Centennial Quilt- The Grand Truck Railway

As you know, I'm moving along with a deadline in place. April 26th, I have to have this whole quilt done. 
I really want to see this quilt hung at the Smithers Trade Show on April 27th, 2013 in our arena!

So that is only  few more weeks, but its all good! Its all OK, I'm not stressed or worried about anything now!

I had to just tidy up a few details before beginning to Free Motion Quilt is quilt. 

Yes, I'm doing the whole quilt in Free Motion Quilting!

I really am having a hoot of a good time playing, creating, improvising and experimenting with the progression of Train portion of the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

This one is for Heather Gallagher, our awesome Smithers Chamber of Commerce Manager. She inspired me with her image of what she imagined,  "I see an awesome big old train steaming large and beautiful into the quilt. Can you do that Carli?"

Yes, Heather, I can do that! Just for you!

Here we go... hold on, its a bunch of photos.

 Don't worry, this block portion is overlay pinned over the other parts of the Centennial quilt. That is just  how I took this photo, you have to wait to see it.

But here comes the Grand Truck Railway engine thundering along a cold frozen winter track heading towards Prince Rupert port. In any photo, you can zoom in closer to see how much thread painting is on top of the pieced engine.

The photo below shows that I had picked a photo from this book "Smithers- a Railroad Town, Revised Edition" written by local Harry Kruisselbrink of our local museum. You can reach the Bulkley Valley Historical and Museum Society, info@bvmuseum.com

As I'm mentioned before this technique of layering fabric pieces and thread painting is out there in the world in books and DVD's and I've blogged about it before here. In this link, you'll see how I accomplished the block of Sir Alfred Smithers.

It all started with this graphed transfer from the photo. The onto transferred to fabric in the photo below.

The technique is rather simple, easy to do with gluing the pieces in place, being careful and I do recommend reading Susan Carlson's book Serendipity Quilts.

 Eventually, you get to your goal of starting to do the thread painting of this technique.

I began by covering the entire train engine with any old light colored organza fabric, tacked with pins and then held down with stitching. Its a real blast to paint with thread.

I recommend that you visit Nadia over at Multicolored Pieces blog for her use of thread painting.

I recommend not being afraid to experiment. I even used locally donated doilies made into mountains. 

Take a deep breath, try new things and even on mega projects where the whole community and blogasphere is watching. 

Don't let others who don't understand your perspective get in the way of you doing your best work. 
This is what I consider to be my best work so far. And I did have nay sayers, unbelievers and  some less than encouraging behaviour from some I won't name. But the point I make is to "forge your own path"

If you like the look of thread painting, my goodness are you in for a google searching good time. I have been fortunate that I stumbled along on some awesome thread painters online. You can too, just google thread painting and see what you find?

The next post is on the big reveal of the whole top complete, ready for free motion quilting!

Thanks for dropping by and I love to read what you think.

All the best, Carli


  1. Carli, this is truly impressive. I love your process and I really apriciaet your encouraging words. There are NO quilt police, sometimes we forget that. Sorry I haven't responded to your e-mail yet I'll be in better contact with you in the next couple days. :D

    1. No worries, I'm organizing for the fall, so we have time to connect, thanks for popping in to visit and your kind words!

  2. Do your best work and you can always be proud! You are making such a fabulous quilt and contribution to your community there is every reason to be proud! Keep moving forward.


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