Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Cross River Gorilla ~ Island Batik and Aurifil Challenge

Meet the Cross River Gorilla, an Endangered Species challenge quilt made with Island Batik Fabric and Aurifil Thread.  

Note:  Items used to make this project were generously supplied by Island Batik, Aurifil Thread, Hobbs Batting, and Schmetz Needles.

This month the Island Batik Ambassadors were each assigned an endangered species to coordinate with the new Aurifil thread sets shown above.  I received the Cross River Gorilla with three beautiful shades of purple, a light, a medium, and a dark.  I did some research on the Cross River Gorilla and learned a few things about them.

1.  Sadly, they are critically endangered.  There are only 200-300 left in the wild.  They are mainly victims of poaching and habitat encroachment.

2.  They live in Cameroon in highland rain forests in family groups.

3.  They average 5 feet tall and weight between 220 and 440 pounds.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make this quilt.  I drew different sketches of gorillas.  I studied the colors in the photo (Aurifil thread's photo) above.  I pinned them up on my design wall and contemplated what to do.  I'm sure I spent more time thinking about it than actually making it.

I eventually used a fusible applique approach.  I used fabrics from Island Batik's Fancy Feathers by Kathy Engle collection, plus green and brown fabrics from basics and blenders.  

I fussy cut this piece for the ear.  I love how it really looks like an ear.  So cool.

I zigzag stitched around the edges of each patch using the three purple threads.  

Next, I stitched some details on the face, like the smile and lines between and under the eyes.

Then I dove in and thread painted the gorilla's fur, beginning with the light thread going around the face, and the detail line across the upper part of the head.

I continued thread painting "fur" using all three of the shades of purple Aurifil thread.  It was a lot of fun.  Once I began, I couldn't stop until the entire composition was complete.

I used a brown shade of Aurifil thread to quilt the tree.  I used Hobbs Fusible Batting and Schmetz needles.  It was fun to quilt the knots into the tree.

I used a green Aurifil thread to quilt a leafy pattern over the green part of the background.

Cross River Gorilla
Quilt Stats:
Finished Quilt Size:  22" x 21"
Fabric: Fancy Feathers by Kathy Engle, Basics, and Blenders, Island Batik
Batting:  Hobbs Fusible
Thread:  Cross River Gorilla Color Builders, by Aurifil

Have you seen the Endangered Species quilts made by the other Island Batik Ambassadors?  So much creativity!  Visit all the Ambassadors blogs here:

Megan Best ~
Pamela Boatright ~
Elizabeth DeCroos ~
Epida Studio
Jennifer Eubank ~ Archipelago Quilting
Jennifer Fulton ~
Preeti Harris ~ Sew Preeti Quilts
Joanne Hart ~
Mania Hatziioannidi ~
Emily Leachman ~
Denise Looney ~
Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights
Maryellen McAuliffe ~
Claudia Porter ~
Gail Renna ~
Brianna Roberts ~
Michelle Roberts ~
Gail Sheppard ~
Andi Stanfield ~
Jennifer Thomas ~
Janet Yamamoto ~

Be Creative ~ Sew Something Beautiful Today.

Jennifer Thomas

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  1. It looks amazing, Jennifer!!! I love it! You captured his face so well.

  2. Wonderful job, Jennifer. This is a great representation of the cross river gorilla!

  3. Really love the colours and patterns of your quilts . Very creative.