Do you ever wake up one morning with an idea you are crazy excited about? This happened to me one Saturday in 2016. I had lots of productive things planned for the day, but it all went out the window when I woke up that morning.

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The tree itself is a pattern in my book, Scrappy Bits Appliqué. In the past I’ve mused about how I could add “leaves” to my trees without it looking awkward and without covering all the pretty branches. Perhaps I was dreaming about it, not sure, but I woke up with the notion of a collage of leaves behind the tree! So after breakfast I set to work!

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I knew I wanted the leaves to be really vibrant, so I decided to keep the tree and background super neutral. I first created the tree using the pattern from my book, choosing a variety of cream and beige fabrics. After I finished collaging and cut out the tree, I laid it on the background I had chosen. It is an Andover Textured Solid fabric, so it has the lovely texture of linen while behaving like cotton! I use their Textured Solids all the time.

Using a Frixon pen, I drew a large circle around the tree, where I wanted the leaf line to be. I set aside the tree, and began to collage the leaves directly onto the background fabric, still using my Scrappy Appliqué technique. I started in the center of the circle with the warmer fabrics, and worked my way out, slowly introducing the cooler fabrics. I used that black Carolyn Friedlander print throughout the collage as an accent, and also to add a bit more depth to the collage.

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After the leaves were finished and fused, I laid the tree on top and fused it down.

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I decided to quilt some of my favorite poems into it, including Emily Dickinson’s, It’s all I have to bring today..., Wordsworth’s Lonely as a Cloud, and an Edna St. Vincent Millay poem at the end. I quilt most of my quilts on a longarm — I rent time on an APQS longarm from the lovely ladies at Over the Top Quilting in Cedar Park, Tx. I’ve really been enjoying “quilt-writing” lately (is that a term? Let’s coin it!). I quilt in cursive, connecting all the words. I don’t worry about dotting the ‘i”s or about punctuation.
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I love how this quilt turned out — it’s one of my favorites from 2016! Want to make your own? Grab a book!

Have you ever tried “quilt-writing”? I plan to do a lot more of it! Happy New Year and happy sewing, friends!