Here is my quilt for the Fiberactions group challenge. The word was 'environment'. To me nothing is more important to our environment than the relationship between plants and animals. Each supports the existence of the other and hopefully we can find peace between us. A few years ago during the house building boom in the Atlanta area, I read an article stating that this area was losing on average 40 acres of trees per day due to new construction. Maybe something positive can come from the downturn in the economy.
I love creating trees so I really enjoyed making this piece. I started digging through my stash and found the border fabric first. Next came the background and tree fabrics. I placed the background fabric directly on a piece of wool batting on my design wall and then created the design. I work free form by cutting pieces of fabric as I go and placing them where I think they should go using pins to hold things in place. This is an iterative process and I move things around until I am happy with the design. Then I use a glue stick to secure all the pieces to the background using just enough so I can get it to the sewing machine to sew thing in place.
I usually don't place the background on batting but I wanted to see if I could add more dimension by adding the extra layer at this stage. I then did some highlighting with thread sketching, paints and pastels on the branches. I quilted it and after trimming it and zigzagging the edges, I placed it on the border fabric that had been layered with another piece of batting and backing fabric.
Now I sewed around all of the elements again. The branches really popped. I tried to hold a light at an angel and take the picture from the side so I hopy you can see this in the picture below.
Adding the bird was a suggestion made by my husband. I painted it on a piece of white cotton, cut it out an the stitched it to the quilt. I wish I would have added it earlier since it does not have the dimension of the tree limbs.
I then added the yarn trim around the center panel to cover up where I had stitched it to the border fabric. Now I quilted the border, painted some highlights on the water and gave the branches a few more high and low lights.