Cardinal in the Pine is my contribution to this year’s Coastal Quilters Chapter Challenge (see this post for all the quilts). Once again, I–the art quilter–went traditional! Since the Ohio Star of course reminded me of Christmas, I thought I’d make a holiday quilt with mine. Online I found a couple free Tree of Life blocks. I wanted my tree to be vertical. Since the vertical axis of the tree is usually on the diagonal of the block, I figured out what size I needed the block to be so that it would fit vertically within the 20 1/2″ square format. (PS–sorry about the double watermarks on the bottom of the photos…I’ll fix that on the next batch.)
Then on to the really FUN part: quilting! I knew I wanted to use a feathered vine as the wind swirling the snow around the tree, and I knew I wanted it to stand out and sparkle, so I used Superior Threads Glitter (a holographic thread–basically ya know the stuff they use to make mylar balloons? sorta like that except cut into looooonnnngggggg flat strips) in Pearl / Crystal #111 (here). This thread is amazing, as it looks clear/white/opalescent here, but when used on dark fabric, it looks like an irridescent green (the black quilt on the cover of my book uses the same thread!). It’s important when using holographic and metallic threads to use a SLIPPERY thread in the bobbin; I use The Bottom Line, a smooooooth, fine poly from Superior. Once could also use clear (ugh), rayon (not my fave at all) or silk. You do *not* want to use cotton, as the slubs on the cotton will grab the glitter or metallic threads and play not-so-nice.
And the quilt with the block which inspired this challenge: