Those of you who've followed my work for some time will know how fond I am of the sky and the trees in this part of Alberta. A couple of years ago I did a piece entitled When I Look Up in the Spring, which was bought by my dear friend Jenny from a SAQA Benefit Auction:
|When I Look Up in the Spring (C) 2018|
Ever since then, I've wanted to make something else like this...because I keep looking up at the trees around here, tiny top branches silhouetted against the sky.
Like this one (from my last post):
Then there's this one:
I began with the second photo, sampling with a piece of synthetic fabric that I hand-dyed. Polyester or poly-cottons (this was an old sheet so I suspect it was the latter) dye much lighter than 100% cottons do.
I decided to trace the branches out on Sulky Tear-away interfacing (light, thin), sandwich it and quilt it -- using free-motion, and Superior Thread's King Tut -- colour #979 ("Obsidian") in the needle. I used a light-weight white backing, with Superior's "So Fine" in the bobbin.
NOTE: The tear-away worked very well...but tearing it away from tiny branches is a bit of a pain!
I was happy with the thread painting...but how to create the hoare frost?? I had 3 choices: two different threads...and paint:
In the end -- as you can probably tell -- I chose the paint (Seta Color 'Opaque' in a lovely opalescent or pearly white).
Lest you wonder, I auditioned the thread with hand-stitching. For one thing, I don't do bobbin work because I find working upside-down unsettling -- and the thread on the left (YLI's "Candlelight" metallic yarn in "Rainbow") was too thick to go in the top (needle). The thread in the centre (Sulky Metallic 142-7021) could have done so...but it was too thin to give the effect I wanted. Using a very fine brush, the paint worked out very well!
Here's how the piece looks with a bit of a "frame" around it:
I've auditioned some very tiny beads -- Mill Hill's Petite Glass Beads -- in a browny-red (colour #42012) to create the berries for the full effect of the photo.
Then I wondered...what if I combined the branches from the second photo with a deeper blue sky (sort of like in the top photo)?
Why not just trace out that top photo and interpret it? Well...I'm impatient, and the tracing takes work! 😉 Plus I think that top photo would look better as a larger piece and I haven't the fabric on hand for the sky; I'd have to dye it...or see if I could find something commercially that would work.
So I did this -- BUT instead of tracing the design onto tear-away stabilizer (tearing it away was no picnic the first time 'round!), I printed it out directly onto my fabric, using the 'freezer paper method' and my HP inkjet printer. I stitched it this time with the same thread BUT I used 'regular' stitches with my Pfaff Performance 5.2, which has a built-in walking foot:
And yes...I like it. Here it is..."framed"...with some "regular-sized" Mill Hill glass beads just resting on the surface for the moment...
NOTE: the first piece will have beads. That's a done deal. But the second piece? Should it be beaded too? Or should there simply be hoare frost?
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment...recognizing full well that I'll do what the piece wants, one way or the other!
NOTE TOO: Finished size of each piece is 4" x 6" inside the mat -- matted to 6" x 8" by the folks in charge of the SAQA 2020 Spotlight Auction...or by me...whichever one goes and whichever one stays...
And in other news...this week I've...
- Finished the socks commissioned for a gift;
- Signed the contract with the City of Lacombe for "Featured Artist" at the Art Show & Sale in April; and
- Switched out my art exhibit at the Alix Public Library -- installing the six remaining pieces from "Inspired by Scotland".
(We're in the Deep Freeze up here... minus twenties with wind chills near the minus forties -- and that's Celsius! -- so stay safe, stay cozy, keep calm and craft on!)