Fractured Tree

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“Fractured Tree” wall hanging.

I enjoy reading historical fiction books. When reading, I like to look up information about the events happening at the specific time in history.  This helps me understand the book’s story line better.

I enjoy these books even more when there is a reference to the art of the era.  Having recently I read the latest book by Jennifer Chiaverini, I did some additional reading about the history of quilting.

One of the sources talked about Depression Era quilts.  Many of these quilts were string quilts made of small fabric scraps stitched together to make a piece of fabric large enough to cut a pattern piece. These larger pieces were stitched together to make a quilt block. The quilt blocks were put together to make a quilt top. This method was used during hard times when money and fabric were scarce.  Scraps of all sizes were utilized.

 

Over the past decade, this method has also made a resurgence within the art quilt community.

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There were several pictures of a string quilts that have caught my attention.

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One of the quilters that I really liked was Ursula Kern.  Her string quilts are breathtaking.  The illusion of movement and shape that she creates is absolutely amazing.

 

 

 

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I decided that I wanted to try to make a string quilt wall hanging for my sewing room.  With wall space limited, the only spot I had left to hang something was adjacent to my four seasons landscape quilt.  So, in keeping the the landscape theme, I thought a tree might fit the area well.

 

Looking at tree clipart images, I selected one, traced it out on pellon, and then divided the pellon into a 7×11 grid. Each section of the grid (2″ x 3.75″)  was used as one block of the string quilting.

Since I have a lot a scraps from various other quilts, and not wanting to purchase more fabric right now, I pulled out my scraps, sorted them by color and started creating each of the blocks.

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Pieced, but not quilted.

 

The seventy seven blocks were sewn together (with numerous changes to match my design better). The illusion is somewhat like a stained glass window – I really like it!

For the quilting, I used one layer of Quilter’s Dream Cotton batting.  To create texture for the tree and shrubs, I placed pieces of Quilter’s Dream Wool batting in these areas between the cotton batting and the pieced top.  The background sky was quilted with straight lines and the tree was loosely quilted to allow the depth of the batting to show.

 

Snow-capped Mountains

Happy New Year to each of you!

Now that Christmas is over, I can share posts about some of the gifts I made this year.

I really enjoy making gifts to give to friends and family.  There is a sense of accomplishment when I can make something unique to give away.

Several of my sons enjoy skiing and snow boarding, so the mountains are a place they like to go in the winter. Hiking and taking photos is another draw of the mountains for them. So, for  each of my sons, I made a set of wooden bookends to look like snow capped mountains.

I had seen something similar in a magazine.  However, that photo showed only a single mountain on each side supporting the books.  My original thought when I saw this was that a 2″ thick hardwood board would not hold up books very well.  So, after some thought, I came up with a design for making some more useful bookends.

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Unfortunately, I did not have any wood the right size stored in our basement, so I made a trip to Menard to purchase some oak.

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Supplies:
2″ x 4″ x 6′ red oak   $28.59
1/2″ x 4″ x 4′ red oak $4.69
Various shades of stain, White Acrylic Paint
Polyurethane sealer – these I already had, but can be purchased at any craft or hardware store for about $3.00 each

Total cost was about $9 per set of bookends.

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Using a circular saw, I cut six triangles out of the oak boards for each pair of bookends.

  • two 4″ x 8″
  • two 4″ x 6″
  • two 3″ x 5″

 

 

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The cut boards were then sanded smooth with an electric detail sander.  Wood glue was spread between the boards and they were assembled with the smallest triangle placed between the other two sized.  Being careful to make sure the bottoms and backs of the boards all lined up even, the boards clamped together and the glue was allowed to dry overnight.

A coat of stain was applied to the entire surface of each bookend.  I used four different shades of stain to make each set of bookends unique. Three coats of white paint were used to create the snow caps, and the entire project was sealed with polyurethane. Rubber anti-skid 1/2″ cushions was added to the bottom of each bookend and the projects were complete.

I hope my boys enjoy using these in their various apartments.