Monday, February 28, 2011

My Ugly Alders

Our current color palette over at Twelve by Twelve is brown, blue and sage.  I was a little behind getting started on this challenge so I dedicated the last week to playing with those colors.  The view out my art room window actually follows the palette on a good day (its mostly gray when the sun isn't shining) so I tried sketching with the sewing machine the alders across the street.  It turned out very messy, but that's how they look.  I don't find them a very pretty tree, especially in winter.  This is the first time I have tried to actually draw a picture while free motion quilting, so I gave myself a lot of freedom and just went with the flow. 

After stitching, I pulled out the paints.  I went with the obvious -- blue sky, green ground and brown trees.  I actually like how the paint flowed to the back better than the front.  The tension was a little off if a few places though, creating a big loopy mess so I decided to stick with the front as the front.  After finishing the beading, I think I should have just gone with the back as the front -- the loopy mess would have just added to the effect. But what is done is done and I'm not about to pull out all those beads.

Next, I added green beads to the branches for a little sparkle of the sun.  Working on the commission had inspired me to do a little more beading.  I had forgotten how meditative it can be.  Plus, I didn't use any fabric paper so it was easy to stitch through. 

Originally, I planned to cut the piece down to 12 inches square to fit the challenge, but the the trees were a little too tall and I thought the piece worked better with its current proportions.   Besides, I have a couple other quilts for the reveal tomorrow that I like much better.  In the end, this isn't one of my favorites.  It could use a bit more of a focal point (perhaps why I like the back better than the front) but it was a fun experiment and something I am going to try more of in the future.

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