My Botanical Quilt, What Kind Of Tree?

Botanical Quilt

I finished tacking my Botanical quilt today and laid it on the bed in the guestroom/office to run a lint roller over it, cut off any loose threads and fold it up to be shipped to its new home.

My quilts always look so different to me when I lay them on a bed.   I make them looking down at them on my studio floor then up on my wall.  But on a bed they’re more three dimensional, fitting to the form of the mattress.

Jackie who is buying the quilt as a Wedding gift for a friend was wondering what kind of tree is pictured in the middle of the quilt.

I’m not sure.  The bark looks like birch, but not so much the canopy.  So if anyone out there knows,  leave me a comment on my blog about it and thanks!

Do you know what kind of tree this is?

Botanical Quilt On Hold

That’s my Botanical quilt folded up on the ironing board in the middle of my studio.  I made a backing for it today and sewed it together.

I left the bottom of the quilt open so I can stitch the initials of the bride and groom and the date on the back of the quilt.  I’m just waiting to hear from Jackie to find out what they are.  Then I’ll start tacking it.

A Bigger Botanical Quilt

Botanical Quilt

I spent the day adding some inches onto my Botanical quilt.

Jackie told me the story of the baby she helped deliver 28 years ago who is now a friend of hers.  She made him a baby blanket that he had worn through and Jackie has repaired again and again.  Now he’s getting married and Jackie thought my Botanical quilt would be just right for him and his new wife.

So she, very thoughtfully, asked if it was possible to make it into a Queen sized quilt.  I remembered thinking after I wrote about the quilt last week that I wished it took up the whole wall, like the mural in my grandmother’s kitchen.

I liked Jackie’s story and had enough fabric to make the quilt bigger, so I did.

Since I knew the quilt would be on a bed, I added the extra two feet to the top of the quilt.  That way the tree would still sit in the middle of the bed, with the top resting on the pillows. I also added about 20 inches to the sides.

This is one of the biggest quilts I’ve ever made. Tomorrow I’ll work on the backing, but I might wait to finish it till next week.  I sold out of my Gardner’s Potholders and do like to have potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop, so I might decide to make more before finishing the quilt.

Working On My Botanical Quilt

It’s Bellydancing day, so a short workday for me.  I meant to stop working on my new quilt earlier so I could blog, but I got caught up in it and now I have only a few minutes before I have to feed the animals and get ready for my class.

But I did get a lot done on my quilt, I’m almost all done…

I still need a thin strip of fabric on the top of the quilt and the piece I sewed on the bottom might be a bit too heavy.  But I can’t make that decision now.  I look at it tomorrow and figure out what to do.

When I look at this quilt, I keep thinking of it as a place to go.  Like a Trompe-l’oeil wallpaper, that just takes you away for a moment or two.

Botanical Quilt

I started my day by undoing.  A while back I sewed a border around the fabric with the tree on it in the photo above.  It’s been hanging on my studio wall since then.  But today I removed that border and started over.

When I was cleaning up my studio I put aside some fabric that I thought would work well with the tree and today I started working on making it into a quilt.  Not only did the tree call to me, but the colors did too.

I don’t remember who sent me that gorgeous piece of fabric with the flowers and their roots.  They all seem to be ascending to me.

This is as far as I got today.

I didn’t get to sew that panel on the right and still have to find a small piece for the bottom of it.  As much as I wanted to keep working on it, by the time I got this far, I was just too tired, in body and mind to do more.

Tree Quilt Continued

I finished piecing together the center part of my Tree quilt. The part with all the trees.

Then I started playing around with the leaves that came from the same piece of fabric.

I decided I would frame each one with thin strips of fabric then float them in a wider border.  Doing it this way reminded me of botanicals. They will surround the center of the quilt. I’m still figuring out which colors I’ll use, I have a lot of good choices in my stash.

“Botanical” A Place To Go

I finished designing my latest quilt called  Botanical, this morning.

