Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Memories of a Magical Forest

Leslie here.  Last summer I took a road trip with my dear friend, Karen, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first time we took a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway together.  The trip began in San Jose and we drove north as far as Mendocino.  We worked our way down Highway One as far as Cambria.  One of the most extraordinary parts of our trip was driving east from Mendocino to Montgomery Woods, a lesser-known stand of redwood giants.  We parked our car and walked up a trail about a mile gaping at the beautiful trees, but it wasn't until we arrived in the grove of true giants that we experienced something magical.  I don't have words to express what being there has meant to me.  Growing up in the midwest I dreamed of seeing these trees and this was my first encounter.  Because the theme of our soon-to-open exhibition is called "An Exquisite Moment, I had the perfect subject:  A Moment in Montgomery Grove.

Standing at the base of a tree looking up

The moss-covered remnant of the base of a lost tree

My friend Karen stands at the base of a cluster of trees, or is it one tree?

I stand at the left base of this giant.
I used Spoonflower custom fabric printing to create a mirror-image 
detail of a portion of the image above
and embedded it into my newest quilt, "From The Redwood Forest:  A Moment In 
Montgomery Grove"
The image is overlaid onto a piece of dyed silk that I created as a sort of 
"fauvist-colored" tree.

A detail of my thread-sketched background.
I have long-regarded my sewing machine as a stationary pencil or paint brush,
and my thread is my paint.

Another detail of the upper portion of the piece. I used procionMX dye thickened with print paste.
First, I spread the thickened dye with a palette knife, then "tamped" it through a StencilGirl stencil.
Here is the full image of the piece.  There are three areas of embedded digital images.
Can you find them?
Finished size:  60 inches long by 24 inches wide.
This is my curator's piece for "An Exquisite Moment", which opens
I hope to see you there!


  1. That is a really beautiful piece! Would love to see the show.

    1. Valerie, the exhibition will travel to Houston this fall for the International Quilt Festival. Thank you for your kind words about the piece.

  2. I have longed to see the majestic redwoods my entire life! I love the photos & art quilt Leslie. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Carol, I hope you get to see them someday. It was a dream-come-true for me.

  3. I have a thing for trees, too, and this piece is gorgeous. Can't wait to see it in the exhibition at Houston!

    1. Thank you, Susan. The exhibit is truly special and I'm glad you are in it!


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