size does matter. That's one of the lessons I learned from this bit of sampling. I really wanted to do some sort of free-motion quilting in the grassy areas, but quickly realized that creating the sharp-pointed 'stippling' in a tight space was tough on my shoulders. I wasn't keen on doing it over a larger area.
A larger area... Of course! The final piece is going to be at least twice the size of the sample! What could I do in that larger space that would be effective? I decided to consult FMQ guru, Leah Day, via her FMQ Project -- and I found Lesson #37 -- "Jagged Lines". Perfect!
To get an idea of what they'd look like, I tried them in the tiny space left on my sample -- see that brown area on the far left? (Yes Carolyn, you and I were on the same wave-length here. :-) Thanks for your comment! )
Then I added some hand stitching to see what it would look like (sorry; this one's a bit blurry). I like it!
The 'what ifs' continued -- next with the sky. Now, I'm not fond of stitching in the sky. I'm always concerned about over-doing it. However, I did try this:
It might work in the larger piece if I can get into the rhythm of the sky fabric, where clouds 'need' to be. I know that others stitch in the sky, but they're not always working on batting. (For example, I believe that Monika works on two layers -- fabric and some sort of stiff backing -- Timtex or some such thing that's not batting.) When you have a stiffer substrate, your sky stitching has quite a different look to it, right Monika? :-)
So...I reserve judgment on whether or not I'll stitch in the sky on the final piece.
There there was the bark. I did go back in and play around with tiny bits of painted fusible web, with very ho-hum results, so I decided to try a technique I learned in a workshop with Anna Hergert in Edmonton in the spring of 2010: stitched, painted and distressed paper napkins!
First you stitch a grid on your favourite paper napkin. This one is from an inexpensive pack from a dollar+ store, free-motion stitched with whatever I had in the machine (brown, I think):
Next you paint the grid with textile paint. I had brown textile paint (Jacquard) and black artist's acrylic, so I mixed 'em, diluted with a bit of left-over brown dye I'd mixed up a while ago:
You let that dry. Then you spritz it with a water bottle, and distress it with your fingers to get this:
Actually, I think the plastic in the black acrylic paint kept this from being as distressed as it might have been. On the other hand, it enabled me to get a firm tug on a piece, tear it off, and apply it to my tree trunks. I used a touch of glue stick for the sample, but on a larger piece, I would stitch it down.
See the dark bits on the centre tree trunk? See how much more effective it is than the snips of black-painted fusible web on the other tree trunks? See how on a larger piece you'd have to be very judicious in your use of this material so it wouldn't overwhelm?
Yep; sometimes size matters!