My dear friend, Alice, recently sent me an email about a Wishing Tree. I enjoyed the story so much I asked her if I could share it with all of you – and here it is:
“Three of us book club ladies created a Wishing Tree in the Fox River Park (Waukesha, WI) at the beginning of the Pandemic shelter at home. We asked the public to be part of this public art installation by hanging strips of fabric and paper notes of prayers and wishes onto an old downed tree. It was such a beautiful thing to see and watch as the public added their thoughts and wishes.”
“We have returned the tree back to nature partly because we wanted to avoid doing this task in prime mosquito season. I was going to just throw the stuff away but one of my friends wondered what I could do with the recycled strips. Yes, a perfect chance to make a wall hanging or three wall hangings as memories of the Wishing Tree project.
Alice then sent me this photo of the strips and some thoughts about what to do with them:
“My first thought was to put some raw edged random strips onto a background and then use a fabric marker and write some of the prayers and wishes over the tops of the strips. I could only write on the lighter colored ones. Maybe I should keep the fabric strips in the middle and add the wishes as border wording. Since I am making three different wall hangings, doing them at least two different ways would be an option. I think I want to leave the loose edges on the fabric strips to represent frayed wishes or the “spirit” part of a wish or prayer. There are lots more fabric strips than the one basket in the picture. You know us quilters, fabric is not an issue.”
I am grateful for the friends that joined me on this public art project of Hope and Peace. Now I get to extend that project and make a memory wall hanging for all three of us. This will be a challenge, but a fun one to remember our positive attitudes in a time of great uncertainty and fear.
I am looking forward to any creative artful ideas that you might have for me. Thank You.”
I wrote back and told her I thought her ideas sounded great, while adding a suggestion or two of my own. Recently I sent her another email inquiring as to her progress, and she responded that the strips are still in the basket, and the ideas are marinating (we all get that!). If you have any suggestions to share with her, please add them in a comment to this post.
I promise to share photos of her finished quilts whenever they materialize (pun intended 😊).
I need to add a PS to last week’s post about my “Puzzled No More” quilt. Our church has begun having live services again, but we are not using hymnals – to keep germs at bay. Thus, when we sing, the words are projected on a screen. This photo is of the image that accompanied the lyrics to “To God be the Glory” many weeks after the quilt was completed!
No puzzle pieces, but there’s definitely a similarity in the path and cross!
What joy 😃!
Patti A says
Oh my gosh they should hang that quilt some place in the church! Our church has just reopened with limited seating and using a project screen also. Wonder if we will ever be normal again? I wish I had a great idea for the strips. Can’t wait to see it “materialize”! I hope something can be done with the written wishes, scrapbook maybe?
Jane Martinez says
I love the quilt and agree it should hang in the church. I love the ideas for the ribbon wall quilts. It will be so nice to see the end products.
Patti N says
I like the notes the way they are. I would take pictures of them and print them on fabric to incorporate them into the wall hangings. Or maybe since they _are_ wall hangings and not likely to be washed, put the actual notes on there and leave them loose, like they were hanging on the tree.
I agree that your quilt deserves to be hanging in church, but I don’t know if I could part with it. I very much enjoyed reading about your thought process while making it.
Maud Bentley says
I love this tree story. Gives me hope for the future. For a wallhanging, what about weaving the strips togethet, basket style, maybe starting loosely at one side or end and weaving gradually tighter across the piece. Substrate optional. Symbolizing how we are all connected and need to come together, cohesive. It could be artfully hung from a beautiful natural branch hanger… you’ve given me a moment of peace. Thank you.
laura krasinski says
I would take the strips and just sew them onto a piece of muslin. Right down the middle. Overlap a little to hide the muslin. Or leave the muslin showing and write prayers in-between.
Or get a stick and tie them to the stick to hang down as long as they are. Put the stick up in front of a window as a window curtain. Or just hang on the wall.. Please let us know what she decides. A wonderful project.
I would build a forest of trees from dark to light with a silhouette of children in the same shades of dark to light embracing a beam of light.