I had the pleasure of delivering a commissioned quilt today. I am thrilled that the new owners liked it. They are friends of our family and have watched my work develop over the years. They value original art and love connecting with artists. It was an honor that they invited me to create a quilt for them. We decided on size and price and they gave me some very general ideas about what they like, but really granted me creative freedom, confident they would like whatever I created. What a pleasure!
Sun Rises. Tree Grows. Door Opens.
They asked for some in progress pictures because they were totally interested and engaged in the whole experience. I'll share a few here.
I started by pulling this fabric palette.
Eventually, I had a composition that looked something like this.
Then I added a tulle overlay of a tree with bare branches.
Then I went to Belize and Oregon and London and I came home and ripped it apart. The color palette wasn't working. The tree look too skeletal. Just no.
Fabric selection part two. I rescued the leaf gelli print. Yeah! I made it years and years ago and I thought it would really work with this piece.
I went through many possible compositions including something like this.
Eventually I landed on this fabric background and added a wiggly tree using a freezer paper stencil.
Something needed to fit in that lime green square and it took me days to come up with an idea I was excited about. I had a few pictures of my friends' house and I planned a stitched design inspired by their front door.
Here's the hand stitching all finished -- Y stitches, purple arch, leaf outlines, scattered stars.
At one point the purple stitching went too far over the leaf print. Had to rip it out.
Finally time to add the machine stitching. Here I'm auditioning thread colors trying to decide between blendy colors or contrasty colors.
A few details from the finished piece.
Leafy vine free motioned quilted with nice fat top stitching thread.
Some hand embroidered stars and a variety of stitched motifs over that beautiful Lonni Rossi print. (I've used it before.) You can also see the tiny zig zag finish at the edge.
The hand stitched entry way and the leafy vine...
Close up of the stenciled tree outlined with very light blue thread. (I chose contrasty.)
The last step was picking a title which often takes a bit of time. It's an opportunity to suggest what the theme of the quilt is. But I also want it to sound nice and include interesting words or combination of ideas.
I chose images from the quilt and active verbs that reflect ideas and experiences we all go through in life, "Sun Rises. Tree Grows. Door Opens."