The Doily Tree And Bird

I was throwing the ball for Fate and Zinnia when I looked up at the dying maple tree by the front of the house.  There’s still plenty about it that is alive, but some of the branches, including the main one that reaches straight up to the sky, has lost it bark and is hollowed out by woodpecker holes.

It’s the branch the bald eagle sat on a couple of years ago and the one the crows and ravens use as a look out.

I walk around the tree every morning when I pick up after the dogs, but the view of that towering branch from the pasture is impressive.

I’d throw a ball to one of the dogs then look up at the tree again.  And one time, when I looked up, I saw that branch made of doilies.  The next time I looked, I saw a fabric bird perched on top of it.

I made a quick drawing of it when I got to my studio so I wouldn’t forget.

Yesterday I started the process of making that fabric painting of the tree with the woodpecker holes and bird on top.

I pulled out some doilies from the bin under my work table and washed them.  If they didn’t get clean the first time, they got another good washing as they hung on the line last night.  Now they smell like fresh air and rain.

It felt like a kind of blessing to me, that they were drenched by the first thunder storm of the season.

This morning I found the backing for the piece.  I thought of the quilted jacket when I lay in bed this morning after being woken up by the thunder.  I tried a few of the old quilts when I got to my studio, but it was the jacket that won out.

I had already cut it into pieces, now I just had to piece it back together to make a backing.

I used all the pieces I had from the jacket including the pockets.  So now instead of a flat predictable surface, I have a backing that already has character and will bring another element to the final piece.

Next I laid out a couple of doilies and some fabric to represent the bird to get a feeling for the scale and shape of it all.  I’ll continue to work on that part till I get it right.  Then I’ll sew it down. I have an idea of making the holes in the tree, but I’ll really figure it out as I work on it.

I’m still not certain of the fabric I’ll use for the bird.   But I did find an old piece of lace with a repetitive crescent moon pattern that I think I will put across the top of the piece.

8 thoughts on “The Doily Tree And Bird

    1. I’m glad to hear that Kim. It actually helps me to write it all out and I think it helps people understand what I’m doing and why when I write about the process.

  1. The detail in the crescent moon lace is amazing. Is it called tatting? Does anyone do that anymore or teach it? A dying art perhaps.

    1. I’m not sure if it’s tatting Becky, It might be. I’ve seen some of those old lace making “machines” in museums. I believe tatting is done with a needle like on the edges of hankies.

  2. I had no idea where you were going with this when I started to read about using doilies for the tree, but it’s turning out fantastic. I love how you’ve use the doilies with all that texture for the tree trunk.

    1. Thanks Judy. I just pinned it down today in a way that makes me happy. When I sew the doilies it’s kind of like sculpting, They have some resistance and I like that. Not having total control over the material.

  3. Maria,
    I love your picture of the old lace doilies hanging on the line. They create a feeling of times past, spring days and a calm and tranquil day. I’m enjoying your daily pictures along with your creative work in your old school house studio. Your talent and personality shine in your daily posts. I look forward to reading about Bedlam Farm each day and seeing your stories through pictures that are captured so beautifully! Happy spring!

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Full Moon Fiber Art