Enchanted Forest

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Enchanted Forest
30 in
33 in
(76 cm x 84 cm)
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I've been working with multiples of three in my recent work and this design was created using a motif featuring three trees, repeated three times. I'm fascinated by trees, especially winter trees with their lacework of bare branches, but the prospect of working with such tiny pieces can be intimidating. I've discovered that the trick is to not allow one's self to become overwhelmed by the amount of work required. I just concentrate on the two pieces in my hands and don't worry about the rest of it until I get there.

I originally envisioned this piece being done in black and white--birch trees against a dark background, but as you can see, it didn't turn out that way. This sometimes happens. I start with an idea, but the piece wants to be something else. I've learned over the years that it is best to just go along.

When the creative process goes smoothly and quickly, as it did with this piece, intuition is the driving force. Trusting your instincts and moving forward with confidence can result in work that amazes even the person who created it. That was the case here. I worked with the tree imagery, filling in the background color as I went along, not quite realizing that the background shapes created a secondary leaf shape. I intuitively colored them so they stood out, which not only produced a charming effect, but added depth to the tree concept.

In the early days of my career, I hand quilted my work, but gradually I transitioned to machine quilting. I find that now I much prefer machine quilting. It creates a stronger, more visible line and has a sculptural effect on the quilt surface, creating deeper valleys which dramatically enhance the pieced design.
Cotton fabric, cotton batt, cotton and rayon thread
Machine pieced and quilted