Quilts and Other Stuff from Frances

It’s a Southern Thing!!!

In June, our guild held another challenge.  This time the theme was “It’s a Southern Thing” and the size was limited to a 12 inch square.

As usual, I had MANY ideas about what to do with this challenge, but most of them were far too complicated or detailed to put into a 12 inch square.  However, I have put several of these ideas into my “to be done later” folder.

Then, one morning I went out to get the newspaper and happened to glance up into the early-morning sky.   Then I saw him and knew what my challenge had to be.   Let me digress……

Since I was a little girl I have loved the constellation “Orion, the Hunter”.  I did a Girl Scout project about him back in elementary school and He has always been the one constellation that I could easily find. 

As we have lived and traveled around the world, Orion has been with us but hasn’t looked quite the same.  When we were living in Australia, he was even upside down!!

So now, when I look up into the sky and see Orion, I know that I am truly home and that is my “Southern” thing!!

Since I knew that my piece was going to be a nighttime sky and would be fairly dark, I decided that I wanted a newly budding tree in the foreground, adding some interest and also a bit of light.

In my mind, I was thinking of a Dogwood tree but ended up going for more of a generic tree design.   

I started out with the background fabrics, looking for a dark green for the foreground.  The one that I found was perfect, except for some white dots that just weren’t working.  I ended up taking a fabric marker and coloring each of them in!!  You can see the difference between the center of the fabric and the side…DSC07176

I added a fence to break up the background a bit more……DSC07182

Now it was time for the tree and, since the piece was small and I had plenty of time, I decided to experiment a little bit.  I pulled out my wool roving and started thread painting the tree trunk and branches, using two layers of water soluble interfacing as my base…..


It was so much fun to pull the roving until it was thinner and thinner, making the branches.  I then cut off much of the exposed interfacing and attached it to my piece using even more machine embroidery.  Once the interfacing was washed out, the tree skeleton looked great!!…..DSC07197

Now it was time to add some buds to the tree….but what to use??  I started out with beads……


….but felt like they were a bit TOO much.  So, I cut all of them off and started over again with French knots.  I added some little circles of roving to be some buds that were a bit more open…..


Next I added some embroidered grass tufts and some machine quilting.

Now it was time for the stars.  I had purchased some “Hot Fix Crystals” and a heat gun at a Sewing Expo and decided that now was the time to use them…..DSC07923

The final step was to spray the sky with a glitter spray.  I actually did this at the very start of the project, but it had all washed/worn off before I was finished so I gave it another coat!!


It worked well and I am very happy with the finished project…..


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