Federer – Completed

Just finished the panel. (It’s actually squarer than the photo shows – its all about the angle I’m holding the phone at).

Australian Open 2018 – Federer’s 20 Grand Slam Win

Finished size: 20 3/4″ x 16 1/2″.
Techniques Used: Raw Edge Appliqué, Thread Painting, Machine Embroidery.

In the end I did less thread painting than I originally intended – I did none on the court walls other than to secure the edges. The grunge fabric provided quite a bit of texture which I decided I didn’t want to disrupt so I left the dark backing alone after embroidering the Jacob’s Creek name and logo. I did the barest amount needed to hint at the shadows of Federer created by the overhead lighting. I did densely stitch the white lines on the court to hold those narrow pieces securely. But that was it.

That’s all the wall art for now. This is #9 of the pieces I wanted to complete for the showing at the Art Labs in Parrsboro end of July to mid-August. Added to the 8 quilts I have ready, the gallery walls will be full.

I have two large projects I agreed to do for other people that have sitting around for more than 6 months – I have to get them done and out of the apartment. Then I can turn to making some clothing for myself and think about how to use a couple of fabric collections I bought for quilts a couple of months ago.

So lots more sewing/quilting waiting for me.

Federer

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.

Abstracts From Scraps – III

A fifth (and for now final) Abstract From Scraps piece — this one assembled from turquoise-ish scraps. I really have kept quite a few small scraps of fabric, boxes of them (all coloured coded: red/yellow/orange scraps, blue/green/purple scraps…). This is definitely a good way to use up a few of them.

Fern 5

I’m enjoying the process of selecting bits of fabric, piecing them (trying to use each fabric just once – although there are a few repeats where I decided to splice two fabrics in more than one spot), building a 10″ x 12.75″ block, then added a few appliqués, finally setting up and stitching out an embroidery.

For some reason, the “fern” seems to have worked quite well as a focal point for these pieces. I could see flowers, or other leaf shapes working quite well, too.

Anyway, this is it for now – although a grey/neutrals panel is kind of whispering to me. However, for hanging purposes 5 is probably a better number than 6, but maybe after I’ve finished the bark cloth appliqués I may come back to this idea and pursue it a bit further. Maybe….

Fern 1

Fern 2

Fern 3

Fern 4

Abstracts From Scraps – II

Just finished – the pink background wall art panel with appliqué and machine embroidery.

Fern 4

I added in a bit more pale fabric to lighten the whole, reconstructed the embroidery so it would be different from the previous two. All of the panels still need a signature which I’ll get to tomorrow. For now, that’s it. I did look at the turquoise fabrics but I haven’t pulled any from the boxes yet. I will probably do a fifth to fill out the set.

Abstracts From Scraps

Last week I started work on an idea I had for creating abstract wall art from fabric scraps. I pulled small pieces from the red/yellow scrap box, pieced them, added in a few soft blues/greens to complete the block (~10″ x 12″), added a few bits of appliqué, fused, then stitched them into place, added an offset machine embroidery of a fern.

Fern 1

The second piece uses predominantly blues with a bit of purple/green, three appliqué circles and, again, a machine embroidered fern.

Fern 2

The third piece uses green batik scraps with a few appliqué circles and a fern machine embroidery in the bottom left.

Fern 3

Those three are completed – now I need to decide whether to finish them with a quilt binding, or an invisible binding, and a backing fabric (probably natural muslin, of which I have quite a bit in a drawer).

I’m about to assemble a fourth piece in shades of pink with a few other accent colours. I can see from the photo I need to interject a few more light elements, particularly in the lower right, to make this background work. Again, there will be some small bits of appliqué and another “fern” embroidery to complete the work.

Fern 4 – in progress

I may still do a fifth using turquoise scraps….

[These wall art pieces are an extension of something I started with a single piece a year ago “Dots” – where I pieced scraps, then added a bit of appliqué. This time I seem to be focusing on colour as an organizing principle.]

I also want to do a few pieces which I refer to as “faces” –

A Very Sad Face

Baboon

The Scream

Definitely A Cat

For these pieces I plan to print the images on fabric, create a background, carefully cut out the essential “face” elements, appliqué them in place and thread paint the background a bit. I see these as relatively small pieces — ~9″ x 12″.

I’m still working, as well, on the bark cloth floral cut-outs. I hope to make progress today on the flowers. One thing I’ve learned (I guess I really knew it but didn’t act on it) is I need to have a similarly coloured bobbin thread to have the thread painting come out successfully! Otherwise, when I use a white embroidery bobbin thread, it shows and I’ve been forced to carefully darken the stitching with permanent markers. I finally made the switch when I did the “fern” pieces above. I took the time to set up quite a few bobbins filled with different coloured rayon thread so the embroidery and thread painting looks like I want it to without bits of white showing.

Thread Painting

I started thread painting the bark cloth cutout flowers and leaves the other day. It goes surprisingly quickly and yet it seems to take a lot of time. The first thing I did was stitch the edges of the fused cutout using a modified blanket stitch (w: 1.5mm) with a smoke coloured monofilament thread in the needle (a white rayon embroidery thread in the bobbin). As I’m thread painting, I’m stitching over the cutout edges with embroidery thread to obscure the loose warp/weft threads that are peeking out.

One leaf is done, parts of the larger leaf begun and the dark thread on the anthurium has been stitched – lots more to go. Next will be the brighter green elements on the larger leaf and the “grey” elements will be some shades of bright green, not sure what precisely, yet.

Thread Painting The Bark Cloth Flowers & Leaves

I’m using the embroidery thread doubled – two close shades – both threads through the single needle eye. It’s working well, I’m not having any tension difficulty. I’m not trying to cover the fabric with stitching – just enough to provide some texture and sheen.

Here’s where my collection of fine permanent markers is proving handy – I filled in the grey on the dark leaf with a bright green which livens up the whole. I will do the same on the larger leaf.

Thread Painting – Detail

This piece is a test run for the larger one with the natural raw silk background. The graceful movement of the printed design is making the thread painting straightforward – the flowing lines are easy to replicate, even though I have both the feed dogs and the Pfaff IDT engaged! (I’m doing that to maintain a consistent stitch length – I don’t come close to an even stitch length with free motion sewing). Using the needle down position, the presser foot lifts a wee bit when I stop which allows me to freely manoeuvre the fabric as I sew. So the long flowing lines are happening without difficulty.

Time to get back to work on the larger leaf.

Second Leaf – Finished

This is the second leaf stitched and tinted using the permanent markers – much more lively colour than original “grey”.

Next – the anthurium.

 

Pink Flowers – Finished

I just put the finishing touches on this wall art piece – Pink Flowers. In the photo it looks a bit out of kilter, but I that’s an artifact of where I was standing when I took the photo – the piece is 15.5″ wide x 18″ in height.

Pink Flowers

I did quite a lot of stitching using rayon embroidery thread – two colours at a time through the one eye of the machine needle which gives a tiny bit of depth to the colour of the stitches. I elected not to stitch in the background – mainly because I had no idea what sort of design would have augmented the piece rather than detract from the flowers. The piping is there to heighten the colours in the flowers, and the printed border/frame extends the “texture” of the background.

Stitching Detail

Now on the next one using the fussy-cut flowers from the bark cloth. The fabric colours are somewhat subdued – I’m planning on using strong bright shades of rayon embroidery thread for the thread painting.