Down to the Root 14 x 12
Machine applique and quilting
Like many others, I started with a strip pieced version, with diagonal inserts to represent roots and sticks. I didn't like the blockiness or the way the fabrics worked together. After another unsatisfactory attempt focusing on the entire root, I decided to zoom in even more to one small part of the photo: the rocks and a bit of root.
Instead of texture, I tried to capture shape and subtle colors, keeping everything very simple and stylized, using only fabric and thread. I quilted the background first and then appliqued the rock shapes, outlining them to emphasize the shape, and putting darker thread on the bottom to try for some dimension. For the same reason only the bottom side of the rocks is quilted.
I had been meaning to try Terry Grant's method of fusing, and this seemed like a good time. She draws the shape on fabric, paints a line of diluted Liquid Thread around the edge of the shape, fuses it to a teflon sheet, and then cuts out the shape. The center of the shapes is not attached to the background, and I thought this would keep the quilting lines from showing through. It did; an unexpected benefit is that the edges are sealed and so don't fray. The glue shows through slightly on the lighter rocks, but that's perhaps because I made the line too thick. I'll try this technique again.
I posted all three versions on my blog. While I'm not satisfied with my work this month, as always the process of thinking and evaluating what I did, why I did it, why it did or didn't work, and what I could have done differently has been interesting.