Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tree of Life Reproduction

Tree of Life
By Roseanne Smith

Roseanne Smith has been working on her appliqued center in the tree-of-life design for a new medallion. She's using my Lately Arrived From London reproductions from Moda. Here's how she did this. It's cut-out chintz or Broderie Perse.

I exaggerated the contrast here so you could see that she has appliqued the Seaflower print to a very similar plain-colored background.

The reverse
But she did not cut out every flower and leaf in the traditional fashion. You can see on the back here that she appliqued a large chunk of chintz to the plain colored background. She's cut out the backing so she doesn't have to applique through so many layers.

She cut a shape out of the plum-colored Seaflower print...

My mock-up gives you a rough idea.

...And appliqued that to the background. Then she added other flowers and leaves for more complicated foliage, making the tree more detailed. She added the traditional hillock (a range of small hills).

Brilliant I say!

Roseanne found a very close solid color on the shelf at her quilt shop. One source for solids is Moda's Basic line of Bella Solids
Click here to see the selection:

They are all numbered 9900. Shades 9900.18 or 9900.45 (over on the left on the color card here) look like they are close in color. Ask your shop owner if she has this color card any time you are looking for a match.

For more on Broderie Perse see December's War of 1812 posts, where it will be the featured technique for the month.


  1. I think I have a few books with that pattern, amazing how beautiful and intricate the applique could be in those days. Have you decorated for Christmas? I would love to see photos of your home and decorations.


  2. you wrote, "You can see on the back here that she appliqued a large chunk of chintz to the plain colored background. She's cut out the backing so she doesn't have to applique through so many layers..." that's the back? i'm not understanding what you mean here. can someone help a dummy like me? i do know about broderie perse and applique, but i don't follow this explanation.
    thanks so much.

  3. Seeing this beautiful applique is very inspiring!!

  4. Dear Unknown. I was afraid that would be a problem. That picture is the reverse, the back of the block. The block flipped over....

  5. Dear Barbara - I have been following all your blogs with great interest but in particular this blog. I have made my version of the Jane Austin quilt (made with her sisters in 1811) using charm squares from your Lately Arrived From London collection. I have been waiting to do it with fabrics from approximately the right era - your collection was just perfect for it. It has come together wonderfully and I would love to share it with you. How do I send you a picture? Kind regards Neil

  6. pictures-email at bbrackman@sunflower.com. or post them somewhere and send a link.

  7. This block looks really lovely, I love the fabric. A lover of tree of life quilts and reproduction fabrics.