Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cheryl's Hidden Treasure

When we were first given the theme for our first challenge piece, my mind was racing. My ideas were endless so settling on one was the biggest challenge of all. I knew somehow I would have to integrate my love for the sea into this project…but how? That is when I decided on My Secret Garden. Inspired by a trip to Tahiti, it incorporates an underwater oasis filled with hidden treasures I discovered right outside my back door.

My inspiration for this piece was this giant anemone (~ 24” in diameter)

Welcome to My Secret Garden...

Finished, it measures 24” x 38”.
The puffer in this garden is depicted just how I met him, face-to-face, coming around a reef. He was HUGE! I think I scared him more than he surprised me!

I consider the two Humu’s my personal tour guides of the reef. They spent the entire afternoon escorting me around. I believe they thought I was a giant version of them…my mask is a teal color…along with the white rash guard….

I am a newbie to the quilting art world, so my goal of trying something new was easy. The entire project was a learning process, and SO much fun!  This is my first landscape and my first attempt at appliqué. My final goal was to incorporate different textures into this piece:
  • The water is a satin piece embedded with beads and glitter (it came that way).
  • The anemone is crushed velour with eyelash trim for the tentacles.
  • I added Angelina fibers to the fins on the Humus. (always wanted to try it…next time I’ll read the directions)
  • The brain coral was made from a chenille yarn with my version of trapunto to give it depth.  
  • The sand is a microfiber suede.
  • The background reef is painted canvas.
I wanted to use thread painting to add depth and perspective but have since come to the conclusion that I need a lot more practice with my free-motion quilting and thread painting skills. Once these are refined I will go back and add more detail to the piece. That is why the anemone and the coral are pinned at this point.

I did not bind the edges as I have decided to build a frame (and distress the finish) to mount it in. The weight of the anemone and coral need to be stabilized.

I am excited to find out what our next challenge is!



  1. Bravo Cheryl, your first landscape is very impressive! I love how the puffer is giving me a look over as I view your picture :)

    Sharon M

  2. Very well done, Cheryl. I think you really hit the mark. I really am impressed that this is your first art work on fabric.

    I love your fabrics and the anenome looks just like the origina -

    I am already excited about the next challenge!

  3. Love the look on the puffer's face, he is definitely checking out what is going on. Would love to see a picture of the framed piece when you get it done.

  4. Cheryl you done a wonderful job I like your puffer

  5. This is so very rich in textures. Wonderful. I too love the face on the puffer fish.

  6. Wow! Perfectly charming quilt and story, fishes with personality! Expert applique!

  7. I agreed ,loved the puffer fish and your choice of fabrics .You did a wonderful work of art for your first experience. Very realistic....

  8. Love the puffer fish and story.
    Well done for a first.

  9. I love the puffer fish, he has a great face! And the silk for the water turned out really well. I want to reach out and touch this piece.