For more than 14 years, the view from my studio's windows has been a locust tree. It is a tree that I both love and hate. On sunny winter days, I watch its shadow move across my yard. In the spring and summer, I watch the birds that sit in its branches. In the fall, I curse it when I have to rake and sweep its tiny leaves and when I unclog its leaves from my gutters. Lately, it is this tree that I have been using in my artwork.
I decided to make coasters for my son and daughter-in-law. I had hoped to have them completed for Christmas but that didn't happen so they will get an after Christmas gift. They have chosen to limit the color of the walls in their house to shades of gray which made it easy for me to design the 4-inch coasters. I'm a night owl so making an evening scene also gave it a personal touch. The background was machine pieced then fused onto Timtex. I keep hoping that one day soon I will have used up all my scraps of Timtex. Everyone needs a dream and this is one of mine. I fused the lame moon and tree, machine stitched details into the trees and satin stitched the edges.
I used the tree once again for the center of the wall hanging that I made for my 80-year-old dad for Christmas. The quilt was suppose to be for his 80th birthday in May but in the spirit of the Musgraves doing things late is the way. I continued to get hand prints far after his party. I was just happy to get them.
Family is one of the most important things in life to my dad and so I included the hand prints (the left one because it is closest to our heart) of as many family and close family friends as I go get. I lightly traced each hand (more than 50) and quilted them in the borders and the background of the quilt. I was able to get all of the immediate family and at least one hand print from each of my dad's four brothers' families. My dad is proud of his Irish heritage (ignores the rest) so I placed an Irish saying below the tree, "It is in the shelter of other people that we live." This was not an easy quilt for me to make. My dad's health is not good. I had hoped that before he died we could work out the issues of the past. I realize this simply is not going to happen. The completing of this quilt helped me release the pain and anger (just isn't working for me anymore). Art can heal.