I haven’t done much textile art for the past month or so – not since the 6×6 pieces. Nothing in particular has called out to me.
This morning I decided I had to start something. I keep a folder on my desktop “Wall Art” where I stick ideas. I looked at Charlie’s first swim photo – I’ve never been happy with my original piece created using raw-edge appliqué. I’ve wanted to print the photo on fabric and embellish it.
The problem is his dad sent me a small version of the photo on his phone and when I attempt to enlarge it I get a very pixilated image. This morning, I printed an enlargement on paper – I’m going to try stitching that to see whether I can sharpen the image with some thread painting. If it works, I’ll print Charlie on fabric and carry on from there.
Another thought was to revisit the bark cloth in my stash. I selected an array of hibiscus and heliconia from the black fabric, pressed a sheet of Pellon 805 fusible web to the back, and started fussy-cutting the flowers.
I’ll carry on trimming off the black. I plan to use a panel of natural raw silk as background. This may be a project I’ll work on while working on other things.
However, this doesn’t feel like a start – I definitely want to do some quilting – just not sure where to begin.
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 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”.