Still a work in progress – but I made some decisions a couple of days ago – the major one being that I would use printable cotton fabric to create the boys. That meant returning to the original photos, upsizing each boy so he would fit the background appropriately. I printed the images this morning, let them dry thoroughly (as the directions describe), fussy cut them carefully, then applied them with a medium iron. Using a 60 universal needle, I stitched around the outside of each using Wonderfil Invisifil thread – it’s a very fine polyester thread that blends with the fabric and permits very small stitches.
I also decided to stop fighting the large rhododendron bush beside the tree – I removed all the previous fabric and stitching (took a couple of hours of carefully picking out thread!). Today, I decided to print that element on printable cotton as well. In Photoshop I sized that part of the photo to fit the space where I wanted it to be, printed it out, cut it, pressed it, and stitched it into place. It looks way more realistic than what I’d had before. Now I need to do some thread painting to bring out the shaded areas of the bush so it appears three dimensional.
I still have a lot of careful outline stitching to do on each boy. I also need to thread paint the gravel quite a bit more – I had done a bit when I lay the grey fabric in place but now I need to carefully create a more gravel-like texture there.
My plan is to bind the image using a natural coloured raw silk fabric I have, then “frame” the piece with some kind of batik that will complement the image – I’ll have to shop for that (it may not be a batik – something like Northcott’s Stonehenge Colorado might work well).
This is where the piece is, today.