Family Tree

One of the heirlooms that my parents have hanging, framed on the wall in their home is a piece of very old quilt with many family names on it... almost like a quilted family tree.

It's small though and didn't have any sort of rhyme or reason to it as to how the names fit together. So for Christmas I decided to make a real family tree for my mother. What an undertaking, but it turned out SO well!

I started by designing the tree shape that I wanted on a piece of typing paper, then once it was perfected, I recreated it on a piece of linen by using a water soluble pen such as this:

The piece of fabric with the tree on it ended up fitting into a 36" by 39" frame. I left the leaves off during this first stage so that I could only see the tree itself. I used a medium size oval embroidery hoop and using a basic embroidery stitch worked my way across all of the branch lines. I used black thread for mine, but I think depending on the color of the background fabric, brown would also be nice.

Once all of the tree bits were done, I used the pen again to trace the leaves. I made them fairly large and in three to five leaf clusters. Be sure to leave room on the branches for the name plates. You don't want to cover up your hard work!

Using five complementary fall colors, I went over all of the leaves using the same basic stitch for the outline. I didn't fill the entire leave, but rather did one stitch from the top of the leaf to the base. You can see a close up of this below.

Once the leaves are done I needed to put the names onto the tree. At first I thought I would embroider the names right onto the tree, but you couldn't really see them very well. In the end I found some really great metal scrapbooking plaques and with a little jewelry wire, turned them into hanging name plates. I've seen them at most hobby shops so they should be readily available.

The name plates that I found were bright spring colors, so I painted them black, then sponged bronze onto them once dry. However, now they conveniently come in silver, bronze, gold and black.

I printed the names off on my computer onto acid-free paper and then placed them into the name plates with scrapbooking dots. (I love those!)

Once everything was on the fabric, I nailed the finished piece to a wooden frame and Voila! An heirloom was created.


^.^ ~ Alliecat said...

This is awesome!

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