The Road Taken?

What do you get when you combine two distractable art quilters, a glorious autumn day and a very very confusing map? This piece is in honor of last year’s SAQA CT retreat and a very very long walk in the woods ;). One of the many images on my phone from our hike was this one:

I looked at this photo and then at Windham Fabrics’ new collection from artist Grant Haffner…

…and immediately saw the fun possibilities of using his “Horizon” fabrics to bring this scene to life. No sketch needed, the photo provided the basic layout to follow.

Instead of drawing a horizon, I decided to create it with trees. One of the many joys of Mistyfuse is that you can ‘sculpt’ the fabric by pressing it, lifting, shaping, and pressing again – in the case of tree trunks, creating creases to resemble bark. So, snip, RIP!, shape:

Since the background sky fabric is quite light, I needed to create the forest floor with lots of leaves…this method is a terrific time saver when you need a LOT of leaves:

The leaves were fused at the bottoms of each of the “trees” and then scattered. Lots of PaintStik and fabric ink later, the “ground” looked dark enough to begin to stitch the piece. Thread time, my favorite…I found that Aurifil’s variegated brown/black 28wt thread was particularly helpful for the tree trunks. (I keep several of their plastic containers around and tape a photo of the project for which the thread palette has been gathered…it’s a fantastic way to stay organized when you are working on multiple projects!)

The planks received lots (and lots) of straight stitching (then some rubbing with light pigment sticks to create the impression of weathering)…while the forest floor got a leaf stitch (a very fun fill stitch!):

After being stitched and inked and stitched again, I decided there was enough depth of color. Almost. One of the exciting things about this hike 😉 was the late afternoon sky beginning to signal sunset…some Posca paint markers were used to add the appropriate shades to the sky. Confusing direction signs were created from scraps of window shade swatch material…hey, you never know when this stuff is going to come in handy. Still…something was missing….

Perhaps a discarded map? Nope. Hmm. It will not surprise my friends that I simply had to add a friendly forest creature to complete the scene…

Ok, now we’re done! Next year, I vow to actually bring a good trail map into the woods with us ;).

Published by neonkittyquilts

Laurie is a fiber artist who combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." A frequent teacher at IQF's Open Studios and The City Quilter in NYC, she has been published in Quilting Arts magazine and The Canadian Quilter. Her art quilts have been juried into special exhibits in Houston and the National Juried Show of the CQA. She sits on the board of the Quilt Alliance and is an enthusiastic member of SAQA. Laurie lives in NYC and Connecticut with her husband, their two angelic German Shepherds and three mischievous felines.

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