The Tree of Life part 15: it’s aliiiiive!!

No, Dr Frankenstein has not been tinkering with my quilt. 

Bird templates

Bird templates

But there is certainly a whole lot more going on suddenly. I’ve cut out and positioned the rest of the leaves. Sewing on to follow, o joy. I’ve made templates for all the birds, which was actually lots of fun. I’ve made sunflowers, which look a bit crude and simple right now, but are going to be embellished with satin stitch when I sew them down, which will hopefully take care of that issue. And I made three attempts at bunches of grapes. No go.Whatever I did, they looked like amorphous dark blobs, and had to be explained rather than explaining themselves.

Tree, fruit, flowers and leaves

Tree, fruit, flowers and leaves

So I’ve come up with a super-easy and if I may say so myself, rather brilliant alternative. I had some nice fabric featuring simplifed colourful pear halves on a dark brown background. They were in oranges, yellows and greens, and worked very well with the tree’s colour scheme. So I’ve made cut-outs of half a dozen of them, and I feel they work very well – better, in fact, than the grapes would have. And then, with the fruit, flowers and remaining leaves pinned on, I wanted to see how the birds would look, and I’m loving it!


Detail of fruit and birds

The paper templates are pinned on too. I think the birds need to be white. There’s so much else going on that I think they’d fail to stand out as they do if I made them a different colour. Any thoughts?

I was at work the last two days, which is why there hasn’t been the usual long blog about what I’ve done. But I was not idle. The Car Quilt is reaching the point where I’ve got to start considering borders, hurrah! What you see in the photo is going to be outlined with a row of dark blue hexies, and then the borders are going to be pieced strips of all the fabrics featured, perpendicular to each edge rather than parallel. This centre piece is currently 33″ x 36″ (80 x 90cm).

Car quilt progress

Car quilt progress

At least, that’s my thinking right now. I reserve the right to change my mind at any time!

The Husband is working this afternoon, and has a bit of a dash on to try and get home in time for weekly Saturday night dinner at the Dowager’s.  It’s been very hot and pretty humid today, so I’ve been glad to be inside, in the airconditioning.  I occasionally feel guilty about having it on and using so much power, but about 10 minutes after I turn it off, my conscience goes: “yes ok, whatever, put the damn thing back on!”. And I do. It’s currently 33C (91F), and humidity’s around 55%. If I could send some of this heat over to you guys currently freezing your bits off in the US, I’d do it in a flash. And in return, I’d like a short burst of that icy wind, please.

Tomorrow’s yard work in the morning till the heat gets insane, and then retreating indoors to my sewing machine. With luck, I’ll get all the leaves sewn down, and can make a start on the fruit and flowers. I hope you’ve all had a good week and are ready for whatever the weekend brings.

More tomorrow.

17 thoughts on “The Tree of Life part 15: it’s aliiiiive!!

  1. Kate says:

    Hello! Fairly new to your blog, enjoying your progress on the Tree Of Life quilt. How about the birds in black? They look a bit crow-like to me, especially the one with one wing forward and one back, a bit playful like crows are. It would be a heavy colour but it might play nicely with the red circle. A really beautiful quilt.

    • katechiconi says:

      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment! I took a look at black and grey, but the black was, as you said, a bit heavy, and the grey blended in too much. I’m looking forward to having a bit of time tomorrow to crack on with the applique. Watch this space!

  2. So you did end up with partridges in a pear tree after all!

  3. I really like the birds in white – remind me of peace doves. Also reminded me of Matisse in his later cut-outs period. I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Tree of Life as a theme and have wanted to do a quilty one for some time so thanks for inspiration! 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      You’re most welcome, and I completely agree on the white bird/dove angle. I’ve done some samples of other colours, and either they fade into the background or they’re much too heavy. White it is. I may do some detailing with pale grey satin stitch, so they have a little dimension.

  4. Kirsten says:

    I really like the birds! I think they finish it off nicely. Are you planning on keeping them white?

    • katechiconi says:

      Yes, I think so. White with very pale grey detailing so they’re not just flat white silhouettes. And I think they’re going to have an eye or two as well. Maybe I’ll be able to get back to sewing tomorrow, but we’re on cyclone watch, so I have to get stuff cleared away and out of the weather.

      • Kirsten says:

        Cyclone watch – crikey! Hope it passes over without too much trouble.

      • katechiconi says:

        So do we! But we have our evacuation plan in place, just in case.

      • Kirsten says:

        So you know which bunker you are headed to? Have you got a mini sewing project to take with you, in case you have to stay for an extended period of time? Oh and tins of beans? Isn’t canned food mandatory at times like this?

      • katechiconi says:

        If category 1-3, we hunker down at home with adequate stocks of food and water for 3 days, and lots of torches and candles. If over category 3, we close up the house and head inland for high country. We have the back of the ute packed with all our camping gear, we just need to sling in some clothes and food and water and go.

      • Kirsten says:

        Fingers crossed for the former rather than the latter.

  5. gentlestitches says:

    I am enjoying seeing it’s progress. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      Sadly, I’m not making much progress these past few days, due to making cyclone preparations. We’ve got one hanging over our heads for Thursday, so cross your fingers it turns into just a bad storm. Looking forward to getting back to my sewing machine, I must say!

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