|Upper left corner of "The Tree" |
when I first got it.
I wasn't at the first gathering where everyone exchanged projects for the first round. I'd heard rumors from the other members: 'have you seen"'The Tree"?' 'Wait til you see "The Tree"!' 'Oh my goodness, "The Tree" ! . . .
I was curious but I'm a rule follower so no peeking allowed and besides, I didn't want to spoil the surprise. I like surprises! So I didn't actually see "The Tree" until it was my turn to work on it. When I first took it out of the bag I was not only surprised but fascinated! The trunk has several layers of fabrics with different textures and the leaves are 3-D. She used batiks for the backgrounds which simulate the land, the river, and the sky.
The Tree is what I consider an 'art' quilt. I've never done an art quilt and honestly working on an art quilt created by someone else sent a shiver of panic down my spine. As I said, I'm a rule follower but 'art' doesn't have any rules!
I began the project, as with all the other projects, by hanging it on my design wall and leaving it there for inspiration. When we started the Round Robin we were each given a little note book that we used to describe why we chose our particular project and what we wanted it to be in the end. So I took out Deb's book read the back-story.
The gal that created this art work, Deb R., has been a lover of tree houses since she was a young girl. In her note book she quoted the poem "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. I remembered studying that poem in English class in high school and it was a nice surprise to read it again. It starts out "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree . . .".
Deb went on to describe her first tree house and her wish to create one in the tree outside her new home. She had been telling us her tree house plans at our monthly meetings so I had a hint of what she was planning. She was going to enlist the help of her family and friends but intended to build it on her own as much as possible.
I was the next to the last person to get The Tree. Some of the others had put in some very creative additions.
In the lower left Charlene had added Deb's two dogs.
Carol added two kayakers on the river in their red kayaks.
And Tami added an actual miniature quilt hanging on a clothes line with a basket of beaded flowers next to it. There's even a label on the back of the little tiny quilt!
This next picture shows the details of the batik border that Charlene added and the adorable turtle created by Carol. You can also see some of the details in the tree trunk but you really need to see this one in person to appreciate the textures.
Next, in the far right right bottom corner just past the turtle and the ladder, you can see a big black bear added by Dutchy. He's had enough of this craziness and is fleeing the scene! There's also more of that beautiful woodland animals batik border.
As I surveyed the whole quilt it dawned on me that there were no people there to enjoy the tree house. So for my additions I selected the "Fruit Bottom Ladies". But I had to wait for the cat to finish his nap before I could cut anything.
I picked 7 different women - one to represent each of the girls in the group - and added them to the quilt. Since Deb has told us that this is a tree house for grown-ups I put two ladies sharing adult beverages on the deck. Notice how the leaves are stitched? There is fabric on both sides and doubled sided interfacing in between that makes them stand off from the surface. It's just the coolest 3-D effect! I couldn't capture it with my camera but it's just so fun.
Three other ladies are out on a limb watching the river and chit chatting away. The white line over their head is the "phone" line for the two tin cans, one in the tree house, one in the garage, so the ladies can "call" for more refreshments. LOL
But there are two ladies missing. Wait, I see them, down on the ground. Hmmmm, could that be Deb trying to talk Tami up the ladder? It's OK Tami, adult beverages can also be served under the tree house too ;o)
When I finished my additions I sent The Tree on to Jane. She added a kite and some birds to the sky . . .
along with a cute 3-D tire swing!
I've probably forgotten a couple of items that got added but as you can see there's tons of stuff going on in this fun art quilt. Each of us stretched beyond our initial apprehensions and came up with some pretty creative additions!
Deb loved the finished project and promised that when it was done it would be hung in the tree house for all visitors to see.
I thought I'd share this picture of the REAL tree house that Deb had posted on social media. She is one happy woman with a real, grown-up tree house and a beautiful piece of art to hang on it's wall!
Next week is the final installment of the Round Robin and we'll look at Jane's project.