Girl and Tree Scarf

A new scarf idea.

I had this idea to make a scarf with a girl on one end and a tree on the other.  Falling and floating leaves connecting them.

I started working on it last week, but got sidetracked by putting my studio back in order and shipping all those orders from my Open House Online Gallery.  But today I was back at it, figuring out how to make it work.

girl and tree scarf hanger

I was concerned about how the scarf would hang because in order to stitch my drawings I have to have batting to stitch onto.

But batting throughout the scarf would make it too stiff.  So I did stitched my drawings on the hankie and batting, then cut away the extra batting.  I did this with the single floating leaves too.  Each one in a circle of batting.

Now it needed a backing.    I couldn’t picture what kind of fabric should go on the back of the scarf.   But in the past few weeks I’ve gotten three or four quilt tops that different people have sent me in the mail.  One morning, between when I first started working on the scarf and today, when Jon and I were walking on McMillan Road, it came to me to use one of the quilt tops for the back of the scarf.

Erin sent me this quilt top, thanks Erin.
Erin sent me this quilt top, thanks Erin.

Between the colors and hexagon’s the Quilt top that Erin send me seemed just right.

girl and tree scarf  back

So I sewed it onto the front of the scarf, but wanted to do some top stitching to hold the back to the front.  I imagined a white serpentine  line starting at the girl’s hand and moving around the leaves ending up at the tree.  But when I stitched it,  because there isn’t batting in those areas,  the stitches were loose and because it was such a long run, I couldn’t get the line to flow without interruption.  So I got out my seam ripper and took out the stitches, spritzed a little water on the holes the stitches made and ironed them out.  Then I did a straight stitch over each hankie seam instead.

Now, the outline of the batting and some of the color from the backing can be seen through the white of the hankies.  But I don’t mind either.  The outline of batting helps make the stitchings stand out and I like the subtle color seen through the large area’s of white.

But,  now that it’s all done, I’m thinking there’s altogether too much white and I want to make another one that has the girl and tree, but with more color.  So I wouldn’t use the hankies, but a solid piece of fabric at least on the ends for the drawings.  And maybe have some of the quilt top (this one or one of the other one’s I now have) on the front of the scarf as well as the back.

Let me know what you think and I’ll get started on the next one.

27 thoughts on “Girl and Tree Scarf

  1. It’s lovely Maria – and I’m not sure if this is for you or you plan to sell it – but I would like to purchase this one. It reminds me of our wedding day – we married in the fall because it’s our favorite season and it was a blustery day but colorful and festive just like your beautiful scarf.


  2. I love this. What if you had a creamy solid color or tea stained to put the girl and tree on. The quilt is perfect for a backing. You are on the right track with this.

  3. A neat idea-in-progress…Maybe the white is right, and what could bring the color is to use colorful quilt pieces to make the leaves and then top-stitch them to create the veins, etc. Or, you could cut leaf shapes out of the white and let the colors from the quilt back show through (a reverse applique of the leaves) and stitch around them.
    If you use scraps from the same quilt top that backs the scarf, you’d have some continuity from front-to-back. I like seeing the quilt back through the translucent white of the scarf. Don’t mind me – I tend to think complex when simple may be best!

  4. Hi Maria, I totally agree with you. This girl and tree are great but I don’t think they lend themselves to white very well.I see Fall colors for her. Colored hankies? Does she need to be a vertical wall hanging?
    :) Cindy

  5. I like the contrast – the stark white with outline drawings while on the opposite, the vibrant design and bright colors of the quilt top.
    My only suggestion to think about for a second version, since you obviously are rethinking this one, woukd be to use a smaller pattern on the flip side.
    I STILL want this!

  6. Maria, If you don’t need the thickness of batting and only need to stabilize the stitching, use a stabilizer of some sort. There are so many on the market because of the embroidery machines – tearaway, water soluble, light weight, etc. Maybe you know all this already :)

  7. I love this Maria, but I agree with you that it is a little too white (for me). Regardless, it’s a beautiful creation.

  8. Have you tried stitching your drawings on fabric with paper behind the image rather than batting? Regular cheap paper might work or freezer paper ironed to adhere to the fabric (shiny side to the back of the fabric) will pull away when the stitching is done. Love how you experiment with your ideas.

    P.S. Cheap paper fibers might go into the area around the bobbin so regular cleaning is needed.

  9. Maria, I like what you did on this. Especially the drawing of the girl and tree connected by the leaves. I do agree with you, though, that perhaps the girl/tree/leaves need more color around them. They are so delicate that to me they are almost lost in all the white. But I do love the completed one and can’t wait to see what you do for the second one!

  10. Hi Maria,
    I think you are absolutely right, when I looked at it I thought too
    much white, just doesn’t look finished. So play away, like the idea
    of adding quilted bits to the tree and the girl side.

  11. Hi Maria,
    There is a lot of white but it is a charming piece, MW.
    I love the use of the “quilt top” on reverse side.
    These dream inspired creations are a kind of opening, I think.

  12. Well, it looks like a whole bunch of people beat me to it. I was thinking it would be perfect for my daughter who lives on Sunny Branch Farm (you did the tree potholder for her). Let me know if you decide to sell ones like it. Have a great day.

  13. Maria, this is so unique and absolutely beautiful. Your creative ideas float through your brain, making changes and new ideas spring forth like the flowers in your garden. How lucky we all are to see them come to life in scarves, wall hangings, pot holders and quilts. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
    Enjoy your day.

  14. Lovely, Maria. I agree with Barb. There are so many great stabilizers, even for the finest of fabrics. Look at Sulky’s website. A tear away or even one that dissolves in water would be great for this type of project:)


  15. Maria, I would love to send you a quilt top or two that were begun by my Great Grandmother, I seem to remember they are of the same pattern as the one you used for “The Girl’. They are more pink and blue and I am intrigued by your description of blue being “Spiritual” . I would like you to design a stole for our wonderful minister here in Fresno, California, Reverend Sofia Betancourt. Sofia is a spinner and weaver and her partner, Devorah, is a fiber artist. Reverend Sofia will complete her two year interim ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno in the Summer of 2015. She has brought life and new visions into our congregation and I would like to give her something special. Let me know what you think of this plan. In any case I would like you to have the quilt tops, I am a physical therapist and very pragmatic, not artistic at all. With thanks and gratitude for all you do, Marilyn

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