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"Use what talents you possess:the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang the best." unknown

  This is the first in what appears to be a series focused on woods/trees. I've decided that I need to start doing series of my ideas and expanding on the theme a bit.
To the right is the centerpiece of the art quilt titled 'Keeper of the Woods'.  The little metal guy hanging from the branch of the tree was created in an NSNG workshop with Mary Hettmansperger. I knew once I made him that he was destined to be in the center of a project. Just wasn't sure what that project would be.

I had a piece of  heavy weight decorator fabric that was pretty UGLY and I had smeared it with gesso-thicker in some areas than others. I did try to let a smidge of the orginal fabric show through. After the gesso dried I used inks and shiva paintsticks
to smear on some color. Still wasn't sure how I was going to use it. This was just playing around one day during a "what if"
moment.  I let the fabric sit for a while, occasionally auditioning different fabrics, transfers, etc, etc on this piece. Nothing suited me, so I folded it and stuck it aside.

The fabric was quick a bit stiffer than normal with the application of gesso so after being folded up for a few months it had a pretty permanent crease. Not happy with that I decided to cut it along the crease and took the larger of the 2 pieces and began fusing some wonder under that I had painted with orange and brown and coral onto the piece. Then I went crazy fusing down sheer fabrics and tulle when all of a sudden I realized just what this piece was going to be...a forest for my little metal guy to hang in. Below is the decorator fabric before cutting it into.

After I knew what this was going to be I started to pull together some fabrics that would work as a border.
I had discharged some black that I knew I wanted to use and I also had some great batiks in the colors of the woods that I wanted to create.  I also used some dyed cheesecloth to create the large tree on the left that the 'keeper' hangs from. I continued with the cheesecloth to wrap around the piece of driftwood that he was already hanging from . Then I sat down at the sewing machine and starting free motion stitching. I stitched a smaller tree on the right then the cheesecloth/stitched tree on the left. I stitched rusty red clouds in the sky, I stitched grasses and weeds along the  bottom. I went a little crazy stitching. But once I got started I couldn't stop.

Then I started piecing together the sections for the top and bottom, added some side pieces and a binding.
Below is the complete piece.

This is a closeup of the cheesecloth tree.

This is a close up of the rusty clouds.

After completing this piece I decided I just had to use the other piece of the gessoed decorator fabric and continue on this woods/tree thing.

So here is the beginnings of the next tree piece.
I've added some very loosely drawn trees with ink. I'm not sure where this one is going yet. Since taking this photo I have fused some of the painted wonder under on in places, but I'm not sure what or how I'm going to create the trees. I feel certain they will be stitched but I might use some cheesecloth?? or I might use some fibers?? We'll see.

 As soon as I get further along I will post more photos.
Live your life creatively~


Terri Kahrs said…
Cathy, this piece is MAGNIFICENT!!! The texture and the color are fabulous. I can only imagine what it looks like "in person"! Your work is growing by leaps and bounds! Hugs, Terri xoxo
Ditto totally to above comment and I like the little metal guy from Mary's class. That's the best of integrating new techniques!
Melissa said…
I love it!! The close up of the trees and the rusty favorite! Amazing....
This. Is. Spectacular! Wow wow wow... and thank you so much for your detailed description of how it was created. I'm in love with this piece!!
This process is absolutely stunning...the depth and texture are so luscious to take in their glory. What a wonderful vision you are sharing here. Bravo!!! iMAGINE AND lIVE IN pEACE, mARY hELEN fERNANDEZ sTEWART
Thanks so much! I love reading comments from you guys!
Janine said…
Dear Cathy
it´s quite a while since my last visit. And you made some cool things, like this items and the great "neural pathways". That is excellent.
Have a great sunday
Wonderful! Thank you for discovering "me" so I could follow a link back to discover your fabulous work. Now, I'm a follower of your "ramblin' reflections"

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