Riverside Trees II…..

Last year I made a little 20 x 30 cm riverside quilt as part of the Hockney Challenge.

Original Riverside Trees

Original Riverside Trees

Overall I was happy with it but, 18 months on and feeling more confident, I thought it would be a good exercise to revisit the design and make a larger version…….. Riverside Trees II.  This quilt is 68 x 108 cm and I’ve aimed to give the scene more depth by placing forests in the background and a near side bank with dried grasses in the foreground.

The main tree line is applied with forests behind

The main tree line is applied with forests behind

The colour of the sky was too dominant first time round so I’ve made it subtle and gone for texture rather than colour this time.  The trees are pretty much the same as previously but I felt the original version was too fussy so I’ve reduced their number from 7 to five and left off the smaller branches.  I think this has created a stronger overall image.

Auditioning fabric for the fields and river bank

Auditioning fabric for the fields and river bank

The lighter hand died fabric was chosen for the field and a chiffon scarf for the riverbank

The lighter hand dyed fabric was chosen for the field and a chiffon scarf was distressed and used for the riverbank

The river is applied

The river is applied

Finished Riverside Trees II

Finished Riverside Trees II

With this one finished I’m going to concentrate on my sketch book over the next couple of weeks and work on some new designs.  The latest quilt challenge to be drawn out of the hat at Cranwell is to produce a piece with the theme “a walk in the Black Forest” so that will be right up my street!

Woodhall Spa Art Quilt…..

My latest art quilt has been made in response to a challenge set by the Cranwell Contemporary Stitch group. The challenge was set in January and the theme was “what Winter means to me”. Being a new member meant I didn’t have much time to lose as the deadline for handing in the finished work was going to be the second week in April.

Since signing up for the David Hockney Challenge last year I have become very interested in depicting trees in my work and all through the Winter I have been noticing trees like I have never done before. With this in mind I knew immediately that I wanted to create another tree themed quilt so took my camera on a walk through the woods in Woodhall Spa. This is a beautiful spot and I came home with dozens of images which will provide me with inspiration for a long time to come!

IMG_1642

IMG_1625

IMG_1731
The image I chose to work with is the one shown below.

IMG_1720
I began by painting a very pale grey sky and a grey/green backdrop for the woodland using Procion dyes. I bought a starter kit of Procion dyes when I visited Artvango and this was my first attempt at working with them.

IMG_1721
The next step was to machine sew the background trees in shades of green and cream thread. I then added torn strips of green sheer fabric and a little black netting to create shadows. Silver embroidery thread was hand stitched to make the tall thin silver trees in the mid-ground.

IMG_1778
At this stage I machined the thin branches of the trees, added grey sheer fabric in patches over the top and held it in place with a criss-cross of hand stitches branches.

The woodland floor is hand stitched silver thread over dyed muslin which has been roughly cut and layered with small snippets of gold organza.

The three main tree trunks were formed from iron-on Vilene which was coloured with Procion and bark detail was added using Inktense pencils.

The finished piece measures 15″ x 20″ and unlike my last “tree” quilt, which was done with free machine stitching, all of the machine work on this one was done with the feed dogs up using a walking foot.

IMG_1777