Have you wondered how these garden vignettes (#100gardenthreads) begin?
What's in the background to these creations?
It literally takes hours some days to audition fabrics for the piece. The technique I use involves small scraps of fabric, cut or torn and then stitched over. Each day, I look through my stash and try to find the right colour, perhaps a little texture, even a pattern for a particular leaf or flower.
Sometimes, I cannot find the right colour so I often hand colour with inks, dyes, and/or paint and quite often, with coloured pencils (Prismacolour).
That isn't really the beginning - I spend a lot of time in the garden looking carefully, cutting samples of leaves, branches, flower stems, and of course photographing the specimens. Indoors , I work from cuttings and photos and drawings because by the time I am ready to interpret a flower, it may not be still blooming in my garden. And of course, the birds and other creatures don't stay around while I stitch their images.
Fortunately, they are in abundance all year around in the garden, so it is easy to bring a few inside to work directly from the and try to colour match a fabric. In this case, I chose recycled t -shirt material for the colour and texture, with a few leaves cut from silk screened and hand dyed fabrics and doilies to add the variety of tones. I also did some quick sketches for for composition and cut a few leaf templates to try them out for size. Then the free motion stitching - it is really the least creative part of the process. This is done on my trusty Bernina sewing machine #550, with feed dogs lowered, and all going well, it is the quickest part of the creation.
Techniques : free motion stitching, hand colouring, raw edge applique