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March 31, 2012 at 6:32 PM

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Northwest Wanderings: Trunk show for a threadbare season

One stitch at a time, fabric artist Suzanne Tidwell beats back the recurrent gloom of these Northwest days. "I'm going to burn your retinas with these colors," she says, as she covers half of the 100 trees in Redmond's Anderson Park. "I want to make it feel like it's sunny every day."


Suzanne Tidwell installs her fabric art in Anderson Park in Redmond, a project partially funded by the city as part of their centennial celebration. It takes 500 stitches to secure each piece to a height of 12-feet. She's covering 50 of the 100 trees in the park.

She calls it "artificial light." Before knitting at home on a machine, she maps out the site on paper. Then it's to the park, where hand-work handwork takes over, reaching about 12 feet high on each tree trunk.

Called "yarn bombing," it's a form of pop art.

Basically, they're socks for trees, or as Tidwell says, "like tree cozies."

"But, if I told people I was going to wrap trees, they would think I was crazy."


Suzanne Tidwell uses bright, striking colors to "make it feel like it's sunny every day." She's covering half of the 100 trees in Anderson Park in Redmond.

And it takes a persistence and dedication to the repetitive and tedious, since each tree requires at least 12 hours of work. She got $6,000 in grant money for the project. It's part of the centennial celebration for the city Redmond, and visitors to the park are mostly supportive.

But, she's heard everything. "If you didn't have the haters, you wouldn't have the lovers."

One suggestion by a passer-by would speed up the work -- "ever heard of zippers?"

The installation will be up through June 3. For more images, visit the gallery.

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While $6,000 is spent wrapping yarn around trees, children are going to bed hungry in... MORE
I absolutely love yarn bombing! And if there is ANY place that needs rays of colour... MORE
I guess I am in the haters category. $6,000 for this? So, that I can feel like is sunny... MORE