Tuesday, March 30, 2021

What's in the background ? #the100dayproject

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. 

Day 42 is a good example of the background to a #100gardenthreads creation  - eucalypt leaves. 

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. 

Materials : cotton fabric, recycled stretch fabric, doilies, thread, coloured pencils. 
Techniques : free motion stitching, hand colouring, raw edge applique 


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