Since I'm still sewing bits and strings of scraps together on my current project and don't have much to show you yet, I thought I'd share with you a bit of the process behind making Watchman. The quilt was an experiment, I wanted to see what happened if I combined vertical strips and horizontal strips in the same landscape. I had a lot of desert colored fabrics in my stash plus I'm going to Tucson, AZ in the fall to teach and these things kind of came together in this quilt.
|Laying out strips, designing the background|
For smaller quilts, I have a 48 x 48 panel of insulating foam board covered with batting. I can just set the thing on a chair and don't have to rearrange my small sewing room to fit a large design wall. (Of course I could take down my aquarium and use that wall, but who wants to do that?! I like my fishies.)
Once the quilt top was designed, I drew out a life size tree on freezer paper - I had google images of bristlecone pine trees and I somewhat modeled my tree pattern after them. I pressed the freezer paper pattern onto a light weight fusible interfacing. I pressed it very very lightly and drew the outline of the tree on the interfacing with a metallic silver sharpie marker. Then I tore off the freezer paper and cut out the tree. The fusible is side up - I can now fuse bark prints to it and see what I'm doing.
|Beginning to add fabrics on the tree|
At this point I can cut out fabrics and layer them on the interfacing. I chose to use bark prints and angle them to make the tree look twisted. I also brought in a mucky green bark to help give the appearance of age and lichens and slimy wood. (Though now that I think of it, slimy wood wouldn't really be in the desert...)
You can see that I use a color value tool when I'm arranging fabrics. I don't want all the bark to be the same value, I want darker patches to suggest more shadowed and deeper grooves.
|Filling in the tree bark|
I pressed the tree to fuse the fabrics to the interfacing. It worked pretty well, but not perfectly so I used my glue stick to anchor the fabrics as I needed.
|Tree is mostly done|
Once the tree was done, I positioned it on the quilt top and began to fix the bottom.
|Adding more bark strips to anchor the tree to the quilt|
Here is a closeup so you can see what I'm doing better.
|Bottom of the tree|
Once the tree was arranged, I glued the bark strips down. Then I stitched the tree to the landscape and trimmed off the bottom to add borders and quilt.
|Closeup of quilting and highlights on the tree|
I'm a big fan of dye markers and white highlighters. So.... I shaded portions of the tree and highlighted others. You can see the white highlights on the 'up' side of the branches. I also added some rocks on the middle left portion of the landscape.
|Bristlecone Pine Tree , closeup|
I still have the pattern for this tree and lately I've been thinking about doing it again only in a different setting and maybe adding my hawk from Night Hunter. BUT, before that I need to finish that woven strip thing I have been working on all summer.
This morning Ellie Cat was helping me sew on a sleeve to a quilt which is going to a new home. She is such a sweetie.
Comments and questions are welcome!
That's all from both of us today. Happy quilting adventures everyone!