Susan brought me this quilt and I totally fell in love with it. I love
birch trees and maybe it has something to do with the fact that
while growing up, my family used it as a source of fuel and heat.
Pinterest and Charley Harper were the source of inspiration for
Susan. She saw a similar quilt on Pinterest but wanted to do it
a little differently. She had some fabric designed by Charley
Harper and wanted to incorporate it into her quilt.
What a great cardinal. So much attitude! I think that I may
have to create a fabric postcard of this one.
Susan and I discussed what to do on the quilt top. All I could think
of was “branches.” Luckily, Susan agreed. To be quite honest, I was
scared to death of how I was going to quilt in these branches.
I did procrastinate for a while but eventually I had to quilt this
I was going to draw up a paper pattern but decided not to. I laid it on the floor,
hoping that inspiration would hit me. The white areas reminded me of
Birch trees and the blue area, the sky.
I printed off several pictures of birch trees and decided that I would
have to work backwards on this quilt top. Usually, I stitch the top
onto the backing and work my way down the quilt-top to bottom.
With this quilt, I had to baste from the top to the bottom and then
work my way back up, from bottom to top. This was the only way
I would be able to ensure that the branches were quilted in the right
direction, growing up and not down.
Then, I had to decided which branches would be in front of what
trees and what branches would be behind other trees. Also, the
size of the tree would also determine how large the branches would
be. For instance, a small tree would not have large branches nor a larger
tree, smaller branches. Yes,alot to consider but , in the end, I did
enjoy the process of it all.
Working from the bottom and checking with my printed off
picture, I started marking with a chalk marker. It rubs off
easily so I don’t worry about removing the marks later.
I also decided to stitch in the ditch around all the birch trees but
not the blue pieced sky in the background. I wanted the trees to
stand out a bit more than the sky. I used a monofilament thread
as well, on the top and a grey on the backing.
I am glad that Susan chose grey for the whole top or I would have
been changing thread like crazy. The grey also works well with the
blue and white and stands out a little too.
I began marking in branches and decided that the bigger birch
trees would stand out in front of the smaller ones. Smaller
trees mean that they are further away. So, I could stitch
branches on the small birch trees but not on the bigger ones.
I started stitching in branches and it looked okay. I just had to
keep checking which trees I had stitched over and which ones I had not.
Here is the finished quilt. I think it looks great. I really
love how art quilts are a bit tricky but you have so much
more freedom with your quilting. I enjoyed this quilt
so much, that I had to recreate it somehow. I didn’t have
a lot of time so I decided to make a fabric postcard.
I laid out layers of dark blue to light blue and then
3 birch trees on top.
I used a dark grey thread and stitched in branches. I really
liked how this little postcard turned out. I think I may have to
make a bigger version though.
See you next week.
7 thoughts on “Birch Trees…”
Ruth, your thoughtful artistry really enhanced the quilt…thanks so much
I had fun quilting it for you. I am so glad that you like what I did.
Wow, nice work! Really enjoyed reading your process. Its stunning.
I am glad that you enjoyed what I wrote.
I do like the Charlie Harper cardinals. I think your mini quilt is a perfect complement to the bigger quilt.
Love the postcard — I would definitely encourage you to make one in a larger size!
I absolutely LOVE Susan’s quilt and also your postcard! I love how you quilted it, and that you thought to do it from the bottom up…GREAT tip, will have to remember that. Am bookmarking this page for future reference…we had some birch trees (and a lot of white poplar) where we used to live in Alberta, so they hold a special place in my heart.