Thursday, January 26, 2012


Let me preface this post by saying I am not an artist.  I know that making quilts is an art, but I don't consider myself to be a textile artist since I love and mostly use traditional patterns in most all of my quilts.  I am excellent with squares and rectangles, triangles and even hexagons or diamonds.  I am not excellent at getting original "pictures" that I see in me ol' noggin' to become quilts. 

I come from a family of what I consider artists.  My Grandmothers both painted, my paternal Gramma sculpted, drew, made pottery, knitted, crochetted and who knows what else; my maternal Gramma made quilts, clothing (usually from her own patterns), embroidered and tatted.  I have siblings that can draw and paint and make money doing it.  My husband's mother was a painter, my husband draws and paints, my youngest son draws and paints.  Taking things you see in your head and putting them on paper or some other medium to me is "art".

My art is being able to pick fabrics and colors that will go together in quilts.  My quilts themselves are just a "take" on an old pattern, so to me someone else came up with the art.

With that said, making a "Tree of Life" block for Sunni has been a challenge of mass proportion for me.  I had a picture in my head.  I wanted the tree to have solid, deep roots.  I wanted the tree to represent the seasons.  I knew I wanted to try "reverse applique". 

I do not applique.  Not because I don't like it, I love how it looks I am just not good at it.  I have read books, seen tutorials, tried it and failed too many times to count.  Hubby told me today that if I wanted I should look for a class and take it.  I just might.  I've never taken a quilting class in my life, but I think for this I might have to.

On this block I used about 20 pieces of paper, trying to make the shape of the trunk that I wanted.  Then I couldn't get the leaves how I wanted them.  Finally I modified the picture in my head to match what I could actually do.  So after 3 days of going back and forth and to and from and taking breaks to do other things I have this:

I still have to stitch around most of my small shapes and I'm sure I need to add more.  It just doesn't look done to me but my brain is to tired to think about it anymore tonight.

I had my son come look at it and said what can you tell about this tree?  He looked at it and said, "Is it the seasons?"  So I did get that part right, even if it isn't exactly how I wanted to do it.  I started with summer and ended with spring.  So, the first "art" in fabric that I think I've ever done.  First time to use heat bond with success.  First time to do applique, even if it isn't needle turn which is what I'd like to learn.

Now I think I need a piece of chocolate and maybe a teeny glass of wine to relax my shoulders and then a hot bath and a book.  I'll worry about the rest of this block tomorrow.  Thanks Sunni for challenging me!!


KristyLou said...

Wow! You did a great job with this!

supersara20 said...

I would argue about you being an artist especially where this block is concerned! You did a wonderful job, I love how the seasons make sense and the little extras all around just make it that much more special. Sometimes the imperfections that we see are exactly what others love and I really, really love this block! Great job Samantha!

Cindy said...

Awesome job! Sunni will love it.

The Sunflower Patch said...

Your block rocks! You are an artist,even if you don't think you are. Your block is evidence of that :)

Samantha said...

You ladies are all just lovely and wonderful! :)

Masha Novoselova said...

Samantha, your work done good! so small details!! I love applique, but like you - I love to look to it, read patterns, see others works...
good luck in your futher creations!

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