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Rusty and Spirit

I find that most quilts have meaning. Many of the quilts I create are to remember a time or loved family member. Rusty and Spirit are probably my last two horses. This should make me sad but I am so honored to have time with them on this earth. This quilt fills me with joy.

Rusty and Spirit Finished

This year, Rusty will be 24 years old and still acts like a young man. Unfortunately, I lost Spirit in 2018 at only 13. Losing her was devastating and I know someday Rusty will join her. So, this quilt will always hold special meaning for me.

Quilt Design

As many of you know, I prefer to make my own patterns and come up with my own quilt designs. With Rusty and Spirit, I wanted to make a representational art quilt that would read well from a distance. I did not intend to include small details, but instead opted for the larger picture.
The first thing I did was peruse all my photos (oh yes I have a lot!) to find some images of them both to use. Below is a great image that I considered.
Spirit and rusty pasture bird
Ultimately, I chose to grab two different images and put them together. The original photo of Spirit was facing the opposite direction so I flipped it. I wanted the image to portray them both looking over a fence. This was a common stance, and I can envision them looking for someone to bring them treats.
Below are the final drawings I used to create them.
Rusty Drawing
Spirit Drawing

When I had drawings I liked, I auditioned them on the background. I like how they interracted.

Rusty and Spirit drawing placement for applique

After this, I added the other elements like the fence, bushes, rocks etc.

Custom Quilting

There are times that I know exactly the way I want to quilt something from the moment I look at a quilt. Other times I need to employ visual methods.
Sometimes, this means taking pictures and using my stylus on my tablet. In this case, I went big. I used sheet protectors to create a clear overlay. Then I used a wipe-off marker to audition designs. The feathers I chose look like fluffy clouds moving across the sky.
Rusty and Spirit custom feather audition
Rusty and Spirit custom feather close

You can also see the actual process of these two elements in the videos below:

Finishing Touches

The finishing touches for this quilt included bows in the horse’s hair. I also added flowers in the garden below.
You may have also see this quilt hanging in the 2022 Dallas Quilt show. We did not win a ribbon, but this quilt stole my heart and that is enough.

Final Quilt Stats

Quilt Name: Spirit and Rusty
Size: 59 x 59
Quilting Pattern: Custom
Thread: Various Glide
If you want to see more projects 
  1. Join the Facebook group Sewing and Quilting with Robyn.  Here you can not only see what I am up to, but also share your own projects!

So, what do you think?

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