Gentle Readers, I expect you're beginning to wonder what's up with me -- writing a blog post three weeks in a row! 😆 Yes, I'm still stitching and knitting for Xmas gifts (more about that later) but earlier this week I had an urge to get back to the Art in the Park commission, so I did just that.
You may recall that in October, I was making samples to create a 3-D piece reflecting the "False Hellebore" plant that had fascinated me while I was hiking out in B.C. as part of the Art in the Park residency. I was in particular awe of the leaves.
Here's what that plant looks like:
And here's a close-up of the leaves...
You'll probably also recall from that post that none of those samples worked (what else is new?!) and that after some research, I found a product called "Inn-spire Plus Heat-set Moldable Fusible Non-woven" stabilizer -- at a shop in Winnipeg! I bought two packs of the 9" x 12" size, not wanting to go overboard with the 20" x 36" size in case what I wanted to do wouldn't work.
This week, I finally played with it -- and was delighted with success from the get-go!
But let's back up a minute. The sample leaf worked, but I knew I had to make at least 3 of them, and I needed a background on which to mount them. I wanted the background to look like a mass of green, giving the impression of a crowd of hellebore, as I'd seen them in real life. And I wanted to recreate a stalk on which to place the leaves.
Cord. I needed cord -- and fairly substantial cord at that. I dug out a roll of clothes line cord that I'd bought and never used. It was plastic, very thin, and very coiled from being wound up for eons.
And then I saw it -- a length of soft, 1/2" cord of a sort, that I'd recycled from...something... at some time or other. I have no idea what it was part of, or where it originated, but it was long enough to make a sample, then make the piece, and have some left over!
How to install it into a quilted piece? Trapunto!
Here's the piece, quilted and faced, with the cord running up the centre, on my design wall.
|8" x 19", faced|
Here are the leaves, made with that wonderful, moldable Inn-spire stuff. Yes; they're large. Each one is 4 1/2" wide by 6" long.
The front of each leaf is covered with the same batik as the background; the back of each is covered with a synthetic I'd sun-printed several years ago.
I pinned each leaf on next to the stem and then sewed them down by machine:
|Waiting for the Train (2013)|
15" W x 12 1/2" L
Available for a new home...
I'd not done any silk ribbon embroidery in years! Could I still remember how to make flowers? Buds?
Did I have any instructional resources? I checked my studio bookshelf and lo, and behold, found two: The Embroiderer's Floral by Janet Haigh (and photographer Heseltine), published in 2002 and bought for the princely sum of $4.99 off a remainder table at Indigo/Chapters Books in Calgary, who knows when; and Ribbon Embroidery: Simple Stitches for Easy Embellishments (2009) by Natalie Bellanger-Clement.
It was the latter that was the most help. Again, I took a bit of the ribbon, threaded a #28 chenille needle, and practiced, following Natalie's illustrations.
I'm pleased to say it worked -- and with far less stress on my hands than was caused by the work on "Fallen Log". I'm going to take what I've learned and apply it when I go back to the 'log' -- stopping and starting without going through so many layers -- in the hopes it'll be less strain on my hands when I do.
|Buds and blossoms started|
I'll be adding some more near the second stem, and probably up at the top, around the first. Yes, I'm very pleased! P.S. False Hellebore is reportedly poisonous, so I've decided on this title for my piece: Pretty Poison. What do you think?
|Pattern: Just Try It!|
Designer: Susan Ashcroft
Yarn: Kathmandu Aran 100 from
Queensland Collection Yarns
|"Lick the Bowl" from |
The Kitchen Counter Series
Designer: Hands On Designs
Done on 30-ct mystery even-weave
with my own selection of DMC floss,
two strands over two.
|"Quaker du Japon" from Jardin Prive|
Done on 36-ct Antique White Edinburgh
linen from Zweigart
in the called-for DMC floss,
using 1 strand over 2.