Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oh, Improv Tree

A few weeks ago I taught an informal workshop for members of my traditional guild. I was keen to share a new improv piecing technique that I've been having fun with. I like to sew along with students so that I have something to demonstrate. For this afternoon session, I gathered up a bunch of green and blue solids and set to work.

Improv Tree Pillow by Poppyprint

I had this little idea that I would make a modern Christmas pillow by arranging strip sets into a tree shape. I decided that a winter tree needed some snow, so the narrow white strips were added to separate the greens from the blues.  When I pieced it all together, it really looked like a green volcano. The appliqued wool snow 'flakes' were required to cement the winter look for me.

Victorian Greenhouse by Poppyprint

Originally I'd pieced a small yellow tip on the tree to represent a star. After asking for advice on Instagram on turning my 'verdant mountain' (as one commenter put it) into a convincing tree, several friends suggested a proper star.  I think it was good advice!

Improv Tree Pillow by Poppyprint

I had fun with the free motion quilting. I tried to do windy swirls in the blue background and a fir tree-type pattern in the tree itself. The pillow front was fused to Pellon fleece and I quilted it without a backing fabric since it's the inside of a pillow, after all.  The backing is a JoAnn Fabrics print from last year, and of course the binding is a fabulous red Loulouthi print by Anna Maria Horner that picks up the pinks from the back and blues from the front!

The pillow seems very happy on our couch along with the new Scrappy Trip Christmas quilt that I've yet to share in it's finished form. The lighting is very limited this time of year and I've yet to score a decent photo.....soon, I hope!

21 comments:

Sandi said...

Krista, your tree is lovely I love the blues you used for the sky. Thanks for sharing your idea.

Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

Very cool indeed with the snow and all (pun intended). Happy pre-Cristmas sewing!

Katie B said...

It's so cute! You transformed your improv piecing into a very convincing tree!

Andra Gayle said...

I love your tree! Very cute and creative!

Tamie said...

This is so cute. I wish I was in your area to take a workshop!

paulette said...

Very cute...and very creative!! Love it!
P

Katy Cameron said...

What a fun idea!

Leanne said...

Although I can see the volcano, it looks like a tree to me. I think that the snowflakes are cute and the star is perfect. I do love the idea and I bet your workshop was fun.

Cathy Tomm said...

Love it. I love all parts, the colour, the star, the little bit of Red.

Edith Bieri-Hanselmann said...

Love your Christmas pillow.

Di said...

Love. It. What a brilliant idea. Di x

pennydog said...

This is awesome!

Wendy said...

I think it's fabulous! Now, I think it's a tree, definitely for me, but it might interest you to know that there is a volcano in Vilyuchinski, in the far east of Russia that is snow covered....

Elsa said...

This pillow is sweet! love the snow, the star and the binding ~ that nice pop of red really does it!

Heather D. said...

Love it, and the quilting is just perfect. Nice and wintery!

Heather Campbell said...

So cute Krista! I might put this on my to-do list (which is totally a million miles long so maybe for next Christmas!)

Flying Blind... said...

Nothing wrong with a whopping big volcano, unless you live in Pompeii or somewhere!

Dianne said...

I love what Flying Blind said! hahahaha.
You know how much I love this pillow - fabulous fabulous fabulous!!!

CRAFTY VIDEOS TIPS said...

well done your work is beautiful

tracy_a said...

so very lovely- thanks for sharing!

Millie said...

LOVE the tree!