Friday, March 22, 2013

The Orchard

I mentioned earlier that I decided not to put any insets into my Sierra Blanca mountain quilt and instead decided to incorporate them into a new quilt.  You may remember my orchard inspiration picture, this is at my parent's, they have apple and cherry and peach trees (these are apple I think).  I wanted to have a blue sky though instead of grey since that's one of the characteristics of New Mexico winters- once the snow goes, the crisp blue sky comes back (as in the next one of my bldg a snowman about 8 or 9 years ago).

Anyway, while I was still at the seminar, I painted some sky pieces to put behind my trees using the Australian equivalent of cetacolor transparent fabric paints.  I also decided to paint the three apple trees and apple tree shadows I'd decided to put in the quilt.  For the sky, I painted the fabric wet to give a blendy look.  However, for the shadows and trees I painted the fabric dry. At Gloria's suggestion, for the trees I sketched my tree outline in ballpoint pen (with the intention of cutting the line off later) and then painted it in.  While painting the brown in, I made an effort to leave half of each branch white to give the appearance of snow.  I think my trees turned out very nice, but painting them was fairly painstaking.  I am not a painter, so even though this type of painting doesn't require any drawing ability, it was still outside my comfort zone.

After all my pieces dried, I assembled my sky and foreground in preparation for adding the trees.  This whole piece will be machine appliqued onto another snowy landscape background.  So far the trees are just pinned up, and the left ones don't have their shadows, but this is more or less what they'll look like.  I may decide to thread paint some more trees in the background,  I'm not sure yet.

For the sky of my larger snowy landscape background, I decided to use one of the techniques Gloria taught in the class that I didn't use in the mountain quilt: tiling.  You can see it in the background of her Fern Pool and Wind Power quilts here.  Although you can do this with any type of fabric, I didn't have any that I thought worked, so I decided to paint another piece of fabric to cut up for my tiles.  Here it is.

And this is as far as I've gotten!  My next step is cutting the fabric up to use for tiles- you can make them any shape; squares, rectangles, and diamonds were all popular.  One of the students from a previous year brought her quilt in for show and tell and she'd arranged her diamond tiles in a tumbling block pattern so I decided I'd try that.  We'll see!  I'm linking up with the lovely Nina-Marie as always!


  1. Your trees are so elegant. And I love your hand dyed fabric. Funny- I am doing some winter trees in my work now too- I love seeing yours- and you've inspired me.

  2. You are doing beautifully! A very nice start, great blue fabric and trees are great too.

  3. you know I really like where these are going - but still I think I could appreciate it more if was July and not a very snowy March! (grin)