Saturday, June 20, 2015

June Landscape - the Lone Tree

This is the first landscape in my Monthly Landscape Art Quilt Challenge

Forgotten Dreams album cover by Thirteen Strings
Forgotten Dreams by Thirteen Strings
I was intrigued by the album cover of Forgotten Dreams, by Thirteen Strings. It's of trees, possibly white pines, perched on rocks. The image is very haunting, as is the album. A few of the pieces were composed by Marjan Mozetich. I love his music and the pieces on this album are wonderful.

pile of possible fabrics for landscape
Possible fabrics for landscape
Without wanting to reproduce the image, I looked around for images of rocks and trees on Google. From those images, I decided to put a landscape together of a tree, rocks, water and sky.

I wanted to use scraps from a huge bag that a friend gave me. Thanks Judy! Here's the pile of possible scraps for the project.

The sky?
If you've read any of my posts, you'll know that I'm not very good at planning quilting projects. This one was no exception. I just started sewing some strips of fabric on a piece of stabilizer. I sewed them as if I was doing a quilt-as-you-go. Don't ask me why, it's just what I did....and I don't think I will do it again!

I wanted to do something different. Right from the beginning I didn't like it, but I kept it cause you never know until it's put together if it'll work (spoiler alert: it didn't!)

Trying out fabrics
Trying out fabrics

This is what I love about these small experimental projects - you try it and eventually, if you don't like it, you fix it! After sewing on the sky, I got smarter and started cutting and just placing and layering the fabrics without sewing them.

The added the water and the rocks. I must say that I'm not bad with rocks. Rocks are in my blood - I'm from a mining town in Northern Ontario.

Have you spotted the problem that will haunt me as I put this together? Hint: the water & the sky - there's almost no contrast. Add the tree to that and it becomes a dark mass.

First attempt
After I free motion quilted the piece, I wasn't sure what I thought, so I taped the landscape to the back of my bedroom door and went to bed. When I got up, I decided that I didn't really like it. So I kept some of the water, cut around the tree and started trying different things.

Frankly I didn't like this either which meant that it was time to try something different. I went into my real stash and found some lovely hand-dyed fabric that would make the sky pop. Sure it has pinks and purples in it, but that was the colour of the sky last night! I added more fabric and then covered it with three colours of tulle. That softened the sky somewhat. I sewed the tulle on top of the sky and around the tree. I then very carefully cut the tulle from on top of the tree.

I think that once it's quilted, the sky will look lovely.
Lone Tree ready for FMQ
What I've learned:

  • Everything really can be undone, covered up or removed. Thank goodness!
  • Contrast is necessary. I should be writing that down on the blackboard 100 times :-)
  • Since I had used tulle for the Southwest landscape, I knew that it would soften the sky and allow me to use more fabrics.
  • I was taking this project too seriously - so I added the birds for a touch of whimsy.
  • I have to learn to not stress over this challenge. It's about learning and trying new things and not about meeting a self-imposed deadline that doesn't matter.

As an aside, last week we adopted a wonderful 7 year old puggle (pug and beagle) named Chevy. To celebrate her coming, I re-covered Bandit's bed. Here is our sweety. She is very photogenic and so intense!

Thanks for stopping by.
I have linked this post with Pet Project Show, Free Motion MavericksQuilt Story and Fabric Frenzy Friday. Check out everyone's posts!


  1. I love reading about your process! Love the idea of "sleeping on it"--I've done that too, and then look at the piece with fresh eyes. The final result after the FMQ is really really good. I am going to check out Thirteen Strings too...and I'm guessing Sudbury is your hometown? I live just outside of Windsor. :-)

    1. Thanks Sandra. Lived in Sudbury and Timmins, but Kirkland Lake was the hometown. If you check out Marjan Mozetich, checkout his Affairs of the Heart album. It's my favourite.

  2. Great save! You apparently have some of the same challenges I do; namely, contrast issues (I gravitate toward darks and mid-tones, not nearly enough lights) and reminding myself that trial projects can and should be fun, experimental, and changed as needed. Your new fur-baby looks very happy and cute! Thanks for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks/Linda's Landscapes.

    1. Your correct - dark and mid-tones are my favourite. It's like if a colour is pale, it doesn't count! Thanks for your comment.


Hi! I would love to hear from you and I will try to answer you. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a message. :-)