Over the years, the super talented Diane Haddon has made many quilt samples for us to hang in our store. This most recent quilt is one she devised herself to show off Dear Stella’s Tree of Life Panel.
As you can see, this quilt came together wonderfully. So we asked Diane to tell us more about her quilting process and fabric selection. Here’s what she had to say:
I have always enjoyed a ‘Tree of Life’ image, so when I saw this playful panel from Dear Stella, I was immediately drawn to it. Though it features cute, child-like graphics, I think it could appeal to any age person. (At least, it certainly appeals to me!)
I wanted to make a border that would highlight the panel’s colors, so I bought a few fabrics from The Confident Stitch that I thought would bring out certain colors within the panel. I actually started out with more colors than I ended up using!
Some of the hues I initially picked – like pink and purple – complimented the panel but competed with the yellows, blues, and green. So I reduced the variety of colors within the border, and it began to feel more relaxed. With that settled, it was time to make some Flying Geese!
A Formation of Geese
I did not use a special ruler to make my Flying Geese, although there are some great ones available. Instead, I used the traditional method of placing squares on the upper two corners of a rectangle, sewing from corner to corner on each square, cutting off the excess fabric 1/4” from the seam, and then pressing the new rectangle.
For this border, I made lots of flying geese in different color combinations, and then I played with the arrangement of the geese. Because the Tree of Life panel is playful, I wanted the geese to be playful as well. So they got to travel in different directions, with a few larger geese here and there to break up the flow. I also added a narrow blue border around the panel that functions like matting around a picture; it draws one’s eye inward.
There were so many directions I could have gone with this border! I think it would also look great to surround this panel with several solid borders in some of these colors.
I bought my long arm quilting machine about 10 years ago as a pre-retirement gift to myself. I’d just started quilting, and I wanted to do the whole process from start to finish. I’m still learning new ways to use stitching designs to add to the piecing of a quilt. (Quilting provides so many ways to be creative!)
So for this project, I quilted circles edge to edge on the panel to give it texture without drawing one’s eye away from the many critters featured on the panel. Likewise, on the geese, I experimented with lines which would give the impression of movement, and I think it turned out nicely!
All in all, I had a great time making this quilt! It came together really easily, and it was a lot of fun to experiment with ways to highlight such a pretty panel.
A Plethora of Panels
As you might imagine, this Tree of Life panel was very popular – especially after our customers saw what Diane had done with! – and we sold out pretty quick. However, what we most love about Diane’s approach to this quilt is that it’s not specific to this panel. You could use this border design or concept with any quilt panel of a similar size! And, we carry a variety of beautiful panels that could be featured in a way similar to the one in Diane’s quilt.
Additionally – though it’s not technically a panel – we currently carry Dear Stella’s Save the Planet QC in Multi which has a very similar aesthetic to the Tree of Life panel and could be used in a comparable way.
However, if you still have your heart set on the Tree of Life Panel, we completely understand, and you can find it on Hawthorn Supply Co.’s website!
A Round of Applause
Thank you so much for this beautiful sample, Diane! It has certainly livened up our store, and provided a ton of inspiration to boot.