Rainforest Finished….

Tuesday night was the night to present my “Complement Me” challenge and here is the finished quilt…..


While at my Church Women’s Retreat this pas t weekend, I added some beads to the flower stalk and I think that it made a nice difference….


The other quilts that were presented were wonderful as well…..

Unknown-2 Terri Jarrett

Amethyst-Dreams-by-Denise-SDenise Stanchek

Breadfruit-by-Barbara-RedmaBarbara Redman

Chincoteague-Pony-by-Donna- Donna Phillips

Christmas-at-the-Cabin,-LinLinda Murray

Complemantary-Color-ChallenChris Langone

Orchids by Barbara Redman Barbara Redman (#2)

Sunset,-McNutt-Creek,-WinteMary Beth Tawfik

Tile-Table-by-Mary-Grider Mary Grider

Unknown-1Fay Rawls

All in all, a very successful challenge!!

Save the Rainforest

I have been madly working on my Rainforest quilt this week.  The deadline is next Tuesday and I am at a Church Women’s Retreat on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. SO…..it is imperative that I get as much studio time as possible.

The plan for each of my days has been to work steadily on my accounting tasks until about 2 and then spend a few hours in the studio.  This is actually working quite well as it is a great incentive for me to stay on task when at my desk. 

When I last showed it here it was pinned onto the wall so now came the task of sticking everything to the backing fabric.  I had planned to just use raw edge applique, but decided that the smaller pieces (stems, berries, etc) would be easier applied with a fusible backing.    The other pieces were stuck on with a spray adhesive.

One note here, I wish that I had used fusible web on the entire piece!!!  So many of the pieces have little bits sticking off and it has been a bit hard to get them all stuck down properly.

I carefully removed the piece from the wall and started sewing around each of the pieces to hold them onto the backing.  It was an interesting process as I was worried that other bits would fall off so I tried to not move the fabric around very much. DSC01890

Since I was planning to add quite a bit of thread work, I decided to fuse a lightweight interfacing to the back to give it a bit more stability….


As always, the first stitches were the hardest, but I decided to start on the bamboo and was absolute thrilled with how it turned out….DSC01938

As I worked, I kept trying to find the “perfect” thread color but finally decided to not try to match the thread to the fabric but just use whatever looked ok.


I had just finished  embroidering the frog when I realized that I had caught the other side of the piece under the needle and had overstitched in the border….DSC02137

After debating about taking out all of the stitching, I decided instead to cut the piece out of the border and simply move the quilt a bit more to the left.  Fortunately I had added about 3 inches to each side of the piece so I had some room to do this…..DSC02138

So, now my top looks like this……

DSC02139 But once it was squared up it looked better……DSC02141

I had purchased a Wool batting to use on this piece, but since I was so tight on time, I decided to use my old fusible batting and be done with it.

The quilting is appearing to be a wonderful addition to the design…..

 DSC02142 The plan for tomorrow is to finish up the quilting.

On Friday I will square it up (probably at the Fiber Frenzy meeting since there is a wonderful table where I can lay the entire piece out).  Hopefully I can get the facing put on before leaving for the retreat.

Final steps can be done at the retreat….there is always time for a bit of hand stitching and maybe adding some beads…..

Time for the complement… Color that is

On Thursday, I had yet another day free so I spent my time in the studio, and my thoughts turned to the complementary color that is required by the challenge.

But before the color addition I had one other decision to make.   When I placed the plants on the background I had allowed several of the leaves to fall off of the quilt and my original plan was to chop them off when I finished the top. Having said this, I kept wondering whether or not I should put a fabric on the back and allow them to float free.


I had posted a photo of the top  on Facebook and one of my guild friends (Madeline) commented that she liked the way that I had “violated” the borders of the quilt.   Well, that word….violated…..was enough to convince me that I should do it!!!   So my first step was to fuse a backing fabric to a few of the leaves.

OK….that decision made…..now onto the color…..

When I first started thinking about this piece, I  found a picture of a tree frog that was green with bright red eyes. 


My first idea was to simply have this tree frog in the middle of the piece with borders of green jungle leaves.  The problem arose when I realized that the finished quilt size was a 40 inch square and that was simply too big for one frog!

So over time the idea developed into growing a Rainforest with a few frogs inserted….the red eyes were a must.

I had been worried about these frogs from the very beginning.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get the colors right, that I wouldn’t be able to fuse all of the small pieces and that, if I was able to make them, that they wouldn’t look good with the piece.

So, with fear and trembling I took my picture…..

3985 ….turned it into a line drawing and started previewing fabrics.  I had an “A..HA” moment when I realized that I didn’t HAVE to use the exact colors and could make it any colors that I wanted.

Here is my finished, fused frog…..details will be added later with thread…..

DSC01882And I LOVED the eyes!!!!

Once again I was stumped about where to go next.  Do I add more frogs with requisite red eyes or do I go with a red flower or do I leave it with just the one frog.

What to do……what to do……

Answer….bring my husband in and ask him.  He looked at it and said, “why don’t you put red berries on the stalk in the middle of the quilt.” 


I was planning to put green berries there but had entertained the thought of making them red, so this was the confirmation that I needed.

Here is the finished top…..


And here is the state of the room…..


Maybe a little clean-up is in order before starting the stitching!!!!


Oh, by the way, in the middle of all of this, I heard a funny sound from my laundry room and found that our water heater was spewing water out of the top.  So, a fast call to the plumber, an outlay of a fair amount of cash and a new water heater is in place!!   These things happen!!!!

Jungle Growth

Today I was able to spend the entire afternoon in my studio working on my Rainforest quilt.

At the last post, I had added a bunch of plants but really didn’t like the way that the right side looked…..it needed something else!!

I stood there for a long time, staring at the design wall and trying to figure out what it needed.   I got the idea to head to the Internet and do some more searching and found these two pictures….


Seeing these made me realize that I wanted to add some spiky fern-ish leaves to the whole thing.   I removed most of the plants on the right side of the quilt and started building ferns…..


I have done much of this piece using raw edge applique, placing the pieces on the backing using a spray mount.  But, I figured that these small pieces would be problematic, so I ended up putting a fusible on the back of the fabric before I started cutting.

I finally relaxed enough to enjoy free-form cutting these pieces.  I tend to be very “pattern” oriented so it was a stretch for me to free cut even these small bits..


After I had finished with the ferns, I placed the other plants over the top.  Here is the final look of the day…..


Since I was using a spray glue and didn’t want to spray it in my studio, I set up a spray area in my garage and kept walking back and forth with my pieces.  It was very hard to hold them once they had been sprayed and I finally thought of placing them on a piece of paper, placing the paper on my spray mat and then carrying the fabric back to my studio while still on the paper.  It was MUCH easier this way…..DSC01876


Now if any of you remember the reason for this challenge….it is a complementary color challenge, and you might well be thinking “shouldn’t there be another color”.    That’s up next….stay tuned….