June 1, 2011

Quilt 11: "Trees" Design

Time to get a little more adventurous. I'm not ready for applique just yet, and certainly not ready to try anything with rounded edges. I'm also still intimidated by Quilt 4 (the on-point Christmas quilt). And I want something different - maybe something that is a "picture" instead of just patterns.

Staring out the window of my office, it didn't take long to come up with the inspiration. It was right in front of me - the forest that surrounds my house and the 200-300 foot gum trees we live under!

OK... out comes my Quilt Wizard software and I start looking around the block types there. Found a lovely "leaf" block and then combined that with simple strip blocks and came up with this:

To be honest, I'm really quite proud of this one! It's a step beyond what I've done before - and totally original! To the purists here in Oz, let me acknowledge that the trees here are definitely NOT gum trees. Any Aussie would take one look and get that (gum tree leaves are narrow and long, gracefully draping downward in clusters... GORGEOUS!) But still... I'm calling this design "Trees", not "Gum Trees". And I promise: once I get over my fear of applique, there will be a "gum tree" quilt. There will.

I moved fast. Within 24 hours of the inspiration, I'd completed the design and even made a run out to my favorite quilt store and bought the fabric.

Now that I'm ready to get going on this one, it occurred to me that a small design tweek is needed. Have a look at the original design (above), especially the leaves high up between the 2 trunks. 4 of those blocks have "branches" that aren't quite completely connected to the tree. The easiest ones to spot are the 2 leaf blocks that are closest to the top center of the quilt. So below I've corrected that. You might have to squint a little bit - but the difference is that I've put in more of the brown diagonal bits in order to connect the leaf stems back to the tree trunks.

The small "leaf stem" bits will be done by applique, using the darkest brown of the 5 tree trunk fabrics. As I mentioned at the start of this post, I'm not ready to do much with applique just yet, but those little bits shouldn't be too much of a headache.

This is going to be a large quilt - queen bedspread size. But I'm not planning on using as a bedspread. Instead, I'm going to use it as a wall hanging in the dining room!

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