Past Quilt #4: Poppies

Here's another landscape quilt...I think it was my first landscape quilt actually! Poppies are one of my favorite flowers, next to sunflowers, and I couldn't resist using a decorator fabric that had poppies printed all over it. It was a remnant I found at a yard sale, and I scooped it up for 50 cents, even though I didn't know yet what I'd do with it.

I started by picking that beautiful hand dyed fabric for the background. It had the right mix of blue for the sky with splotches of green to simulate trees in the distance, but also add some depth to the scene. Then I fussy cut a grass print, making sure I cut no straight lines - it should be jagged edges to make it more realistic.

Next came fussy cutting the poppies and small daisies...the hardest part was those stems and getting them to curve naturally while keeping them as thin as possible.

I felt the scene was too "blah" with just grass and some flowers, so I added a large tree for more interest. I found a "perfect" batik fabric in varying shades of brown to use for the trunk - if you look very closely you can see small flowers in the print. But when I cut the long strip in just the right place in the fabric piece, it read naturally as a tree. It left a big hole in the center of my 1/2 yard cut of batik fabric, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the sake of art, LOL.

Next came the leaves on the tree. To say these were a pain to cut is an understatement...I think it's the equivalent of Quilting Chinese Water Torture to cut each individual leaf the way I started to in the beginning of making the tree...but time, sore fingers, and experience makes you wiser, and you quickly learn to use larger pieces of leaf fabric cut very jagged to get the same or similar result.

The key is to make sure you aren't cutting cloud or lollipop shapes when you cut leaves...look at the trees outside your window. They have sharp, jagged edges. so should your landscape leaves.

This quilt hangs in my kitchen and while I definitely see areas I would improve on today now that I've made a lot more landscape quilts since this first one, I keep it as a reminder of how proud I was when this one was finished. And really, that's what all of our quilts should evoke within us...pride of work and a sense of accomplishment that "I MADE that!"



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