Friday, October 1, 2010

Thread Tails and Vapor Trails: A Navy Quilt Challenge

Sometimes it's difficult to find common ground in a marriage when your hobby is quilting and your husband's hobby is working.   He loves to go to aircraft shows though. On on more than one occasion we have gone to the Sun and Fun air show in Florida and the Department of Defense Open House in Maryland.  So, when I saw the Thread Tails and Vapor Trails 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Quilt Challenge, I thought this had to be a perfect match for us.

After researching Naval Aviation for months, I was drawn to the Osprey, a helicopter that could convert into an airplane during flight.  While the Naval Aviation Centennial next year celebrates the influence of flight on a seafaring military, it seemed to me that the Osprey also represented a little of the future of naval aviation: an airplane able to set down as easily on land as on an aircraft carrier.  I selected two photos from the Navy's Osprey web page:

It took a while to figure out how to use Photoshop to create a design I could live with. My first attempt didn't really look like an Osprey to me at all.

Then I remembered that I had ordered some Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) from Leslie Riley a while back.   So instead of printing directly on fabric, I printed the Osprey picture on the TAP and ironed the image to the fabric.   Other techniques tried during this challenge were: using Organza to represent the wings of an Osprey bird, using some shiny halloween fabric to make the windows look translucent, adding charcoal netting to the aircraft carrier runway to make it look gravelly, and stippling in stripes. Here's my attempt:

Usually, when I photograph my quilts, I take them outside on my deck to catch the sunlight.  Unfortunately, the entire east coast was socked in with rain yesterday.  And, of course, I waited until the last minute to finish this quilt.  So, at the Friendship Star Service Project Workshop yesterday, I caught the flourescent light from the ceiling and had a friend hold the quilt for my pictures.  It's not the best picture to send in, but I'll hope for the best.  I should hear from the challenge sponsors by October 8th whether my quilt will be accepted as one of many from all around the country to celebrate in cloth the 2011 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation.  If it doesn't make it in....I've learned an awful lot to improve my quilting skills.    Wish me luck!


  1. Linda, you do amazing things with your art quilts. This is awesome.

  2. Unfortunately, I sent this quilt to Colorado via the US Post Office (overnight). It never got there and they have no record (very suspicious). So, this quilt is now listed on the "Lost Quilt Come Home" database. I had a good cry and seem to have lost my creative mojo....hopefully it's only temporary!

  3. Linda - I miss your posts! I'm sorry to hear about your MIA quilt. Did it ever resurface??

  4. Your quilt is excellent ... so sorry to hear it is missing ... hope it surfaces and is returned.
    Something I do when I mail quilts it to attach a little return label to the back.
    Sometimes items are stolen, they paw through and throw away things they can't get quick cash for.
    The little sticky label is what can give you a lead.

  5. An amazing quilt, I am sorry it has gone missing.