* * * Gathering Places * * * Solo Exhibition featuring downtown architecture at The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library August 1 - August 30, 2018. Reception Thursday August 9, 7pm - 9pm.

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Friday, 17 June 2011

The Magical Tree Unveiled.

On Sunday I mentioned that I would have big news for you this week.  But then our national postal service workers went on strike.  So...  you'll have to wait!  I have other news.  Mandy's wall hanging is done.  Want to see it from beginning to end?  It all began with a bag of baby carriers and slings and wraps that Mandy carried her boys in.  It included blue, gold, beige, more beige, some green, and WHOLE LOT of this rainbow fabric!

baby wrap

Mandy wanted someone to make her a tree, and I was recommended.  I got the bag, stared at it for days and thought, "a tree???".  This little sketch came with the fabric.

Mandy's sketch

Okay... I had to meet with this lady.  I had questions.  So I met Mandy for the first time over at the house of our mutual friend Michelle.  Here's what I threw together on Michelle's bed.  It was good to talk together and find out what she wanted.

photographed from the side.

This was how I arranged the colors.  The rainbow was to be sky, the beige & brown would become tree parts, the blue up in the night, the platinum colored silk would become a moon, and the booties would be stars to represent the 2 boys.  I would add green to the bottom for the earth.  Mandy wanted beads and sparkles on the quilt, and I said no - unless it becomes a wallhanging.  So a wallhanging it became because Mandy wanted embellishments.  Now before you think, "what?  that sky is pretty LOUD.  Are you sure?", you have to know that Mandy is one of those people who left Saskatchewan and had to come back because of homesickness.  So I figured she could appreciate the sky.  It's just the way it is here.

one night from my window

one morning from my deck

Slowly, here's how it came together.

little boy booties, worn by both kids

carefully made into 2 stars

placement... work in progress with bad late-night lighting

lots and lots and lots of free motion stitching in a variety of colors and curls

many many hand made leaves to be added after quilting

placing the leaves

sun & earth - both in progress.  I added much more...

I love the pillowcase finished edge so much, and the quilting, and the beading!

more clipping, stitching, layering the bark...

lots of French Knots and many beads added by hand to the boughs

champagne colored glass beading around the honey colored silk moon

knotted hole in front of the three trunk, sun beads in back

backing hand stitched in place, hanging sleeve being attached

salvaged & on back, I saved Mandy's stitching from her wrap


And would you believe it?  The very moment I decided I was done this quilt (began a half a year ago!!), I got a phone call from a special woman in Calgary asking if she could drop off fabric for a memory quilt.

It is uncanny how this was meant to be.  I am so proud of this one.  It was a huge challenge at times.  I can't wait to tell you about the next one.



felicity said...

You *should* be proud! This is absolutely stunning, Monika!

Anonymous said...

Oh Em Freakin'Gee!!!!
Holy crap. One of my favourite pieces of fibre art EVER!!!! Love it. Seriously and truly love it!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Beautifully done Monika! Thanks for sharing your process.

Sheila said...

You are indeed a talented artist , this work is amazing and I am sure she loves it I know I would.

Sofia L said...

Wow!! You did an amazing job. Thanks for showing all the steps through photos. I love seeing someone's work. This is such a great way to hold on to some great memories.

LynCC said...

Spectacular through and through. It's a gorgeous piece of art in its own regard, but the ties of it component origins is beyond priceless. You did a most fantastic job on this great work, Monika.

Anonymous said...

It's absolutely gorgeous Monika. I envy your fine motor skills and admire your incredible talent!
Stay inspired!

Wendy said...

That turned out beautifully! The layering on the tree really works. Well done.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

The finished product is amazing, I am sure she is thrilled with it. What a treasure to keep!

Margaret said...

Delightful results from a loving and care-ful, thought-ful creator. Great job!

Cheryl (Grandma Coco) said...

Absolutely stunning! What are the dimensions?

Anonymous said...

It looks fantastic sister woman. you rose to the challenge and created something beautiful, as usual.


Lee said...

Monika! It's so beautiful!! I know what a big project this was for you, so you should be very proud. You rocked it. : )

diane said...

magical for sure

Sharon said...

I know that rainbow sky so well. :)

You are AMAZING!!! That is the most gorgeous thing. I bet she cries when she sees it. Just beautiful. :)

MDH said...

I'm crying just reading the comments! Monika. Really, you know, you know I don't have the words yet. See, crying again. I love it so much. I can't even really talk about it yet. I hope you read my blog post today. I can only peek at it still - it holds so much zingy lovey energy I can only glimpse bits at a time still! I'm overwhelmed and filled with gratitude. Thank you is hardly enough. You 'rocked it' indeed. xoxoxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

Really?! Really?! Really?!
Thank you everyone for your sweet compliments, but you know Mandy's is the most important one. I've been holding my breath until this last comment. You know the saying: 'silence is not an agreement'? Well, when I delivered this to Mandy, she had laryngitis! So I've been secretly waiting for her to email me. All day went by without a word... I was getting worried that you weren't happy Mandy. WHEW. lol

Thank you so much Mandy. I feel so relieved! It was also great to get to know you and gain a new friend through all this. (I didn't know Mandy before this project).

We'll talk as soon as you have your voice back. And now to venture over to your blogpost...

have a great day!

Kiwi said...


Vicki W said...

What a wonderful quilt!

MDH said...

I'm sorry to keep you waiting so long!!!!!!

Christie, Describe Happy said...

I am just speechless! I really enjoyed seeing how your whole project came together... just stunning! I adore the details and thoughtfulness your have put into the magic tree and just love the new project timing too. Meant to be, right? Awesome!

Anonymous said...

Big Sis Says: STUNNING!! My jaw dropped open and kept opening further as I watched your progress on this quilt...

Loretta said...

This is so amazing!!!!!!!!! What an incredible job you did!!!

Alma Klindera said...

I am on a maddening search for information. I purchased panels at a flea market. The 12 panels represent a day in the life of a baby meant for construction into a fabric "book" for a baby. I am in the process of making a quilt for my 15 month old grandaughter. It is double thread embroidery outlining the figures with the script in black floss. The babies are painted ! with ?????I have had to wash some of them(by hand)and the color had remained safe. I feel that they are from the '30 s or before. In the event I would like to add a square or two- or recreate another for a friend--what do you suggest I use- and what is your guess as to what was used in that era. I do plan to join- but I would like this info in the meantime. Thank you
Alma Klindera

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