It starts with a sketch from a photo of an interesting site, and a new project is underway…. Le Chêne Chapelle – the Oak Chapel. We visited this area in Allouville-Bellefosse, France on our trip from Paris to Normandy in 2013. We’ll see what develops.
Step 2: After enlarging the sketch by 400% and printing it (20 pages), the outline and background fabric are pinned to the design wall and the fun begins. While at the site in France, I was fascinated with the door that leads to the two chapels inside the large old tree. You must read the story about this tree: click here Le Chêne Chapelle. I worked the photo of the tree door through the Moku Hanga app on my iPad, then sent the modified photo to Spoonflower to have it printed on fabric. If you click on the “Design” tab on their web page you can learn how to create your own photo designs and have them printed. Somehow the enlarged door will emerge as a part of the overall design. Too early to tell. There will also be leaves so it doesn’t look so barren.
Once traced onto the denim background, I used Dye n Flow to paint it all, using a sponge and opaque Jacquard fabric paint to complete the sky. The painting serves as a guide as I add treatments – appliqué, embroidery, quilting, text etc.
Then I created the bark using wool. The door and tree surface around it is a photograph I took at the site which was altered in the app Moku Hanga on my iPad.
Far from finished, I am outlining the shingles with machine stitching. They cover areas of the tree where the bark has worn or weathered away. Not shown are all the structural poles, cables and supports applied by man to keep the tree very much alive and upright. I have completed covering the bark areas with either wool scraps or cheesecloth dyed black. Next, I will add the stairway around the right side, clusters of leaves, and decking at the bottom. Then on to the quilting.
After quilting, which includes quilting some smaller leaves to surround the clumps of leaves which were created using Texture Magic, the text was stitched, clusters of silk ribbon embroidery were added, and the whole thing was ringed with two layers of wool yarn.