This is as far as I’ve got with this wall art panel at the moment.
I had set up embroideries for the Jacob’s Creek winery logo and the serve speed readout. I tested each embroidery on fabric scraps, made adjustments and tested them again. Then I took a deep breath and started to embroider directly on the panel. One error and the whole project is a goner. I was very lucky – the Jacob’s Creek logo embroidered nicely each time and the serve speed readout turned out crisp and a good size.
Before doing the embroideries, I’d shaded the court and thread painted the surface adding the shadows beneath Federer’s feet (both feet are about 1″ above the court surface – he’s actually in the air in the original photo) as well as the lighter shadows cast by light coming from another direction at the end of the court.
Australian Open 2018 – Federer vs. Cilic
I’m still thinking about whether I want to put in any shading on the court walls or not – if you click on the image you’ll see I used a shaded fabric (Grunge by Moda) – I’m not inclined to follow the random pattern of the fabric; were I to add thread painting, I’d mirror the shading I used on the court.
I’ve stopped for now. I’ve stitched around Federer himself using a fine clear (invisible) monofilament thread. I will likely stitch the shadows on his clothing and body and indicate the colour changes on his shirt, socks, and shoes. Tomorrow. I’ll look at it again tomorrow and see what I think then.
I also have no idea yet what to use to bind/border the panel. When I get the thread painting done, I’ll trim the panel, add the narrow silk inner border, then see what I have in my stash that might complement the panel itself and bring out the colour in it.
Finally done – borders and backing completed. I have to say it’s growing on me. In spite of the fused interfacing I still got some “bubbling” of the fabric. It’s much less noticeable when you stand in front of the actual panel but it is definitely visible in the photo.
Finished size: 16 3/8″ x 20 3/4″.
Techniques: raw-edge appliqué, thread painting (done with feed dogs down, and needle in the down position which lifts the presser foot when I stop, so I am able to maintain a consistent stitch length but freely move the stitching as I sew to create curved, flowing lines).
The background is pieced from fabric; the figure was enlarged, printed on fabric, and “fussy cut”. In the original photo the woman was on the left of the image; in this rendition I moved her slightly to right of centre to provide a better context for the direction of her gaze. The dark outer border fabric strengthens the light within the image.
I’ve got this far today. Added the windows and the handrail (lots of stitching on both). Added shading to the decking and stitched the boards.
I’ve positioned (and sort of fused) the woman – now I need to stitch her in place using a clear invisible thread and a very narrow blanket stitch. Then I’ll be able to fill in shadow lines and other colour demarkations. I also need to add her shadow to the deck so that she’s attached to the rest of the image. Tomorrow!
On Deck 3
Finished these colourful socks last evening. They’ve gone in the give-away collection – while I have clothes in these colours I don’t need (actually, I don’t have room for) another pair of socks in my sock drawer!
Today: I added a medium weight woven fusible interfacing (which doesn’t seem to have “fused” – oh well – I’ve stitched it at the edge and around the “finished” image lines), I finished stitching the water, added some darker thread strategically to the headland to give it more depth, did a bit of sewing in the sky, just enough to bring out some clouds.
On Deck 2
Now I need to plan out the windows (the decking is there – I’ll make it more plank-like with permanent markers and stitching with dark thread). The windows I have to think about, so that’s for tomorrow – I need to let that next step percolate and see what ideas emerge in the morning.
Yesterday I visited my friend Marlene – her Oriental Poppies were in glorious bloom (it hasn’t rained here for a few days although it’s raining today so I imagine I caught the flowers at just the right moment).
The petals just glowed! Simply wonderful. There are lots of buds still to open so she should have more flowers after today’s rain has knocked the petals off the present ones.
I tried, unsuccessfully, to grow oriental poppies both in the garden beds and in my container garden at the townhouse, not enough direct sunshine. I never got much of anything. Marlene’s have been growing in that same location at the front of her house forever – close to 50 years, I’d guess.
I’ve given up gardening altogether (except for a few phalaenopsis and an occasional amaryllis indoors) – my balcony faces north-east – right now I’m getting the sunrise coming in my living room windows and on my deck but the sun’s completely moved on by 10:00am – not enough direct sun for anything other than geraniums. I wanted to grow hibiscus – I brought two potted hibiscus with me when I moved into the apartment, but once on the balcony I stopped getting flowers – just not enough sunlight.
Melanie MacNeil, a blogger I follow, had this to say the other day:
“…it’s hard to know where to start. I have lists of things done and lists of things doing and lists of things to do! I have a mess in my studio, the product of having several projects going at the same time. What should I do first? What should I write about first?….
