Saturday, January 10, 2015

Birches - Project Quilting

"Birches," 23" x 18", made for Project Quilting, Season 6, Challenge 1: Trees, Jan. 2015 in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Challenge recap for  "Trees":

Your inspiration for this challenge is trees. Your project does NOT need to include a tree (but certainly can).

When I saw that the challenge was “Trees,” I immediately thought of the dozen or so quilts that I’ve made featuring tree, including three that have been for Project Quilting challenges. My first instinct was to go with a pine tree, perhaps because my Christmas decorations haven’t been put away yet, but when I looked back on the three quilts that I’ve made, half of them have been of pine trees.

So instead I decided to do my usual brain storming while looking through my fabric stash to see if the fabrics would speak to me. That’s when I found this batik:

This fabric didn't just speak, it screamed "Birch Trees." So I continued to look for fabrics that I could use for the background. I chose a navy blue batik with small green dots and a deep green batik for the lower part.

I cut the birch fabric 2" wide, trying to avoid the parts that looked like tree trunks, then I folded the fabric the raw edges in on itself but I didn't try to keep it even or straight so they'd have more of an organic feel. One reason I did this was because I wanted to have two layers of fabric so the seams wouldn't show through when placed on top of the darker fabric. I also didn't want to have raw edges. I did put 1/4" fusible tape along these edges.

Next I made the quilt sandwich and quilted the edges of the trees. I knew I wanted to have heavy quilting on the background fabric to make the trees seem to pop off of the quilt, but I wasn't sure how I wanted to quilt it, so I decided to sleep on it.

The next day I had a quilting idea, which I thought was called "Matchstick Quilting" so I Googled it. It wasn't what I thought it was, but it did spark some ideas. Matchstick Quilting is usually done in straight lines 1/8" apart, and sometimes with different threads. It looks pretty cool on solid color fabric because it changes the color when looking from a distance.

Instead of just straight lines, I decided to echo the shape of the birch trees. I also decided I only wanted to do 1/4" apart instead of 1/8" because it would take half the amount of time and I didn't want to obscure the beauty of the batik fabrics. I did decided to use different colored threads, although I stayed in the same color family of the fabric. I used three shades of dark blue and one dark green.

I used a knife-edge binding technique so the lines of the trees wouldn't be interrupted.

More about Birches

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Click on any of the photos to see larger images.

To read more about Project Quilting, go here.

To see other entries for this challenge, visit the Trees challenge link up.


PersimonDreams said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Impeccable work as always - love it! And I'm so glad to have you back in PQ this season!

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

Pam, I love this - simple but elegant!

Trish Frankland said...

I love this piece! Simply elegant.

Sharon said...

So pretty and serene! What is the knife edge binding technique? Couldn't find it in a search....sounds it different than the pillowcase binding?

Unknown said...

Birch trees was my theme too, there is something so peaceful about them. Love this.