Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Swing - Barbara

"The Swing" -  Barbara

20 Inches X 20 Inches
Commercial Fabric 
Raw-edged fused applique
Organic line machine quilted
Permanent fabric marker
Acrylic fabric paint 
Fused binding/border

When I saw Libby's photo I was struck by the park setting.  It brought back memories of my childhood when I went to the park and some of the old "equipment" was still there including a swing hanging from a tree branch.  So I chose to take the liberty of adding that into my interpretation.

After creating a background I fused a hand drawn tree to it.  I was not totally happy with it but I thought the blossoms would add what it needed.

After the snippet blossoms were added and some texture to the tree, I was not happy with the path and all the pieces in the shadow area.  I took them out and painted in a light shadow with acrylic fabric paint.  I felt the tree trunk looked too thin and ungrounded, so I added thickness & texture to the trunk and an extra branch.  Finally, for depth I added some larger whole blossoms to the tree to bring them closer to the viewer.

I used a fine fabric permanent marker to add the stamens in the center of the flowers.  Once I was happy with this the swing went on and the piece was quilted with organic line quilting.  I went back and used a brown fabric marker to color over the off white thread as it crossed the tree.  Then I fused what I call a 
binding/border.  It is wider than a binding and the bottom is not straight but instead becomes part of the landscape.   Then I finished fusing in the very bottom of the trunk adding some roots to anchor the tree.

The last step was quilting the binding/border to the piece.   Once again I enjoyed working on this piece especially since the timing for a springtime quilt was just perfect!


  1. Another winner! I really love your fabric choices throughout the piece! Even the rope on the swing has a texture to it.

  2. I like the addition of the swing and the suggestion of a story it adds to the photo. Beautiful work altogether, Barbara.

  3. Another winner is right! The swing pulls your eye in and you can almost imagine being there. Beautiful batiks on the tree, and the whole thing is a real stunner.

  4. I forgot to mention how much I dig that bottom binding.

  5. WOW! That's a most recognizable Barbara interpretation of this photo. The photo is great, but all the elements seem magnified and more magnificent in your version. That first version looked good, but not so much after seeing your final one. Fabulous, Barbara.

  6. This is a wonderful take on the photo and thus far the most like the photo itself! All the little details you added make this a treat for the eye! The stamens,coloring in the stitches on the tree! Amazing bits that do indeed make a difference! And I really like the bottom border treatment! Well done!!

  7. Stunning! I especially love the tree trunk and blossoms (and the swing and... well, all of it.) Wonderful piece.

  8. I wish I had been the first to say how wonderful your piece is instead of the last; but I have to go with the others here and say this is really an excellent interpretation!

  9. Bringing up the rear- the photo is there, but personalized somehow. I immediately went to childhood memories of swings and green grass and the warm sun on my back. I loved seeing your process, the final piece is just perfect.

  10. You really managed to inject a lot of feeling into this piece by adding that swing- a great dimension that the photo needed. Incidentally, there is a bench off to the right of that tree:) The piece is so you and so beautiful. Really nice job, as always, Barbara.

  11. This piece really feels like there is a spring breeze. It feels as though the swing is in motion and the leaves are dancing.


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