Snapped Along the River

Fall in the Adirondacks is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, an inspiration to artists of every type.  Anyone who is fortunate enough to live amidst the splendor wants to capture the beauty in some way. As one of the lucky residents, I have, for years,  taken photos of the spectacle.

Once I discovered that I could print my photos on fabric with very little difficulty, my photo-taking sprees had a purpose. I would create my own “masterpiece” honoring the place I call home.

I am, by no stretch of the imagination, a tech savvy person.  By following the simple directions on a bottle of Jenkins’ Bubble Jet Set, I was able to produce my own fabric from my photos.   I then took those 8 1/2″ x 11″ fabric photos, fussy cut and collaged them into a Fall landscape based on my memory of the upper Hudson River as it flows through the Adirondacks in mid-October.

Photo collage quilt with birch bark frame

Photo collage quilt with birch bark frame

Photo collage quilt

Photo collage quilt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gorgeous sky, brilliant foliage, granite boulders and the flora in the foreground were actually photographed around my home on Trout Lake in Bolton NY.

The river was made using a weaving technique with a combination of fabrics, one shiny, and an overlay of painted melted plastic which worked well to create the rapids.

The finished quilt cried out for an Adirondack Twig Frame.  Using thinly peeled birch bark that I had fused onto fabric, I fashioned the frame, adding fabric tubes as “twigs” which I attached with grey French knots to mimic the nail heads typically used on these frames.

Those of us who live on an Adirondack lake enjoy summers, but the glorious beauty of Fall is certainly something to look forward to.  My quilt “Snapped Along the River” hangs in my living room as a reminder of good things to come.

The Birch Bark Experiment

Real birch bark twig frame

As a fiber artist whose work is always original, most of my pieces are totally experimental. In my head, my ideas always work beautifully. In reality, some do and some don’t. Never discouraged to the point of giving up, if one idea fails miserably, there is always another to take its place. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

After visiting the Adirondack Museum and viewing their collection of birch bark twig frames, I thought such a frame would be the perfect compliment to the Fall lake scene I had just completed. Sounds simple, right? Not if you want to make it on a sewing machine! After giving the idea a lot of thought, mostly in the middle of the night, I decided to give it a try. Through much trial and error, I found that, if peeled away in very thin sheets, birch bark harvested from dead trees could indeed be sewn on my trusty “never say die” sewing machine.

Having conquered the birch bark, it was now time to make the twigs that would decorate the frame. The solution, a mottled brown fabric cut into bias strips and sewn into tubes, then filled with cord. To give the illusion of nail heads, I attached the twigs to the bark frame with grey French knots. Success!

TAA! DAA! My Adirondack Twig Frame!