I spent the better part of the day hand stitching the hidden bindings on the back of each panel – took over an hour each and left a small hole in the middle finger on my right hand in spite of the small metal thimble disc (Ultra Thimble) I had stuck to my finger. (The hole will take a day or two to heal.)
Three Hangings – Completed 10″ x 42″
I made a point of matching the hidden bindings with the front of each hanging so that when they’re on the wall the fabric at the edge is consistent with the panel itself.
Back of Panels
I am definitely pleased with how these panels turned out – they feel refined, sort of elegant. I must find a location to hang at least one of them somewhere in my apartment! That will be a challenge because there isn’t much wall space left.
I played with the arrangement and the colour flow off and on yesterday – I’m stopping with this layout:
I worked at changing the block placement from linear on the diagonal to a more parabolic flow and also tried bringing in brighter colours toward the top.
The curved colour flow is stronger with the stitched blocks because they end up 3/4 the size (1.5″) of the raw 2″ blocks.
Assembling the blocks is a careful, slow process – I decided to work in pairs of rows, laying the row above on top of the blocks in the row below and rotating them 90˚ so I would be stitching the horizontal edge (12 pairs at a time). Next I pressed the pairs open, assembled 4-block units, finally stitched those together to form a 2-row strip.
I’m needing to be extremely focused while doing the pairing to make sure I’m reconstructing the block layout precisely. So far I’ve succeeded without having to take any stitching apart. I’ll have to be just as careful when I get back at the sewing later today!
I still think I want to add an appliqué of some sort because the panel seems unfinished – at least at this point. I still have no idea what I can add – I googled “watercolour quilts with appliqués” for ideas but everything I’ve seen doesn’t achieve the elegance I’m looking for. So once the panel is completed I may have to put it away and sleep on it for some time. I don’t think the panel wants a silhouette and a photo image printed on fabric won’t do either because the background is very busy. So I will just have to leave it for a while.
I started today by stitching the leaves first, not straight sailing because there are breaks – a few of them come from beneath a flower. With all the leaves done, I moved onto stitching with turquoise – first the blue yellow flower at the top, next the turquoise centres.
Thread Painting Underway
Then on to working the bottom left flower. I’ve done most of the yellow stitching, although I intend embellishing that further tomorrow.
Thread Painting – Detail
I spent quite a bit of time creating embroideries of small circles for the flower centres – I’ll use my metal hoop so I can do the embroidery work easily. I want to position embroidered circles on top of the fabric circles at the centres. I suspect that isn’t going to be easy to execute. In any case, I won’t get to that until I have all the other thread painting done. Then I have to decide if I want to do any kind of stitching on the background! I may leave it alone…. I’ve discovered I can’t plan any of this out in advance – it’s all about one step at a time. It’s about improvisation.
I was at the fabric shop this afternoon to pick up some thread to thread paint the poppies – I didn’t have any good peach/orange red tones in my collection – I want to transform the blue-red colour of the appliqué to a more orange red, and while I was there I happened across a largish wall panel half of which was a blurred blend of blues/greens which I think will work better than the green fabric I bought last week.
A Better Border
I’ve pulled out some dark blue and teal threads from the collection to overstitch the dark green areas and connect them to the border fabric. And now I can get to work on the poppies themselves.
It’s hard to tell precisely what the colours are from the photo which makes the greens very green and the border blues more blue than they actually are. I do believe the tones in that border fabric as I see it in natural light will liven up the whole piece.