It’s like that with the textile art pieces — where to start…in this case with an analysis of the photo and deciding what to include and what to leave out, how close a representation / how abstracted…then sketching the image outlines and proportions on the muslin, choosing fabrics (buying more when you don’t have exactly the right print for the job like I did yesterday), cutting pieces to fill the spaces, adding fusible web to the back and pressing them to the muslin using the underlying sketch as a guide…start stitching at the horizon to make sure those first lines of thread painting are horizontal, next moving more freely to give the stitching some flow.
That’s as far as I got today. I didn’t add a fusible interfacing to the back of the muslin – that was intentional, but I can see already the little stitching I’ve done is tightening the fabric so the first thing when I resume will be to add a medium weight woven interfacing to the back of the muslin to provide some stability to the panel.
The women is not fused to the panel – adding her is the final step, but I wanted to see how my proportions were beginning to shape up and I think I’m in the ballpark. She’s a bit darker than I’d like but I will lighten her with the thread I use when I add detail to her. Also where she’s standing behind the windows of the deck is shaded and that will help with her colour tones.
So I’ve started….I have a running list in my head of how to proceed – I’ll carry on thread painting the water, then the sky (wouldn’t you know I gave away my spool of white/aqua variegated rayon embroidery thread — I’ll have to use some of both colours). Still haven’t worked out how I will construct the window frames — they were painted white but appear a rather dark grey/almost black with whitish highlights where the light hits the edges, they’re graduated top to bottom so I will need to use a lighter grey and create the ombre with crayon or markers or both. I’m going to have to play a bit with making the railing appear rounded at the top – single rows of thread in increasingly darker colour, perhaps?
On Deck – 2008
The piece is underway. It will start to move along now.
The last one is just finished (except for the sleeve on the back for a rod/dowel to hang the panel).
I’m happy with the results (in spite of the imperfections that pop-out at me). One thing for sure, in future I will use a fused stabilizer to keep the panels from rippling and then use fusible web to adhere batting to panel. It’s quite a bit more work, but I think the final panel will be the better for it.
Now I’m ready to move on.
OK, here’s the 4th panel completed with piping and binding/frame. I’m getting better at squaring the corners with the mitre meeting the point (some of the appearance of “skew” is my picture-taking skill with the iPhone – quite difficult actually to balance the position of the phone)
So that leaves just one fern panel left to complete. I’ve stitched the piping on, next comes the frame/border, then the muslin backing. I’ve got to run a couple of errands now, then I’ll sit down and finish that last one.
Next on to the “On Deck”:
On Deck – 2008
My plan is to lighten the overall colour, remove the boats, and position the woman on the right. I captured the photo on a Caribbean cruise I took in 2008 – gracious, that’s ten years ago, now. The ship anchored for the day so people could enjoy the Cayo Levantado Beach off the coast of the Dominican Republic. I stayed on board and happened to see this scene which reminded me of an Alex Colville image.
Completed this panel yesterday – with piping and border/frame.
A friend looking at it commented that it reminded her of an underwater scene. I guess it does. Not intentionally done – I was just juxtaposing scraps of fabric and adding small bits of appliqué and embroidery to make a pleasing whole.
Two more to finish – my goal for today.
I finished this panel two days ago – with the addition of a couple of sequins and beads to complete it.
I finished thread painting the Hawaiian Flowers (Plumaria, Anturium, Epiphyllium) yesterday. Today I framed the piece using an off-white piping made from raw silk and a batik fabric border.
I’m happy with the thread painting. What I now can see is I should have backed the blue raw silk with some kind of stabilizer like “sewer’s dream” to keep it from stretching. The thread painting has kept the appliqué flat, but the blue background is problematic and at this point there is nothing I can do about it. [I will have to take apart the piece set up on the natural coloured raw silk separating the silk from the batting, fusing sewer’s dream to the back of the silk, then reattach the batting so that the silk will remain more stable when the thread painting is done.]
Hawaiian Flowers – Detail of Epiphyllium
The modified embroidery stitch I chose for the stamen anthers worked out nicely and the colour brightens the whole panel.
I learned quite a bit from doing this piece. Now to apply it to the second one (which I’m putting aside for the moment until I finish framing the Fern pieces.
I finished this piece yesterday, including the hand sewing – the border corners, the opening at the bottom where I turned the piece inside-out, the sleeve for hanging on the back.
At first I wasn’t sure I liked how it turned out, but the more I looked at it (and the unfinished panels on the cutting table) the more it grew on me. The raw silk piping brings closure to the pieced panel and the border fabric definitely declares that the piece is pink.
I’ve done the prep work on the other four panels – I’ve created and trimmed the piping, cut batting strips to fuse to the border edges so I can enlarge the panel (that’s because I trimmed the panel thinking I would only apply the backing with a hidden binding), cut backing muslin, and chosen border fabric for each. Hope to get to them later this afternoon.