Monday, May 9, 2016

"Starry Scary Night"

Starry Scary Night by Chris Staver (27 in by 15 in)
I remember when planning a quilt meant looking in quilt books or magazines for ideas. Once I chose a quilt that I liked I even tried to follow their choices for fabrics.  That ended back in 2004 when for the first time I made a landscape quilt from a photo. Since then I have worked on becoming an art quilter with my own original ideas.

Several months ago I was thrilled to be asked by Alida to participate in the Art with Fabric blog hop. For this challenge we had to choose an piece of art that inspired us and make a quilt from that inspiration. I am sure it it not hard to figure out what artwork I chose for my inspiration for "Starry Scary Night!!"

Art with fabric blog hop link.

Van Gogh's "Starry Night" has always been one of my favorite paintings. So how could I not use this as my starting point? Many people have already done that. I have seen paintings based on it as well as quilts. So how do you do something different?

Altered Starry Night
Initially I started to play with Van Gogh's painting and changed the colors in Photoshop. Once I saw the red and turquoise sky it hit me to have an oil refinery along a river instead of the village. Anyone that know me knows I have this small thing against the use of fossil fuels and have done several energy quilts. So now the seed of inspiration was sewn.

The fabric design
I decided to create the fabric in Photoshop and have it printed at Spoonflower. This was certainly the easiest way to create that Van Gogh sky. The water I had to create on my own in Photoshop.

Before adding lights
Then it was a matter of sketching out the oil refinery and fusing it between the river and the sky. I had to cut out for all the lights and add fabric behind  the "holes". Some of the lights were from a hand-dyed yellow fabric. Some of them were from the extras water fabric that was created when it was printed.

Starry Scary night detail view
So we have an oil refinery at night with all the lights and reflections in the water. My husband came up with the title and claims it is his favorite of my energy quilts.

Here are the rest of the blog hop participants. Check them out.

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Friday, May 13th, 2016


  1. Wow this is fantastic and your husband nailed it on the title...good job guys!!! The reflection in the water is my favorite part but all of it is awe-mazing and inspiring!!!Fantastic job!

  2. Thanks for taking us through the process again. I'd forgotten that this was for a challenge and I loved checking out today's links. You did such a great job on this, and frankly, I think you did the best job of using a famous work of art as inspiration for your own original design of the the participants for today. Not a copy, but a jumping off point. The original source of inspiration is clear but you took it in a totally different direction. That EB class really helped bring out the best in you!

  3. Having followed your progress for years I have to say you are really growing into a fabulous art quilter. I have loved your pieces. This one is stunning. I love the background changing Starry, Starry Night to red. And the refinery really stands out. The little Windows makes it even more dramatic. I used to drive by an oil refinery outside of Los Angeles a lot. This definitely has the feel of that refinery. Now, it's time for solar panels! We have solar panels in the back yard that produce about 70% of our energy a year. I can't see an art quilt from them but if anyone could make them artsy it would be you!

  4. Chris this is really wonderful and I agree with your husband that, although I love all your energy quilts, I think this is your very best one.

  5. What an interesting take on the Starry Night! Love the colors, it adds a very other worldy feel.

  6. Wow, what a very interesting process and development from the inspiration point for your work. Going to Spoonflower was not something that would have crossed my mind. Your quilt has a very eery and ethereal feel.

  7. Stunning Chris. It is one of my favourite so far.

  8. Scary and stunning and enlightening all at the same time. I love the idea of going to Spoonflower to re-create the sky. Awesome job. I read through your blog and I love all the energy quilts!

  9. You did an amazing job! I would have never thought of changing up colors in photoshop nor to print it in spoonflower and use that as a base for a piece. Really good ideas and a fabulous result! Thanks for joining the hop!!

  10. This is amazing! I love the juxtaposition of the refinery against the red/turquoise sky. Wonderful and edgy.

  11. Hi Chris, I love the way that you've taken a familiar piece of art and changed it to make it your own. The change of colour really makes a difference and the refinery is a great touch. It's really great!

  12. Wow! This is so cool! You have a very creative imagination. Thanks for sharing what your talents.

  13. Great piece! I love Van Gogh as well. You're rendition is wonderfully original and modern. Good job.

  14. Belatedly catching up, Chris...too busy to visit all the links, but even though I live in THE Oil Province -- and even in the light of the scary starry 10 days that's been wildfires in Fort McMurray (a city people love to hate, a good portion of which has been destroyed in those same 10 days) and on the pending visit to my DD in Edmonton...when I pass various refineries... I really like the power behind this piece.


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