Sun streamed through the window into the kitchen,  I sat on one of the wrought iron chairs, with the plastic-covered seats, around the table.   Usually, we sat in the only lived-in room in the house, where my grandmother spent most of her day, watching TV, talking on the phone and mending her stockings.

When we sat in the kitchen it was because my grandmother was making something special, like the Sicilian pizza or sfinge (fried dough balls rolled in sugar) she made once a year.

My sister and I visited my grandmother, who lived upstairs from us, every day after school.  Not because we wanted to, but because we had to.  My grandmother was not the kindly old woman that the word “grandmother” usually evokes.

I was shy around her and intimidated by her. Sometimes she would tell us stories about the children of friends, or the soap operas she was watching,  but we didn’t talk to each other.  The whole time I was there I’d be trying to think up an excuse to leave as quickly as possible.

But sometimes, my sister and I would be alone in my grandmother’s living room.

It was one of those rooms that were only used when company visited. The Baroque style furniture was covered in plastic.  A glass chandelier hung from the ceiling and on one end of the room was a huge credenza.  Behind the doors, which rolled into the piece of furniture,  was a black and white TV that I don’t remember anyone every watching.  On top of it was an oversized porcelain figurine of a 17th-century man, down on one knee holding the hand of a sitting woman in a beautiful gown, her white hair piled high on her head.

I don’t know what the circumstances were that my sister and I got to play in that room by ourselves, I only remember acting out the scene that was going on in the porcelain figurine. One of us sitting on the couch while the other kneeled before her proposing marriage or whatever story we came up with.

Actually every room in my grandmother’s house, except the sitting room, was kind of magical.

In the dining room one wall was covered in mirrors.  Even her bathroom, though the exact same set up as ours downstairs, seemed more elegant.  It smelled like powder, the fixtures were blue instead of pink, the extra toilet paper covered with a crocheted doll, a soft fluffy cover on the toilet seat.

And even the kitchen, though well used, had one wall, papered in a scene from an Italian Villa.

In the mural there was an archway with a birdcage hanging from it and wrought iron chairs leading to a garden.  Like the wardrobe that led to Narnia,  I could imagine stepping into the scene while my grandmother talked and cooked.  It was a magical place to go to.  An escape while never leaving my chair.

Although it’s very different, when I look at my quilt “Botanical“, that’s what I think of.  The other side of my grandmother.  The one I only knew from the rooms in her house that I usually wasn’t allowed in.  The ones that transformed her upstairs apartment into a Venetian Palace.

Botanical is a magical place to go when you can’t leave, but need to get away.

My New iPhone 11

Biddy and Liam

The photo above of Biddy and Liam, is one I couldn’t have taken with my iPhone 8.

Last week Jon let me know that he could get a special deal using his Apple card to get me an iPhone 11. I was very happy with my iPhone 8.  Unlike Jon, who thrives on and delights in new technology, I’m the kind of person who was reluctant to get an answering machine all those years ago and only learned how to use a computer ten years ago.

But, over the years, I’ve gotten better.

And Jon (who wrote about me and my new iPhone on his blog) is so good at keeping me up to date.  He’d knew I’d be able to take much better and more creative photos using the camera in iPhone 11.   And even though he claims my photos might compete with his, he still wants me to have it.  Because he loves me, but also because creativity is like a religion for Jon.

He believes in it, preaches it and lives it.   Which is one of the many things I’ve come to share with him.

So today, in between working on my Botanical quilt, I was figuring out and exploring my new iPhone 11. That picture I took this morning of Lulu was the first one I took in daylight.

I’m not completely sure what I did to get the one above of Biddy and Liam.  I did all of the editing to it on the iPhone 11.  I’ll probably be able to figure out what I did eventually (I hope).

But the first photo I took on my iPhone 11 last night is the portrait of Jon below.

I love the warm color and soft background.   And not only does Jon have that very charming smile, but you can see behind him, the painting of him and his donkey Carol, from old Bedlam Farm by Christoper Smith.  A portrait within a portrait.


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