Sunday, May 27, 2012

My little gem and weeping raintrees

Working with green fabrics was an exercise I need to explore more. I can’t say I’m already liking the colour, but I have some favourites in the scala of greens. I was inspired by minerals (gemstones) that my mother collected (jade, emerald, malachite, peridot, calcite, moss agate and serpentine). Gemstones are often composed of flat faced crystals which reflect light to all sides. I sketched some ideas and finally chose for a diamond shape, consisting of four fabrics. All fabric pieces are fused to a background fabric and raw edge appliqued by machine after I basted the little quilt.

My little Gem, 16" square

I used sharply edged quilting in part of the diamonds to illustrate the crystals and finished the quilt with a non-mitred facing.


But (I hear you think), what happened to the green quilt idea without green fabrics? Well, that one was made very quickly after I heard about the theme.
Living green was on my mind. More and more rainforest is destroyed to meet the demands of the developed world's paper industry. I try to live green in my own little way, but I use colour catchers when I wash my finished quilts. That way I’m also contributing to the (not so necessary) use of paper. Normally I would have thrown the used catchers in the paper wastebin, but I started to collect them with the idea to recycle them one day. 

The used tissues have the most fabulous soft colours and some stay neatly white. I did cut small strips which I stitched together to symbolize the trees of the rainforest that are chopped down. When the top was finished Mr DC said it looked a lot like rain. He didn’t know about my idea behind the quilt, so that was really nice to hear. I quilted straight lines in the middle of all the strips and I loved the simple look and the faded colours and thought that adding anything would ruin that look.

weeping rain trees
made from colourcatchers, 16" square
But the message was not quite clear yet, so I had to add something. I made green water drops with watercolour pencil and Sigma pens. My rain trees are weeping green tears.

It’s always good to try out stuff, but I like the quilt better without the tears. I didn’t finish it with a binding, but just stitched along the edge at 1/8".

I had a lot of fun working from two totally different points of view to make my green quilts. Thanks Lisa, for a fun theme that got me thinking outside the box!



  1. Amazing idea and very meaningful work! It's beautiful!

  2. I love your interpretations of the theme! Love your gems, how beautiful! and I had thought about saving my color catchers... and now I will! It turned out so lovely!

  3. Nicolette, I like the way you used half rectangles piecing to create your diamond shapes. I also noticed that in some instances you used one half of a rectangle on the left, and the other half of a rectangle on the right. I hope I made sense there, but I found your piecing interesting to look at closely.

    Your second piece is a tribute to "going green". I have yet to use colour catchers, but if this is what can result, then I'm off to the store to get me some!

  4. I love them both. The green gemstones are really gorgeous and the rain trees are both gorgeous and resourceful! I love the angled quilting in the gems and the little raindrops in the raintrees. Beautiful Nicolette

  5. Two fabulous quilts! I really like how you've chosen the diamond design for your gemstones and your choice of fabrics and finishing is beautiful. And your first non-green, 'green' quilt is both beautiful in design and symbolism. I'm not sure which I like better, with or without the green rain drops but I'm leaning towards with them.

  6. For someone who is not in love with green, you did a masterful job. I particularly like the bold graphic feeling of the "Little Gem".

    And now I know what color catchers are. I had to Google it. I guess I must be living in a parallel existence. :)

  7. They are both fabulous Nicolette! I sure can't say I like one more than the other - they are both so true to the theme, and yet so different. I love how you've taken your mother's collection of green gem stones and incorporated it into a mini quilt, and your trees - so very symbolic and wonderfully done!

  8. These are both wonderful pieces, Nicolette. Your piecing and quilting on the first definitely alludes to gem and rocks. My favorite, however, is the second. I love the thought that went into this, and I think the tears add interest and detail. The straight lines with the subtle, soft colors just pulls me in to have a closer look.