Friday, April 27, 2018

Tweet! The bird's Glen

Imagine... spring sunlight through the budding trees... birds gathering again, life restarting for flora and fauna.
Remember the watercolor squares I picked up at the Boulder Quilt guild free table??  A while back I arranged them, sewed them together, then let them rest.

This week I picked them up and appliqued the tree by just cutting out with pinking sheers laying it in place, using a glue stick to baste, then sewing it with a straight stitch to be gone over in the quilt process. I love a bit of a raised edge, so I'll heavily quilt it and let the very edges lift.

Look at the borders. I thought not to border it but changed my mind and found in the small amount of fabric available, this multi colored batik, perfect for three sides. I carefully cut strips from pattern and color I liked. The burst of gold along the bottom of the tree brings your eye to the tree.
since this is a scene, I used a blue-purple with some of the same colors for the top (sky) border.
I tried and discarded many batiks, even cutting strips from some, before settling on these and I just love them!!! This quilt is on the portable design wall made of a packing box and batting, at the top of the stairs. I saw it each time I went up and that helped to make choices.
Aren't the squares lovely together? At first I thought there were too many plain ones but this arrangement leads my eye around the piece, and is very organic, and spring like.

I did make sure to measure carefully through the center for border length as watercolor quilts can stretch and wave if you're not careful. I also fussy cut the strips to get the color placement just so.

Then my mind turned to the birds... I knew I wanted to paint them, then decided to use oil pastels...
 My friend Cindy suggested doing samples on muslin before launching into the actual sewn background. Brilliant! So I pulled out the three types of oil pastels I like using, and the samples told me three things. (I chose to reverse the smaller bird stencil to see if it worked better in my composition)
I liked the gelatos the best for color and blending
1. color and type of crayon I preferred in this project
2. tested by heat setting, and washing to test for colorfastness... all passed the test
3. placement of the birds...

with a black pen outline

With three birds...

I don't know....

As it turns out, I jumped in after all this experimentation and painted two on the background.

That required taking a breath, and leaping!

It's always a bit scary to add an element that cannot be removed but I trusted my supplies, and knew the stencils were just the start. I removed the stencils and continued to color and blend each bird til I had removed the stencil lines and somewhat covered the prints in the fabrics

Pretty!!! Love!!!
I can just imagine it with lovely threadwork in the quilting... baby blue rayon? Gold rayon? 
Lovely! How delicate! I like the prints showing through a bit for texture. And the little hint of a twig stenciled on too. It was hard to position the top bird not to cover up the leaves already there.
Oh so sweet! I just love it. It was like, well beauty is healing.  I painted it with fabric then got to paint it with paint too!
It is so happy isn't it? Can't you see all the threadwork giving the bark definition?
I may add in the last bird, but I may leave these two. I will not add in the word, as the design is enough.

I used to date an art dealer, and he said once, "It takes two people to make art, one to do the work and one to tell her to stop now"

I am telling myself to stop now
24" X 32"
Time to quilt!

Linking to
Esther's blog Wednesdays 
Let's be social Wednesdays 
Midweek makers wednesdays
Free motion by the River Tuesdays to do Tuesday
design wall Mondays at smallquiltsanddollquilts
Pink Saturday!
 scrap happy Saturdays
sewcanshe Saturdays
off the wall Fridays
can I get a whoop whoop Fridays 


  1. Oh!!! I love the painted birds! At first I thought maybe you could just applique the test ones from the muslin since they turned out so well, but I love the look of them painted on the quilt. Their colors blend so well with the rest of the piece! I hope you find something great to do with the ones painted on the muslin, they're too pretty not to use!

  2. Your painted birds are so cute, what a lovely addition to your quilt.

  3. Wow!! This quilt is stunning! I enjoy reading how you are making it come to life. The painted birds are a perfect touch and I hope you go with the third one. I like odd number of things. You, truly, are a gifted fabric artist.

