Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ghost Tree, in progress

"Ghost Tree" in progress. I started this quilt by playing in Photoshop. I blended a photo of a bare branched oak tree with a cloudy sky. In blending mode I used several options to change the effects and the colors. I also used a negative, which gave me white branches on a darker background. I printed several photos onto treated fabric with my computer printer, and spent a lot of time just admiring them, before I figured out what I wanted to do with them. I decided to use them for a background, as they are sort of foggy, blurry, ghost images, very ethereal looking. I pieced them traditionally with a sashing, but not in a symmetrical pattern. This added a grid, to contrast with the flowing lines of the branches. I really admire the trees in the book, "Nature's Studio" by Joan Colvin, because of their organic flowing textures on the bark and branches. So I decided to use a large tree over the tree photos in the background to keep the theme going. I used light fabrics to give it a ghost like appearance. There is not a lot of contrast, but I hope that quilting with white or light threads will help define the tree against the background, and add more highlights and a glow to the tree. I was going to add an eagle to the top left corner, to balance the tree. But my niece loves owls, due I think to the "Harry Potter" movies, so I found a Dover book of "Birds of Prey" with very nice line drawings of eagles, falcons, owls, etc... The eagle picture was perching, but the flying owl pic was just right. I especially wanted the wing tips to extend into the border, and be individual feathers, quilting it will be a challenge. I have started to quilt this with rayon thread, and it lightens it up and gives it a sheen. I can't figure out how to quilt the background, I think it will be just to sit down and let my fingers decide intuitively what it needs.

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