Friday, November 13, 2015

Tree Quilt {School Auction Quilt}

"Like branches of a tree our lives might grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one"

This quilt started out super easy but ended up being the most time consuming "little" quilt I quite possibly have ever made. 

I was approached by the auction chair from Button's school to see if I could take all the fabric that the kids tissued dyed and make a tree quilt.  The fourth graders dyed theirs very multicolored and the kindergartners and preschoolers did greens, blues and yellows. 

She envisioned a tree with birds and leaves with their names on them. I told her it would be "easy" to design bird and leaf appliqués in my embroidery software. I may now regret that word choice. 

I, first, pulled out my trusty ole freezer paper and started sketching a tree. I ironed it on back of some textured brown fabric that I had in my stash. I then, awkwardly, cut it out and appliquéd it on some Kona white background. 

And then. It hit me. What I thought were only a handful of green fabrics were more going to be more leaves than my spindly tree could handle. There were 20-ish pre-k 3 and 4 year olds, but 30 kindergartners!!!!!

Thankfully, I quickly came up with the idea that I could use the Kindergarten green blocks as border and started piecing them. 

Then I laid out my paper samples of birds and leaves laid out for size and placement.

 I embroidered. And embroidered. And hooped. And unhooped. And embroidered. And snipped stabilizer. Hooped. And embroidered. Not to mention a few thread color changes. 

What I thought would be a few hours slowly and excruciatingly became....
36 hours. 

  After that?  Quilting was easy peasy. I used a flannel plaid green from my stash for backing since it was a wall hanging.  

Quilting in negative space white what is now one of my favorite fillers. I happened to have some old green dyed muslin in my stash for binding.  The fabric was from my JJ's pre-K4 class auction quilt I made in 2006. 
How's that for a full circle?

Leaf quilting in the border seemed appropriate and is one of the first free motion quilting patterns I perfected on my domestic machine. 

I had to do some fun wood grain quilting on the tree trunk and branches. 

And of course, I'm a firm believer in labels. I made a label that I printed.
 I love putting clip art that reflects the top and a good quote or poem. 

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 36"x 48"
Pattern: none
Fabric:  Brown, kona white, tissue dyed by kids
Thread: Omnithread Bright White, So Fine Variegated Green by Superior Threads
Quilted: Freemotion on HQ Avante
**important note: this quilt cannot be washed!  The dye WILL disappear!***

 Despite the incredible amount of time it took, it was worth all the work. Stewardship isn't just about money, but time and talents. And I'm always eager to share all three with my boys' Catholic schools. 


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