Thursday, August 12, 2010
Another Quilt Finished
Maggy Trees a Coon, 2010, 22" X 37.5"
I have finished another one of my personal quilts in time for the Carolina Longarm Association quilt show in September. This one is called Maggy Trees a Coon.
I began this quilt in February during my third online class with artist Pamela Allen. It began as a garden quilt. After making several fabric studies of various flowers and trees (to avoid the ubiquitous elliptical leaf and daisy-shaped flower), I created a narrative of an event that actually happened last fall at our mountain home. Our old dog, Maggy, patiently sat at the base of the tree which a raccoon had climbed to escape the mighty Maggy jaws. It was amusing to watch as the raccoon slowly sneaked down the opposite side of the tree, peering out to check on the dog every few minutes. Eventually, she meandered safely back into the woods while Maggy still stood guard at the tree.
The backgrounds and all of the elements of the quilt are scissor-cut raw-edge applique with embroidery floss or Pearle Cotton thread, mostly in the ladder stitch. That is why I have working on this piece since February! I had to keep adding background pieces and batting to grow with the quilt.
I used black thread on my Gammill longarm machine to quilt it once it was all stitched down. I did a lot of thread-sketching to add more branches and the illusion of more trees in the background. The actual trunk of the prominent tree is gnarly like the trees on the mountain that have had to compete for sunlight and deal with wind, snow, and ice. I added some raggedy brown flannel to give some texture to the trunk.
I like the ferns and flowers the best. The foreground flowers are similar to those I made in my study of Georgia O'Keefe's poppies.
I used a shiny metallic-looking green floss for the ferns.
On these narrative-type of quilts, I often use black thread to contrast against the backing. You can almost see the scene on the back as well as the front.
I made a label with the story of the quilt and some pictures of Maggy enjoying the mountains. She always hated the ride up and back to our mountain place, but loved the freedom of roaming the hillsides, trails, Christmas tree farms, and creek. We do miss her.