Be Free Bees: addition for Karen

I introduced the free form quilt bee I’m in when I showed you my starter piece.  Basically, each of the 8 ladies in my group send out a piece to get us going.  Each month, we pass the quilt along and whomever has it that month can add whatever she desires.  Then we pass it to the next person.  At the end of 8 months, you get your quilt back with the additions off all the group members.

For February, I was working on a block for Karen, who is from Wisconsin.

Karen was very prompt and sent her starter out well before the end of January.  I received it, looked at it, and thought about it.  And thought about it some more.  And drew some things on paper.  And scratched them out.  And finally, an entire month later, I actually began sewing (but finished and mailed before the February 29th deadline, so all is well!).

The block I received was this, the Wisconsin state block (sans the black sashing).  The reason the black sashing was added was because I made the first part of my addition without measuring the block first.  Doh!  Rookie mistake.  I assumed it was a standard 12.5-inch unfinished block.  Nope.  It was trimmed to 11.5 inches.  Anyway, I actually like how it looks with the added sashing, so all it well.

The fish fabric that Karen used made me think of getting out to nature and fishing with my dad when I was kid, which we did along tree-lined lakes in (wouldn’t ya know it!) Wisconsin.  No joke.  Some improvisational trees were in order.

I kind of love them.  Aren’t they cute?

So, we’ve got fish and trees, water was the next obvious element in my mind.  {side track warning}  A couple years ago, I saw a wall hanging in a quilt shop in my home town.  It was really cool and had 3-dimentional water with fish in it.  It stood out to me so much that I asked my mom to go back to the shop and take some photos for me.  That idea has been simmering in my head for nearly two years, just waiting for the perfect application.  This was it!

I am so excited about how this turned out.  The background fabric is actually a water print I had in my fabric stash, and the 3-D elements were created with a blue tiny dot and a hand-dyed look green batik.

I added the black sashing across the entire side (Wisconsin block + trees) so that future members of the group can continue it elsewhere as a design element or not.  It is arranged so that the trees can be placed sideways with the water below, or the trees can be upright with the water to the side.  It just depends on how our other group members are inspired.

Oh, and Fiona had my starter this month.  She took my little birds and made them birds in a tree!  You can see them here.

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