Abstracts From Scraps – IV

The last one is just finished (except for the sleeve on the back for a rod/dowel to hang the  panel).

Fern 2

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.

Fern 1

Fern 2

Fern 3

Fern 4

Fern 5

Now I’m ready to move on.

Fern 3 – Done

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)

Fern 3

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.

First of the Abstract Wall Art Pieces Completed

Fern 4

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.

 

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.