Friday, December 23, 2011

November - Gnarled

ancient catalpa
gnarled witness to history
leaves whisper secrets

Our prompt word immediately brought to mind the gnarly bark of the catalpa tree which I have photographed many times.  Chatham Manor, built around 1770, stands just across the river north of Fredericksburg, VA and served as a Union headquarters and hospital.  In front of the house are two catalpa trees, known as "witness trees", which were planted before the Civil War.

To learn more:
Chatham Manor
Chatham Catalpa Tree

The background image in my piece is from my own photograph, transferred onto a batik with Lesley Riley's TAP paper.  The quilt measures 11.5 x 14.5.


Guila Greer said...

Martha, I love this. I love that you've incorporated something historically meaningful into the quilt. Did you enjoy using the TAP ? You certainly got a great result. I bought a package a while back but haven't used it yet (still a little intimidated). Now I'm inspired to try.

Martha Dennis said...

Thanks Guila!

I'd been eyeing my TAP paper since last summer and decided to use that here instead of directly printing on printer ready fabric because I wanted to use a woody looking batik rather than a plain white for the background, and was too lazy to set it up with freezer paper - something else I've yet to try.

Anyway, I found the TAP paper very easy to use - I just followed the directions. The transferred part is a bit stiffer than simple printing on fabric, but not so stiff as fused parts. I did use parchment paper both underneath and on top, just in case. I do so hate cleaning my iron.

I like the way that the background fabric shows through the transfer, something that would not have happened with a printing job, and that was exactly what I was after here.

The only problem I found was that when I marked the leaf outlines with a white chalk pencil within the image for quilting, which normally rubs right out of regular fabric, there seemed to be some ghost of it left. I took a damp paper towel to it, and that got rid of most of it, but I can still see it. Easily solved though. Don't use the chalk pencil. *G*