Background Choices for Giant Arbutus Leaf

After realizing that hanging the leaf only would involve issues not unlike the first three. I have decided to have the Giant Arbutus leaf on a background. I will piece it into the background or appliqué it depending on my level of sanity and frustration at that point in the process. I do have a deadline of sorts Sept 25 ready for the FAN retreat. I don’t want too much pressure in that regard so I’ll give myself the week before so I stay vaguely rational!

So here are my choices so far. Some are with the leaf some not but I think you’ll get the idea! Please let me know what you think!

10″x70″ maybe stripped?

Not sure if the darker increases the drama?

Drama with an analogous background?

Analogous colour to the greens in the leaf ..different blues.does it give the leaf the drama?

Love this full sun-printed piece I may not want to cut it up!

Although I really love this piece of fabric it may actually pull the eye away from the focus piece! But I do love it and may never cut it up!

Hmmm try to ignore the folds I was playing with ! Does this colour work as background? I have lots of it!

So I have a variety colours of backgrounds as well as value. Please let me know both what value (light or dark) works best in your opinion? Also which colour works best so far? 

I will be back in my studio by the weekend so I am looking forward to your input!


Design as-I Go…. The pitfalls!

Used to “redraw ” lines that aren’t working visually

Here is is where the leaf is at prior to our emergency trip to Woodstock Ontario. Still here. It’s about line. So I needed to narrow both stem and veins that yelled at me!


Pinning to view line editing.

I depend on my visual strength as I construct and see the results. It involves ripping out and re- doing. As most of my work is not repetitions it does mean inventing new strategies which become an interesting puzzle to me.


The Process of Creating this Leaf!

I started this leaf on July 22nd.  I spend about 4-6 hours in my studio daily.  Not that noble as the smoke kept me inside for a lot of it.  (Neil Diamond on the 24th in Vancouver with my daughter so nothing done then). So here is the process in a visual way.  I’m still finishing the edges with a third round of satin stitch. This is August 12 & the beat goes on! 

#1-The choices

Lost the idea of the 3D stem as my leaf protested a lot when we had a discussion! I heard it so the extra backing was ripped out!  Sewing /Studio time in the morning then I rip out in the afternoon in front of some Netflix movie or PBS taped show so I don’t get bored! I’m NOT bored.  But I am focused at the moment as there is a finite time to get this puppy done!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a wonderful smokeless week!


A Cautionary Tale

To all those who quilt or do any kind of art —- if you are preparing a piece that you have put a lot of time & effort in making then for heavens sake clean the surface very very well that you are using BEFORE THE final preparations

! I have compromised a piece that has been several YEARS in the making by re-doing a Gallery wrap on my cutting board that had developed some nasty but subtle dirt/grease spots that ended up on my piece;-(  Now I get to re-do part of it so CLEAN YOU CUTTING BOARD or Preparation surface…no matter WHAT !  

Now onto happier stuff.  I have been dying & painting fabric for the background of this Giant Madrona Leaf that is in the process of being quilted.  So here are the results so far.

This is the outside sun printing I was able to do prior to the smoke entering our perfect world.

Sun printing

sun printing on our deck


Sunprinting using Madrona Leaves

Chartreuse Setacolour Result with Madrona Leaves




This is the result with a much more yellow hue that the Setacolor looked to me in the bottle!

I am going to show you what it looks like turned to the back which should work better for a background that the front !




Maybe I’ll do more processes such as screen printing some additional greens to settle things down…soo many possibilities!

Can you see the leaves???

















Going back to my piecing roots I am currently echo quilting a 56In Madrone leaf with my Mid-arm Handi-Quilter that I am currently “taming”.

 I have added some hand quilting to  my own hand dyed leaf & tying threads as well.  I’m not sure how to hang this yet as I have several ideas that I am exploring. This is the pieced leaf prior to quilting.  The lower picture is the beginning of the process.  I will post after I have finished the whole leaf & have trimmed it!  I find this exciting!