Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Working on Tree UFO

I have been crabby and complaining for sometime now about how I just couldn’t seem to be able to come up with any ideas or to create anything. Since my journal piece for February is about half completed, I decided to get out one of my UFO’s and work on it.

It is something from a workshop I took several years ago. I did not get to see the sample piece before the class, so when the supply list said to have fabric for a tree I was concentrating more on fabrics for leaves than for the tree trunk.

I had this solid brown fabric and thought that it would be okay.

When I got to the class and discovered there was just a bare tree and no leaves I had to go ahead and use the fabric I had. This is the way it looked by the end of the workshop class (layered and quilted, no binding) except that the tree was just that solid cocoa color.

After the piece was made I wasn’t happy with the plain tree, so after I got home I decided to take a fabric marker and give the tree trunk some “texture”. It was better but I still wasn’t happy with it, so it ended up in the UFO pile.

Close up after using fabric marker:

At one point I took freezer paper and traced the tree and made a pattern to cut another tree from a different fabric and was going to fuse it on, but I never got around to finding just the right fabric for it.

A couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning and gathered all the UFO’s together in one spot, I took another look at it and decided that I would give it texture with some thread painting.

Here it is partially done:

here’s a close up shot:

Now I have experimented with this before and I know that a piece will shrink up some when doing this but I just didn’t think it would be quite so much. By the time I did the entire tree, the body of the piece, which was flat before, was now very puckered. Now this is in no way a great “work of art”, but since I decided I was going to finish this piece, I was determined to do just that. After all I am just going to hang it in my art room.

I had planned on adding another piece of fabric for a new backing and only doing minimal quilting, but now I knew it would have to have a lot of quilting to get it flat again. So, the first thing I did was to steam press the heck out of this thing to get it as flat as I possibly could. Then I used temporary spray adhesive to baste the new backing fabric to it. I then started in the middle and quilted in wavy lines about a quarter of an inch apart, but only in the grassy and water areas.

The sky area had minimal quilting in it from before and did not pucker up too much from the thread painting, so I decided to remove the old quilting and then re-quilt it again very sparsely to catch the new backing piece.

Close up:

So here it is with all the quilting done, steam pressed again and squared up.

size---15 3/4" x 23"

If I were going to do another piece like this the next time I would create the tree separately and do a lot more thread painting to fill it in entirely, and then attach it to the background.

Now all I have to do is bind it.


Scrapmaker said...

Looks good! I am a big fan of thread painting. You did a really good job of "saving" it. Out of curiosity, what kind of stabilizer were you using?

I also enjoyed the posts below about all the different techniques. I have not tried all of those yet. Jen

MargaretR said...

It has worked out very well. I love the thread painting on the tree trunk. Isn't it satisfying to get out an UFO and finish it?

jenclair said...

Great save, Micki! The thread painting transformed the tree.

Deb Geyer said...

Very nice grand finish. I learn so much from little projects like that.

Kim said...

I agree, nice job on the tree! Working the technique on small projects can be very rewarding.

Denim Doll said...

Micki - love your tree... The additional work on the piece really makes a difference..