I usually start my blog entry with a short introduction to the theme I am writing about. This time is a little different. I decided to start my entry with this beautiful picture my husband took of the quilt I made for his birthday. Ok, I admit his birthday was a couple of months back, but in my defense I am a busy woman and I am only about 2 months late finishing the quilt, so I am not doing overly bad. I started working on it about this time last year, and I could have finished it a lot quicker had I not wanted it to be a surprise, so I had to work in secret, only one evening a week when I was out at a patchwork group meeting. I know, I am sooo romantic ;-)
Next up is a close up of the tree trunk details and some of the snowflakes, too. The picture really doesn't show up the detail all too well but the light situation in the room is a bit on the shady side.
The quilt background, the snow flakes and the tree labyrinth are made from raw silk, the tree trunk and the moon are made from a collection of different coloured cotton batiks and prints. I made the trunk by drawing a rough guide on some paper, so I would know where the labyrinth starts and how I wanted the trunk to be shaped. I then chose my fabrics and roughly cut out random strips, only taking care about the shape when it came to cutting out the branches. I then pinned all these bits onto the background and under the labyrinth/tree crown and proceeded to appliqué them with an ordinary running stitch with my sewing machine.
For the snowflakes I used cream and white raw silk. You can't see it on the pictures, but I used the cream for the snowflakes that fall further away behind the tree and the white for the flakes in the foreground in front of the tree. I wanted them to have a dimensional quality so I only appliquéd them on with a circular seam, leaving the edges rough and slightly raised, this goes through all the layers of the quilt and was done with a gold metallic thread.
I used a batik cotton fabric for the moon. The fabric has a design that was already sporting a "crater like" pattern. A friend from my patchwork group "The Schoolhouse Quilters" was so good as to let me use some of her metallic iron on effect foil to give the moon some extra bling, and also making the whole piece a mixed media piece really...
I wanted to bring out the craters a bit more and quilted star shaped lines going out from the crater centres as shown in the next picture. If you look closely you can see the gold thread I chose to quilt the moon and the snow flakes.
In retrospect I find it fascinating how this quilt came into being. It really started that I thought I wanted to make my husband a nice, easy and quick quilt. Maybe only using two colours, appliquéing the labyrinth onto the burgundy silk background. As soon as I had the continueous lines pinned I thought it looked like the crown of a tree. But how to make a halfway realistic trunk? So another evening was spent just layering and pinning the tree trunk onto paper, and another repinning it onto the burgundy background. Yet still something was missing. I was thinking I might add leaves and a friend (the same that gave me the metallic foil to use) suggested making it a tree in winter; I take it she wanted to make it easier for me.
This whole piece kept growing over the months and I can say I am very happy with how it turned out. I hope himself likes it, too :-)