Forest Giant

Forest Giant art quilt wall hanging by Anne Maundrell, Borneo rain forest
Forest Giant, art quilt
I completed this version of my “Forest Giant” art quilt a few days ago, but I made the original version of this quilt in around 2005 and it was one of the very first art quilts I made inspired by the Borneo rain forest. Since then I have made numerous versions over the years but every one has been different and the techniques I have used have also evolved.

For this quilt I started with a blank piece of fabric with a basic outline of the tree and just a few details sketched in. 
starting off with basic outline

Gradually I started adding details, building up layers of hand dyed fabrics to create all the subtle colours of the foliage to give depth to the finished design. I used Misty Fuse to secure the pieces as it is lightweight, gives a secure hold but is still easy to stitch through even with many layers. I also used fabric paints on some commercial dyed batiks to get more variety in the tree trunks.
building up the background
Initial background layers completed
Once the background was completed I started to build up the layers for the tree itself, again using lots of small slithers of fabric. In my original versions I used just one piece of fabric for the main part of the tree but I always struggled to be able to get the right look. Using many small pieces makes it easier although one needs lots of patience to cut and position all the individual pieces.
Cutting slithers of fabric for the tree trunk
With everything in place I then added more detail, individually cutting every leaf shape and applying one by one. Previously I have used a rotary cutter for this but using scissors it’s easier to create softer and more organic edges. 

Before quilting I outlined and stitched some of the tree trunks and groups of leaves in place.

I used a large number of threads, mostly polyester and a mix of solid and variegated to quilt the design and bring it to life. 
A large number of threads in greens and browns for the final thread painting and quilting.