Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tree Tops is Finished!

This is it! I'm finished... well, almost. My DH needs to make a wooden frame so that I can wrap the edges around it and staple gun it all in place. About a quarter inch will show of the outer border on the front and then it will wrap around and show on the sides. I also need to clean finish the border edges with a nice quarter inch hem so that it looks finished and neat on the back. I take lengths of grosgrain ribbon and glue it down to cover the staples.  This piece is going into a local art gallery for sale and I want a professional looking back.

One of the things I've done on this since last posting it was to create more contrast in the trees. I made the right side shadows on the trunks darker. I also used a white oil pastel and made the left sides of the trunks brighter. I then took an olive green oil pastel and added mossy areas to the trunks. The trees seem to pop more from the background and I like that better.

This has been a great experiment, and I gained confidence in using the fabric markers and oil pastels. I would never had tried it without reading The Art of Landscape Quilting by Zieman and Sewell. I guess I'm ready for their next project.

Or maybe I need to start making my Ghastly project for the Ghastlies Blog Hop!

You know what to do... Keep stitchin' for the ones you love!

Monday, September 5, 2011

In the Tree Tops Project Lesson

I'm working my way through Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell's book:
The Art of Landscape Quilting.

 The first project spins off of Sewell's art quilt In the Tree Tops. These talented ladies claim it is an easy one to start with as there is no ground cover and it is a close up view. As they recommend, I used only three fabrics. They do a very good job of teaching you how to enhance the tree trunks and background with fabric markers and oil pastels. I'm not disappointed with the book. However, I may be overly criticizing my first attempt, or.... maybe not.

 I shadowed the right side of the trunks with black Sharpee Marker and black oil pastels. It takes a lot of nerve to draw on a lovely batik with a black marker! I found I could soften the effect by going over the stark black with gray oil pastel. Then I took a deep breath and forged on. It was very scary! My background trees do not look like the authors. I guess when they do I'll write a book.

The authors advise you not to FMQ the tree trunks. Stitching the sides in place is all that is necessary. I do have to admit that they seem rounded and three dimensional. So... they must know what they're talking about! I did FMQ the drawn in trees, but left the tiny drawn branches alone.  ** I didn't FMQ any of the blue background. Do I need to? The picture shows ripples. Maybe I should stretch this on a wooden frame. (Oh, honey... build a frame for me.) I've got to research and see if this calls for background FMQ...Maybe it would make it too busy. SCREAM! I need a glass of wine, you say?? Sensational idea.

I plan to use a black/brown batik as the binding. I think that will help draw out the tones in the trunks and bring them back to life. I was also glad to see I hadn't forgotten how to do mitered corners. My borders are from the ever beautiful Stonehenge collection.

Keep stitchin' for the ones you love... I do.