A few weeks ago I created the Spooky Spider Mini Quilt as a way to use up some of my sewing scraps. I’m back at it again; this time I’ve done something a little different. It’s The Red Tree Mini Quilt.
This year I’ve started teaching informal art classes to my two grandsons. They are homeschooled and their mom asked me if I would be willing to do this on a weekly-ish basis.
A few weeks ago our project was Trees. First, we took a walk around the greenbelt and looked at the different trees and their shapes. I then showed the boys several different masterpieces of trees. One painting really grabbed me and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s called The Red Tree by Piet Mondrian
I used the image as my starting point. I had a ton of red squares left over from The Arrow Quilt stacked up on a table in my sewing room. I started sewing them together until I had created a large piece of pieced fabric.
I then searched through the Silhouette Design Store to find a tree I liked. Of course, my tree could not be as wild as this one since I am working with pieced fabric. It needed to have very simple designs. I settled on this Leafless-Bare Tree design.
Because the fabric is pieced together I could not apply fusible web to the back and then cut in the Silhouette. (affiliate) Instead, I printed the tree onto card stock. I added fusible web to the back of my pieced fabric and then traced the tree. It took a little time to cut it out because some of the tiny seams wanted to come unraveled. I went slowly and took my time.
Laying out the design
Once my red tree was cut out I needed a background to apply it. I tried putting the tree onto several different pieces of mostly blue fabric. Most of the fabrics had some sort of design on them and I thought that this would look good. It didn’t.
I started rooting around in my stash and that’s when I came up with the idea for using strips to represent the grass and sky. I cut 2.5″ strips with a few needing to be pieced. Once they were sewn together I peeled off the fusible web backing and ironed the design onto my background.
One thing to note if you try a similar project. Notice all of the seams in my tree. Some of these came pretty close to unsewing and the only thing holding them together was the fusible web. Since I still needed to sew this down, I used a little appliqué glue (affiliate) to hold down those little pieces.
Sewing the Applique
You can really see those smaller pieces in this photo. The next step was to sew down the appliqué. I used black thread and straight stitch appliqué. I went around the design twice to make the black thread stand out more.
I am having a quilty love affair with wool batting and enjoy quilting with it. I have learned to never throw away any size piece of batting and because of this, I found a piece from stash of wool batting that was the perfect size.
Well, not all things are perfect. I have such a long way to go with my machine quilting. I decided to use a stippling design for this project. I thought that stippling might give it a windswept effect. It looks fine from a distance (or slightly Photoshopped in this case), but let me assure you, my quilting leaves a lot to be desired.
All in all…
All in all, I had fun with this project. I can’t wait to show it to my grandsons who had an active part in the overall project. I want them to see that art comes in many forms and they should find one that they enjoy.
Not sure about applique? Check out this short video demonstration.