It was a big project, now it's a big quilt and that means this will be a big post! Lean back and enjoy :)
The quilt was presented at my March guild meeting, but unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures from that, so what follows was taken at night, on the floor of my apartment :)
One thing I will point out is that I changed some things from this photo: 1) see the zig-zag line to the left of the trunk? I didn't like the look of that falling leaf, too unnaturally straight, so I took it out and did a softly looping float-to-the-ground line. 2) not/or barely visible on this photo, there was unquilted space around the crown of the tree - I filled most of that in and even quilted over the edge onto the border and am happy I did - I didn't want batting to float around the edge in 5 years!
On my home floor it looks like this:
To start the story at the beginning, my friend Jen asked for this quilt and picked some photos of the net, one of which happened to be a wall-hanging from Anne of Film and Thread, one of the blogs I love to keep up to date with. I used her tree shape and the fallen/falling leaves as inspiration but chose a different (simpler) leaf shape since I appliqued instead of Cherokee printed, and I added a border. Anne had pebbled the ground around the tree trunk, and I knew I needed to pebble something because when Jen first asked for a quilt, it was in reaction to my Mossy Monkey Mechanic, which is pebble-central. So to not copy Anne entirely, I pebbled around the leaves/crown of the tree. Oof, lots and lots of pebbling (I calculated that I used roughly 1.5 km of plum thread doing the pebbling, based on the # of bobbins I used (I went through 1 and a half spools of 1200 m thread of the plum colour alone, but that includes other quilting and some piecing).
I knew from the beginning how I wanted to quilt the trunk:
Next came all the pebbling - a loooooong time quilting those! My foot got so hot from the pedal some days, I had to stop because it burned even through the sock (luckily, no meltdown of wires in the pedal!)
I quilted in the ditch around the squares in the border and it looks really puffy when you bent down to eye-level (does a quilt have an eye-level??) - more so than in this photo!
I was stumped about what to quilt in the empty space between leaves and ground. I considered flowers (too cheesy), a mountainous horizon (too clichee) and ended up putting in what I consider the best compliment in the world: "Stay as you are"
To not have that be too cheesy, I made the letters organic, so to say, by having them sprout leaves, flowers of different shapes, have roots penetrate the ground etc. I figured it wouldn't be quite so obvious and would have to be pointed out to most people, so it's a little code-compliment to my friend. Plus it gives her something to discover everytime she looks at the quilt (though I stopped before I started having raccoons poke out of the letter A or woodpeckers chopping away at the T... :)
Then I had some leaves falling, either quilted or appliqued, also inspired by Anne:
The leaves are rough-edge appliqued, and I bet they would look a lot nicer hand-appliqued since I like clean edges, but I figured rough edges are more natural and I would still be appliqueing leaves now if I'd done it by hand.
The backing shows the quilting nicely in the eggplant-coloured space, and the leaves puff out against the pebbled background.
I used up almost every scrap of fabric Jen gave me! Hence the patch-worked, random backing :)
I delivered it last Friday and wow, was she happy! That's the best about quilting, next to finishing a quilt... when the recipient really really likes the quilt and appreciates the work and shows interest in how it was done... makes me absolutely happy :)
So, between this quilt and the raffle quilt (I'm at 1364$!!!!!!!!!!!), I've been busy, and on top of all that, I'm moving across an ocean in less than 2 weeks, so my fabrics are packed and there won't be any quilting (or a bare minimum if I manage to squeeze a small project into my hand-luggage) for the next 6 weeks (shipping things by freighter takes a long time!).
Please stay tuned, I'm sure I'll come up with something to blog about :)
Oh, and I know someone will ask: I think it's around 75" x 100", which is supposed to fit a queen-sized bed with 1 foot overhang all around. I used polyester batting to get the fluffyness - I always buy the thick/high loft stuff and tear it in two. This is my first quilt using Connecting Threads thread for the whole thing. I had a lot of breakage and was warned correctly that this thread is very "dusty", but I do love the many colour choices. The breakage got less when I slowed down a bit... my my, you should see me pebbling, I'm just zooming around in circles! :)
3 minutes ago