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Superior Spotlight: Leslie M

Posted: 7 November 2014 at 6 a.m.

Leslie McNeil Northern Lights

Leslie, a fantastic quilter and blogger, did a phenomenal job thread painting this beautiful piece, “Northern Lights”.  In her own words, she describes the inspiration and production of this quilt.

“I wanted to relay to the viewer a dazzling and dimensional color story that reflected my own creative interpretation of the awe of the phenomenon of our “Northern Lights”.  My inspiration came with a piece of hand dyed fabric from Vicki Welsh.  She makes GORGEOUS fabrics.  After sorting through many fabrics, I knew it was the one.  Next came a little experimenting and playing by adding creative embellishments. 

I began by adding hand painted highlights onto the fabric, applying light strokes of Silks Acrylic Glazes by Luminarte.  I spritzed them with water to help them spread and diffuse.  Once the paint was heat-set and cured, I layered the base fabric with silver foil leaf (a somewhat painstaking and slightly messy process!).  I then fused fabrics and Textiva sheets, where I cut strips, crinkled them in my hands, and ironed them to bring out more depth of color.

With so much “going on” in the background, I kept the overall quilting design simple, free flowing, and vertical from top to bottom, with soft, undulating curvy lines.  I’m sure there were well over thirty thread changes.  I used at least 12-14 different threads on top, 7 Razzle Dazzle, 5-6 Magnifico, and Silver Metallic.  For the bobbin I used MasterPiece and Bottom Line.  Of course, I chose to use Superior’s Titanium-coated Topstitch Needle size 90/14.  I counted using over 17 bobbins and each bobbin usually equates to 20-30 minutes of quilting for me, so you can have an estimate of how long it took to complete “Northern Lights”.

The quilting, tension, stitches, whatever you wish to point to—it’s not perfect.  I don’t apologize for that, I just know it’s the pursuit of excellent, not perfection.  There is amazing freedom when you do that.”

Leslie McNeil Northern Lights

Leslie McNeil Northern Lights

Leslie McNeil Northern Lights

Do you love Leslie’s work as much as we do?  Follow her blog or find more of her amazing work on Etsy.

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  • 3. troye anne fennell (14 January 2015 at 11:28 a.m.)

    beautiful piece of work
  • 2. Lisa (11 November 2014 at 1:58 p.m.)

    I have seen this piece live and in person. It is like a painting of Van Gough's in that pictures do not fully capture the colors, texture, sheer beauty of it. This is amazing.. nearly luminous. A true piece of art.
  • 1. Amy Johnson (07 November 2014 at 5:41 p.m.)

    I will dare to say I love Leslie's work MORE than you! She's such a talented and wonderfully encouraging person.

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