Appliqué Pitcher Plants

My latest art quilt features pitcher plants which I photographed growing on the edge of the Borneo forest. They come in all shapes and sizes and are often referred to as "Dutchmen's pipes" because some of the varieties like this one actually do resemble and old fashioned pipe with its curvy stem and bulbous bowl.
pitcher plants reference photo, pattern and fabrics
My reference photo, line drawing and hand dyed fabrics.
From my photos I drew out a pattern in EQ7 and then gathered together a selection of my hand dyed fabrics for the appliqué.
pitcher plant assembled and ready to fuse in place.
When I'm doing appliqué, especially if the design is quite complicated I like to assemble the pattern on a non stick backing first and lightly fuse everything in place. I usually use a slightly transparent pressing sheet and place the pattern underneath so I can accurately position all the pieces. This makes it much easier to try out different backgrounds and placements without everything falling apart.
Selection of threads for my appliqué

For this design I fused everything onto the background and then used a satin stitch to finish the edges.  I like to use Aurifil 50wt cotton thread for my appliqué because it comes in a wide range of colors and because it is fine it blends in nicely. For this sort of design I don't want the stitching to stand out so the fine cotton thread is perfect.
I had thought of adding some ferns and foliage to the background but I liked the uncluttered look of the two pitcher plants so I decided to free motion quilt them instead.
practice piece free motion quilting ferns
Free motion quilted ferns practice piece
I did a practice piece first  on a spare scrap of fabric to see how they looked and to practice my quilting and then I did the same on the background, using a matching thread so that the ferns are very subtle.
art quilt wall hanging pitcher plants
Pitcher Plants wall hanging
Detail with hand stitching on the pitcher plant