Tree of Life, Summer

Earlier this year, I designed a Celtic knot Tree of Life for a couple’s 25th anniversary.  I made a wholecloth quilt of it.

Completed Celtic Knot Tree of Life
Completed Celtic Knot Tree of Life

Recently, I had the design printed on fabric. I want to try it as reverse applique this time, and use the printed panel as stitching guide.

I chose two fabrics for the background, and stitched them together. I laid the background fabric face down, and positioned the stitching guide in relation to my horizon (the horizontal line where the two background fabrics meet).

I tried something different this time. I traced and cut the individual shapes of the knot out of a selection of similar fabrics, instead of using just one fabric. I added a small seam allowance around each shape, and positioned them, face up, on the back of the stitching guide.

Individual shapes, traced, cut, and positioned
Individual shapes, traced, cut, and positioned

I smoothed the background fabric over the pieces and straigh- pinned through all layers. Then, I flipped the entire piece over and safety-pinned through all layers along the path of the knot. (I only straight-pinned to ensure the loose pieces didn’t shift in the flipping. I think I’ll try small pieces of fusible web, placed well away from the stitching lines.)

Safety-pinned shapes sandwiched between background fabric and stitching guide
Safety-pinned shapes sandwiched between background fabric and stitching guide

Then, I started stitching.

I used a wide decorative stitch on all lines. There were multiple stitches between the Zig on one side and the Zag on the other. All these stitches add stability that a simple zig-zag doesn’t. The stitch was wide enough to catch the seam allowances of the shapes, even when the fabric pieces overlapped each other.

I used an even-feed foot, and stitched along all the long edges of the shapes; the short ends took care of themselves.

After all the pieces are stitched in position (or, until you simply can’t wait any longer), cut openings in the background fabric to show the fabrics underneath.

Clipping detail
Clipping detail
Broader view
Broader view

I’ve nearly finished stitching, and I’ve already started trimming open the windows in the background fabric.

Mostly stitched, partially trimmed
Mostly stitched, partially trimmed

This gives me an idea for a series of pieces using this design. I’m thinking about a Four Seasons Tree of Life, with appropriate colors for earth, sky, and tree.  This is obviously Summer.

8 thoughts on “Tree of Life, Summer

    1. Thanks, Margherita!! It was the early snipping that motivated me to get the rest of the stitching done!!

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