Sunday, May 23, 2021

After the Storm

This is the latest piece that I've finished from a Stitch Challenge workshop. I know that I say that many of my art quilts are my favourites but I really, really love this one.

After the Storm

After the Storm

In March of this year, I made this piece following a workshop with Jette Clover, a Danish fibre artist. It's based on a photo taken after a snow storm this winter. 

A photo of my back yard after the snow storm

Our workshop was to create a piece based on a winter scene. I've often contemplated making a winter scene, but I had never gotten further that wondering "how in the world am I supposed to create a scene that's mostly white?" If you look carefully however, snow is not just white. There are usually shadows and the white sometimes has bluish or pinkish tinges, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions.

Details of After the Storm

I started by layering a flannel base with various fabrics and experimenting. A hand-dyed gray fabric went over the flannel. For the bottom, I used a piece of cotton lace from an old t-shirt, put a layer of batting and then added the lace on top. That was a lovely way of adding white without actually having to work too hard to give it texture 😊. I stitched on a piece of hand-dyed t-shirt on top of that - it had originally been an image of a bouquet of dried flowers so it had some lovely lines. Next came different types of tulle and organza - most of it had a lovely sheen that would be great for reflecting snow.

For the fence, I had a piece of cotton with pink, yellow and turquoise. On top of that came a piece of linen that I had dyed turquoise. It was an old skirt and I kept the stitching that was on it as part of the composition. I loved how it was curling and fraying. I also added a darker piece of gray as a line on the left. It sort of frames the piece and in the picture it's the window frame.

Once the pieces were mostly attached, I started stitching the branches. I used a running stitch of gray embroidery floss to outline them.

Outlining branches following the fabric

Adding the tree and its branches was the hardest part. I used a piece of batik and stitched it down with a button-hole stitch of a few strands of brown floss. I used the same floss to outline the tree branches. I then started covering the brown outlines with a DMC white Mouliné Étoile embroidery floss. It has a beautiful shimmer to it.

Adding the tree and then covering the branches with snow

I added lots of snow on the tree and fence top, the branches and around the base of the tree. I used a fluffy white yard to add snow between the tree and the lace. I thought that I needed something next to the branches and so added the snow covered bird bath. I used a piece of gray fabric covered with tulle and outlined in black.

Adding lots of snow and a bird bath.

Next came stitching the background with running stitch. I stitched the fence fabric vertically with a very light variegated thread that went well with the fabric. I used a variegated gray thread for the background. As I was stitching the background, it became obvious that the stamp had to be moved. 

What's with the stamp?

Jette Clover, our instructor, loves to add stamps to her textile art pieces. Since we were in the middle of lock-down and I didn't have any interesting stamps, I went to the Canada Post website and found a series of northern wildlife stamps. I chose the Arctic Hare stamp since it was more likely to be in my back yard that a caribou 😊. I made a photo copy of the stamp and attached it to a piece of brown cardstock. When I moved the stamp and was ready to finish the piece, I went to a post office outlet and bought a book of the northern wildlife stamps. I then attached the real stamp to a piece of green cardstock and placed it higher on the piece. It looks much better now!

Finishing it 

The piece has an irregular, organic shape that it didn't want to change. However, I did want to hang it somehow.

I ended up using a 10"x10" canvas and covered it with a remnant of stretchy velour fabric that I had been gifted. I need more experience covering canvas frames but this was pretty good for my first try. I want to do this more often to finish my art quilts. It really gives it a nice professional finish and hangs better than a sleeve, especially for pieces with odd shapes.

Finished piece, before adding it to a covered canvas

What I learned

  • It never ceases to amaze me how I end up adding fabrics and moving them around until it starts looking like something that I want. I don't really have any idea of what the piece will look like except that it should look a little like the photo.
  • When I'm  not sure of one part, I'll leave it and work on another part. If nothing seems to work - then it's time to leave it until I feel like picking it up again. Having it sit on my desk or my design wall usually helps me think of something.
  • You can see between the almost finished piece and the finished piece that I moved the stamp and added more stitches to the side gray border.
  • I really loved the DMC Mouliné Étoile. I will pick more up when stores are open again since I used almost the entire skein on this piece.
  • This was one of the four pieces that I had in the Fibre Fling exhibit last week. The other pieces were Exit Strategy, Big Mandala to Heal the World and Flower Impressions.

Related links

Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on in the quilting world! If you have any FMQ, link up to Free Motion Mavericks with Muv this week. Off the Wall Friday, Put Your Foot Down, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Finished Friday and TGIFF, Beauties Pageant, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

After the Storm was featured on Denise's Put Your Foot Down. Thanks Denise!

Project details

After the Storm

9" x 8½", mounted on a 10"x10" canvas 

Materials: flannel base, hand-dyed cottons and linen, batik, organza, tulle, lace, batting, embroidery floss, variegated thread and yarn, cardstock, stamp

Techniques: appliqué and embroidery


  1. A most interesting project. I especially like the branch, the way the lines flow.

  2. Merci de partager ton processus de création, et pour moi aussi cette pièce est ma préférée !! J'adore les tons doux et froids, les détails et embellissements. Bravo !

  3. Wow! Thank you for sharing your process - it's extremely interesting! I now see my donation clothes in a different light! I agree with you about leaving a project alone, but in our line of vision. Don't you think our brain works in the background churning out solutions? Your piece is so very lovely!

  4. Such a lovely piece! I enjoyed reading how you progressed with this, and just how you used the recycled t-shirt & skirt.

  5. A beautiful finish. It's amazing to watch the scene come together with each step.

  6. Thankfully, I never have to see snow up close and personal. =) Though, your winter wonderland is beautiful. Your After The Storm piece is exquisite! I have found each step of your work of art fascinating. This truly is a most amazing finish!

  7. Superbe! On croirait sentir le neige sous les pieds. Et c'est drôle de voir ce tableau textile au moment où le beau temps revient enfin!

  8. Hello Andrée,
    It's so pretty! The detail I find fascinating is the dreamy patch of white surrounded by the purplish grey dye. It makes me imagine fine snow swirling about in the air - a sight I very rarely see.
    Love, Muv


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. :-)