January 12x12x12 — Done for now

Yesterday was supposed to be my "reveal" day, but I didn’t quite make it.  As I attempted to say in yesterday’s post, it’s not completely done, because I’m not sure where I’m going with it. 

My theme is supposed to be the Alphabet.  For no real reason, I decided to start with T — for Tree.  I drew some sketches in my altered book (you can see those here).   I used a piece of 12×12 paper to play a little with the layout, and drew/colored a tree that you can see here.

It then dawned on me that I could bring in another "T" word and decided to use Threadpainting for my tree.  My first experiment involved my longarm, some cotton and poly threads, and some dissolvable stabilizer.  It wasn’t a disaster, but it didn’t turn out like I expected.  I know what I did wrong, and if I ever try it again, I have some ideas of what to do differently.

From there, I decided to load up a layer of batting, a layer of Vilene stabilizer, and some background fabric to which I had fused a tree.  I used a variety of my brand-new ARC Poly thread to do the thread-painting.  I forgot to take a picture before I started stitching, but here it is in progress.  You’ll note that the tree is flipped from previous pictures.  Fusible web appliqué will do that to you if you don’t think ahead…


Once I all of the threadpainting was done, I blocked it, added the black frame and did some outline quilting with clear thread:


And then I started to bead.  And while I was beading I contemplated.  For one thing, both my husband and my mother said they thought it looked like a window.  That wasn’t my plan, but, yeah — it does, and I really like it.   So the internal debate was — do I go with my original plan — the upper sections are supposed to be where I put the lettering — Big T little t, etc…(and how was I going to implement the lettering….) or do I do something different.

And then I thought some more.  I thought about other ways I could use this same layout and do trees.  Maybe trees with fabric leaves, instead of beads, maybe focus in on a branch.  Maybe, experiment with different ways of creating the same tree (i.e. start with the same shape, but try out paints, or ink, or silk fusion, or, or, or….).    I’m also undecided about how to finish it off — will they be individual 12×12 quiltlets, or will they be pages in a book, or will they be put together into one larger piece?

Last night I did end up finishing my beading.  I might add another 1 or 10 here or there, but for now, it’s done.  I don’t have a lot of time to decide how I’m going to tackle February’s piece, but the wheels are turning.  As I said yesterday, I have found myself thinking about this in terms of "the trouble is…."  I realized, though, that I have no TROUBLES — just OPPORTUNITIES.



Very shortly, I’m going to create a photo album to put all of these pictures in, so you can see all of the steps/progress in one place.  I’ll plan on adding to that album as the year progresses.


  1. Vicki says:

    Very cool! I like that you are sharing your thought process. Don’t overwork yourself on these – do them, learn from them and move on. You should be very pleased with this one!

  2. Patti Chartrand says:

    One can certainly see from “watching” your creative process how some quilters end up making a series of quilts. You could certainly do an entire series on just this tree. It would be fun to see all the different ideas done up in fabric, etc.

  3. Jeri says:

    How pretty! I’m smiling after reading your thought process – now you know what was going on with my little coffee cup piece! It becomes all-consuming, doesn’t it. I enjoy that creative contemplation, though, don’t you? 🙂

  4. GranFranVan says:

    Really enjoyed reading about your thought processes as you worked on this, as well as the technique process. So many possibilities, so little time. The tree in the window is quite lovely as it is. It’s a very graceful tree and the beads as leaves add to the fairytale quality. I didn’t know you could do that kind of thread painting with a longarm, very nice.

  5. Debra Spincic says:

    I have been in that vacillating, undecisive mood before and what I do is just make a decision and go for it. You can always explore the idea you didn’t do on another series but more than likely, you will get one good idea moving along and forget about the other idea.

    If you want my opinion, I rather like the “looking out the window” idea the best. I think it would be incredibly cool to see the tree change through the year. If you made the pages into a book, you could get that author son of yours to write a short story for each page to tuck into a neat little fabric envelope that you could stitch on the back of the page.

    You really could come up with all kinds of clever ideas for that same tree each month. Working within perimeters on small projects can be strangely freeing. I imposed some limits on my Victorian Women book so I wouldn’t be “all over the place” each month and it was good for me. Maybe you need to do the same thing.

    Good Luck and we’ll be watching your every move!!

  6. kim says:

    Sometimes pieces just need to sit a bit. I’ve printed copies out and “colored” on them to practice what I might do. I like what you’ve done.

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