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Kestrel Michaud


Classically-trained Fine Artist and Fabric Illustrator


  1. Sewing 100wt Thread

    Dear readers, I have had an epiphany. It suddenly occurred to me while sewing my newest quilt exactly why something I had been doing for awhile (swapping needles around) was keeping my thread from breaking. It was a literal "Aha!" moment. My newfound state of enlightenment inspired me to write this post in order to share my knowledge with all of you lovely people. …


  2. A Happy Little Accident

    I was around three-quarters of the way through making my newest quilt, Morning Commute, when I made a mistake. In the words of Bob Ross, "there are no mistakes, only happy, little accidents," and it's true that this accident ended up making a stronger image. But at the time, I was demoralized because keeping the accident, which I liked, had certain ramifications for the design of the rest of the quilt. …


  3. Morning Commute Process

    My method of making quils involves putting hundreds and thousands of pieces of fabric together to make a larger picture. This process has its drawbacks, one of which is I have no way to use smooth gradients. The only way for me to transition from one color to another is to find all the values of color in between. Like this: …


  4. FlowScape

    Have you ever had an idea for a new picture but had no way of getting the perfect reference photo? Sometimes I have an image in my head of how something should look, but I struggle recreating that design in the real world without having a reference. Usually (for me), that happens because the perspective is wrong and I just can't quite grasp why or how to fix it. This is where FlowScape can help. …


  5. Designing Overlap in Illustrator

    I was recently asked to explain how I make individual pieces in Illustrator. How do I go from this: …


  6. Textile Talks - Conversations with the Artists: Aloft

    On July 22, 2020, I was invited to be one of the guest artists participating in a SAQA-sponsored Textile Talk. SAQA, aka Studio Art Quilt Associates, is one of several organizations sponsoring these Textile Talks on a rotational basis. …


  7. Steampunk Selfie vs Leap of Faith

    Earlier this year, I finished a quilt titled Leap of Faith. This quilt shows a girl bungee-jumping from a steampunk airship while taking a selfie photo. It's very similar, seemingly identical, to a quilt I made last year titled Steampunk Selfie. How is that possible and why would I do such a thing? This post will explain what the deal is with these two quilts. …


  8. Stitch Theory

    My art is designed to tell a story through fabric. All the information a viewer needs to understand what is going on is right there, no sewing required. I only started stitching my art out of necessity: I couldn't enter it into quilt shows unless my art was in quilt form, and that meant it had to be sewn. …


  9. Sewing Leap of Faith

    If you've ever submitted a quilt to a traditional, judged quilt show, you've probably received a judging sheet included with your returned quilt once the show has finished. Judging sheets are filled out during the judging process and usually have categories and a rating scale, your quilt's score in each category, and (sometimes) direct comments from the judge him/herself. This information is invaluable in learning why a quilt did or didn't place, as well as what areas could use the most improvement. …


  10. Raster vs Vector and Kestrel's Drawing Apps

    I have two apps I use for drawing on my iPad: Procreate and Concepts. Even though they're both drawing apps, they're fundamentally different from each other and, consequently, excel in different ways. …