    1. how nice! Thank you,
      about the three thing... yes an odd number is generally pleasing to the human eye. It doesn't have to be three birds however, it could be the two birds and tree that make the three focal items.

  4. Oh, yes - time to quit and savor what you've created. It is wonderful!!!!!

  5. Very cool. I love how this is coming along.

  6. Wow. Simply gorgeous. Those painted birds are wonderful , so calming and peaceful . The quilt ... I just love it !!! Beautiful

  7. I had to "pin" this one on to my quilty inspiration board and there are just sooooooooooooo many things I love about your creative process!! I'm soooo inspired!!

  8. This is so delightful. Your artistic talents enhance the watercolor beyond the ordinary. You don't need the third bird in the tree, but a cute chipmunk on the ground might be nice. But it's really perfect as is.
    It's a lovely spring day here, but there are snow flurries in the forecast for tomorrow.


  9. Lovely composition. Can't wait to see the birds all "thread painted". Thanks for sharing. Hope this bit of creative inspiration has made your heart sing.

  10. LA! I LOVE that quilt!!! We just returned from Paducah, no ribbon, but my quilt looked good.


  11. Wow! It’s just lovely! And I sure enjoyed learning about your creative process.

  12. Love it, great job. Seems you have gotten your grove back.

  13. “Beauty heals.” YES! YES!

    �� Linda

  14. How about a third somewhere else in the quilt, on the bottom area/ground area

  15. Lovely! I think it’s perfect like this and you have lots of space for your lovely stitching!

  16. Beautiful! Love your version of a watercolor design. You don't have to follow all the rules, just listen to what your eye/heart tell you. It is a gentle feeling offering a delight to the person looking for spring:)

  17. The birds are the perfect addition and I like the way you blended the colors to take away the stencil look. Happy Spring!

  18. Great! I love those birds! And the watercolor quilt top too, it's a beautiful embellishment

  19. You're quilting is stunning, the blue bird is adorable.

  20. Oh my gosh, your birds are incredibly gorgeous. Beautiful job!

  21. Oh, that is so cute! I loved seeing your process!

  22. So sweet. I really thought as I read along that you were going to applique the birds onto the background. Stenciling them right onto the quilt must have been terrifying. Glad they turned out though -- such a pretty composition

  23. Oh My! It's gorgeous! And how brave to paint on the quilt! I used watercolor pencils on a quilt a few years ago, but it literally took me months to convince myself to do it! It turned out fine, but I think it might still be a UFO if it hadn't been for a deadline. I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do it again, but seeing your project...maybe I can do it?

  24. Those birds are just wonderful and bring such life to your tree. Love reading about your process.

  25. Exquisite! The birds are just soft enough to still stand out against the light squares. I love this piece.

  26. OMGoodness!!! I am in love! Thank you for explaining your process. Now we wait for you to finish. Is it done yet? :)

  27. Did my comment get through? my sense is not ...
    Am smiling, because a true artist takes many leaps in faith! The more you do it, the better one gets at it.
    Great job at expressing the feeling of Spring! Many thanks for sharing your experience at All Seasons, and have a bright spring week!

  28. I, too, thought you were going to applique the birds. You are fearless, painting them directly! Wow!
    I love this so much!

  29. Wonderful creation. Congrats!
    Lot of work. But, effort pays!

  30. Oh wow how creative....what a large task as well... with beautiful results!

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-Wednes-day / -week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♪ (ABC-W-team)

  31. You'll know when to stop. :-) I love your quilt! The lightness surrounded by color. Your birdies look happy that they are home. You inspire me to hurry up and make room in L Studio for me to play with fabric. Oil pastels for fabric, wowza. Something new for me to check out. Thanks.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

  32. Love the quote about it taking two people to make art! Knowing when to stop is always difficult.

  33. So pretty! lovely work. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

  34. Oh my goodness, this is just amazing! It completely took my breath away!