out black silhouettes. Next I auditioned some of my fauxbori fabrics which provided a stronger contrast to my pair of paddlers. 

Dark blue scraps were pulled to improvisationally piece an evening sky. A circle was cut out from some metallic bathing suit fabric and fused to create the shining moon. Working from the background to the foreground, each section was pinned onto batting and backing for quilting, before adding the next section. 

The painted forest involved a bit of stamping using a variety of acrylic paints with metallic accents. Again, I worked from the background to the foreground, layering on different stamped shapes, colors, and textures.

Once the stamped section was dry, fusible was added and the unprinted background was trimmed away. As I was almost halfway done topstitching this section, I realized that I hadn't overlapped these two areas enough as there was a pretty noticeable section of batting exposed! Luckily I had done a bit of test stamping before stamping this section, so I was able to source a leaf/tree to cover the gap.

The fauxbori fabric was swapped out for a Laurel Birch print which picked up similar blue tones from the scrappy sky. The canoeists were fused into place, topstitched, and surrounded with wavy quilted lines. A silver Uniball Signo pen was used to add moonlights to the paddlers and canoe.

A variety of 50wt, 40wt, solid, variegated, and metallic threads were used to piece the scraps and complete the quilting.

Earlier in the day I was teaching how I audition fabrics for binding. As part of my demo I was using a long remnant of black binding, which was perfect for framing this piece.
"Flashing with Silver" finishes 17" x 18"

As always, thanks to Kim and Trish for another inspiring quilt challenge theme! Be sure to check out all the amazing one-week entries made for Project Quilting's "In Silhouette" challenge. And check back on my progress on the other art quilt featuring silhouettes!

I'll leave you with one more camp song that inspired the quilt's title: "My Paddle's Keen and Bright"

"My paddle's keen and bright,
Flashing with silver.
Follow the wild goose flight,
Dip, dip and swing

Dip, dip and swing them back
Flashing with silver
Swift as the wild goose flies
Dip, dip and swing."


  1. Nicely done. Love the process information.

    1. Awww...thank you! It was fun to relive these camp memories. Glad you enjoyed the process information!

  2. Love the colors. Those trees are cool. There's so much detail in the whole piece.

    1. Thanks! It was a fun piece to create using my favorite techniques. I really had fun incorproating a few special details despite the late start and looming deadline...glad you enjoyed them too.

  3. Oh my, simply awesome! Great to read about your process!

    1. Awww...thanks Deb. It made for a really enjoyed evening of creating and reliving some wonderful summer camp memories!

  4. Incredible! thanks for sharing the process! I LOVE this piece!

    1. Thank you!! The time flew by as I was revisiting my paddling/camping days and my favorite quilting techniques. These loves definitely translated into my finished piece. So glad you enjoyed. Thanks again for another fabulous challenge!


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