When I was noodling on ideas for the lampshade project in the Top Stitch competition, and doing a repliqué landscape entered my thoughts, a particular tree popped into my brain. I’ve used this tree image in 3 previous quilts and it continues to intrigue me. I wasn’t sure if anyone would recognize it this time, and I was pleased when my dear friend Barb commented to the lampshade post:
“I recognize that beautiful tree. I think that should be your signature tree. All in all I love the shade.
Thanks Barb! (click here for that post)
I came up with the tree image while designing a quilt for an Autumn challenge. I’ve stitched mariners compasses into many different shapes over the years and I’m always looking for unique options (like umbrellas 😊). But could I make maple leaf compasses? And what should the background be? I was able to make the leaves and, while googling trees, I found an image of a hooked rug which ultimately inspired my tree (I tried to find the creator of this beautiful work, but it was one of those images someone had pinned with no credit given).
What resulted was “Which Way Does the Wind Blow?” (click here for a post about this quilt):
By the time this quilt made it into one of my blog posts, I’d already made a second “tree quilt”. This one was called Autumn Dusk, and I used a pointillism fabric to achieve the reflection of a sunset (click here for a post about this quilt):
A few years went by until another competition brought my tree back to mind. In 2018 the National Quilt Museum chose Oak Leaf and Reel as the traditional block quilters were asked to do something innovative with. There was no question that “that tree” needed to be front and center once again. I call it Oak Leaf and Swirl:
This quilt was a joy to make. I loved every minute of it! And it was accepted as one of 18 winning quilts in the competition. For those of you who have joined my blog recently, I actually did three posts about Oak Leaf and Swirl and you can link to them by clicking on link 1, link 2, and link 3:
Many years ago I remember saying that I’d never “work in series”, as that would be boring. Then I’d make a quilt that left me wanting to explore the technique or idea behind it more and… a series was born. When I made my first non-pictorial art quilt, Parallelisms,
I had no idea it was the beginning of something that would end up being a series of over 20 quilts. It also inspired a workshop I’ve taught many times, and a book – “Where Do I Start With Fiber Art” – praise the LORD!
I was wondering where my “signature tree” would appear next? And thinking perhaps a Spring quilt in Spring 😁?!? Well, last week I had a wonderful adventure ~ and “that tree” ended up being a part of it. Stay tuned for next week’s post to find out what happened!
Do you have a theme or image that continues to reappear in your quilting? Please let me know – and send photos!!!
And one more thing! Mary commented on my vest in last week’s post, asking to see the back. Thanks for asking Mary!