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I've been planning for a long time to make an art quilt to hang above our bed, in the same tones as the autumnal quilt but in fabrics reminiscent of Klimt, as were used in blues and golds in the Rachel's Star. I'm not still 100% sure they, rather than the batiks I used for the bedspread, will be the best choice for this quilt, but I've stocked up on loads of them and I'm pretty much out of the batiks, so it'll have to do.

I kept gathering fabrics without being able to work out how to begin my design. Because of the wall space, it'll need to be portrait rather than layout, which for a tree is tricky. I'm quite fond of Ruth McDowell's trees, especially that one on the front page, and some of her similar botanical work such as the witch hazel quilt and the sumac quilts, but her tree compositions tend to be strongly vertical in style and rather angular. I wanted something that flowed and curved more, something that could incorporate the style I used for one of the coffee cosies.

I started browsing Google Image the other day. I found that bonsai, while not my cup of tea at all, are useful in this respect, since the shapes are small enough to be usable, and sometimes in pleasing shapes. The weeping willow below is probably the prettiest I found. Incidentally, people talking about bonsai sound even more pretentious than people talking about fine wines. Anyway, this search led me to this artist, who makes wire tree sculptures.

Weeping willow - bonsai and wire sculpture )

Aha, finally something with lovely, simple lines and movement! Using a few of those wire trees, I tried a sketch.

My first sketch )

It's by no means the final version, but I finally feel as if I'm making progress. Unfortunately it's hard for me to tell exactly what's wrong, not being an artist, but I think it looks a bit witchy, a bit too stooped, almost unhappy. Less curve to the trunk, and make the first main branch (on the left) curve upwards instead of slightly down?

While I'm looking over those quilts again, I might try something similar to the second sumac quilt by McDowell for the loo, where I want to do something vertical and leafy. The loo is painted in apple white with pale green tiles, white fixtures and a white and pine cupboard, and it's also literally the smallest room in the flat, even smaller than the hall cupboard. So any artwork that goes up in there will be relatively limited as to size, will need to be washable (I imagine it could pick up smells eventually), and would probably need to be fairly light in colour so as not to be overwhelming. Leaves in dark greens and/or turquoises on a predominantly pale green background is where I think I'll start. Fewer leaves, most likely, as that sumac quilt of McDowell's would take up practically all of the available wall space.


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