Nature Dreams in Color

My new piece celebrates the fact that a bare-branched snowy scene will soon burst forth into color as my neighborhood welcomes spring! Earlier this year, I was walking Kane along a favorite road during a light snowfall and couldn’t resist taking a picture of this scene:

Back home in front of the fire, I played with my favorite MegaPhoto filter 143 and produced this image:

I love working in this palette anyway, but loved how it hinted at vibrant life beneath snow and barren tree branches. It was saved on my iPad until one morning I came into my studio and thought, I have to create a neon piece! Grabbing a Tula Pink fat quarter (dots!) and batting, I went to my pressing table and began to compose the scene from my fave Lava Solid batiks from Anthology/Windham Fabrics. A terrific way to build your solid batik stash is with their tonal bundles…here is my favorite ❤️- https://anthologyfabrics.com/lavafatq-1-rainbow/

Ooooooh ;). So my composition began in this fashion:

The great thing about landscapes is that you do not have to follow precise lines! Here I approximated blocks of color from what I saw and liked in the image…knowing I would refine with strips of fabric torn for ‘trees’ and cut for ‘shrubs’ –

I love to create trees!! Once the fabrics were fused, it was time for thread…my very favorite palette of Aurifil 50wt, my own ‘NeonKitty Quilts’ colors 😊-

Time for (lots and lots of) stitching! Some sky, then some branches…trim fray of branches, more sky…waves in water, highlighted by bits of lighter blue which were then inked/stitched…oh, this piece was so much fun to create. I may not like gardening IRL but I certainly love creating plants with Aurifil ;). By stitching the fused fabric branches, then continuing the stitching to create the very thin branches, you can create the appearance of density which I love.

The other toys that came out to play in this piece were my Fabrico fabric ink pens by Tsukineko – if you have not tried these, do! Many art stores carry them, and they are an easier way to learn how to use fabric ink than the bottles (well, ok, buy those too of course ;)). Midnight blue ink is particularly handy for enhancing the bark patterns on tree trunks! My most-used Fabrico colors are Really Black #182, Midnight #162, Poppy Red #114 and Cool Gray #181…if you do a lot of cats’ eyes, you will find yourself also ordering all 8 (!) shades of green. One great source is https://www.dharmatrading.com/markers/fabrico-dual-tip-fabric-markers.html – they appear to have the best prices as of the day this post is written. Not every vendor mentions this – make sure to store them horizontally when not in use (double-tipped). Mine stay in a little drawer in my pressing station until needed for a project.

The joy of these smaller pieces (approximately a fat quarter size) is that they are so easy to do on your domestic sewing machine. Oh how I love my Bernina 💜!

The piece usually tells me when it is done. Time for a facing and hanging sleeve (see what fun Tula’s dots and stripes are for this purpose?) –

This piece now brightens my inspiration corner and reminds me that our natural landscape will soon be quite green and colorful, too!