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Kestrel Michaud


Classically-trained Fine Artist and Fabric Illustrator


  1. Kestrel's Computer and Sewing Machines

    The most-requested blog topic from last year's survey was about my tools: Anything and everything I use in my studio to make my art. There are lots and lots of things I use for every quilt, so I've split this topic into four separate posts. This first post is all about my computer, my sewing machines, and the extra stuff that goes with them. …


  2. The True Primary Colors

    The 2021 SAQA Seminar — which focused on color — got me thinking about one of my own pet peeves: the Red-Blue-Yellow (RBY) color model. …


  3. Picking Fabric

    I was asked to create a video in which I share a skill as part of SAQA's new Skill Swap program. In this video, I share how to pick fabric using color swatches and demonstrate using the fabrics from the wave in There's Something in the Water. …


  4. Illustrator Alternatives

    Adobe Illustrator is an absolutely vital component of my quilt design process, but signing up for a regular monthly payment is not ideal or possible for everyone. I've been asked numerous times for my recommendation of an alternative vector software, but it's not a question I've had a good answer to because there's no reason for me to look outside of Illustrator. …


  5. Make Your Own Color Reference Swatches

    All of my quilts are designed on the computer. Everything from the size of the quilt to the shape of each piece of fabric to the colors of the fabrics themselves is determined before even looking at a scrap of cloth. …


  6. Kestrel's Modified Hanging Sleeve

    If a quilt hangs on the wall, it gets a 4" sleeve. There are other methods of hanging, but all traditional quilt shows and SAQA shows require a standard 4" sleeve. Making sleeves comes with the territory of being an art quilter. …


  7. Project Planning

    One of my newsletter subscribers asked me how I organize my time and projects. Project organization has always just kind of happened for me; how I do it is not something I've ever had to put into words, so I've been letting that question roll around in my head. Then my husband and I took our dog for an evening walk and planned out my entire 2021 year in 45 minutes, haha. …


  8. Remembering Obi

    Obi was a purebred Tibetan Terrier (TT) born on February 14, 2011. He died on Friday, November 27, 2020 after suffering from Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE) for five months. He was the sweetest, purest soul and I want to use this post to share some of my favorite memories of him. …


  9. 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. …


  10. 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. …