Monday, August 13, 2012

Quilting Along with Leah Day - Week 24

I am curator of a traveling exhibition for Fiber Artists Coalition, titled Conversations in Stitch. When I was recently interviewed about the exhibit for a newspaper article the journalist asked about the title and what I was trying to convey with the work I had selected. Here is what I told her. The work may appear as quite an eclectic collection at first. However, shapes, colors and subject matter repeat throughout the exhibition but are interpreted differently by different artists. I suggested to the journalist that she look at the many ways that trees are rendered in the artwork.

Full View of Tree Roots Practice Piece

Leah's latest assignment has us practicing a free motion quilting with a pattern called Tree Roots. How apropos. We have moved from beginner stitching to advanced beginner level. Tree Roots requires not only plotting our route but back tracking, or travel stitching.

Close Up of Tree Roots
Note Some Travel Stitching is Not detectible
While Other Travel Stitching is Obvious 

You may recall that the prior assignment was titled Branching Out. Tree Roots and Branching Out are basically the same, but the roots are slightly curved while the branches are all straight lines set at angles to each other. I found it more challenging to travel stitch along a gently curved line than a straight line.

It is easier to see the overall pattern that Tree Roots creates by viewing the back side of the practice piece. I purposefully select a commercial fabric with various hues and values as my front. Since that is the type of fabric I use for most of my quilts. However, to demonstrate my stitching acume (or not) I use solid fabrics on the backside.

Back Side of Tree Roots Practice Piece

There is nothing like a closeup to on solid fabric to show every single stitch...

Detail of the Back Side of Tree Roots
If you want to get an even closer look you can click on any picture and it will be enlarged.


  1. To me this gives the comfy cozy crinkly look of a well loved quilt....the texture is so wonderful. I have looked at other pieces but your examples are extremely appealing to my tastes! Excellent!

    1. You are kind. One of the advantages of doing fiber art for 24 years is that I have become more comfortable using the fabric that appeals to me for practice, not just for "master pieces." I have learned to give myself permission to play.