Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Collage Fish - Final






I brought this down to 20 inches square. It was originally 28x 40. That's a lot of waste.
But it brought importance back to the fish.

I wanted a very light finish, but it needed a definite edge.
This is raw edge with an overcast line of three strands of wool.

Time to Finish the FISH

The Seaweed used up all my green embroidery thread.
The purple marking lines are diminished.
What's the hold up now?
Mounting this trophy!

After working yesterday with the shiny white embroidery thread on the edges of the dull birch cloth, I got thinking that maybe this little fellow needed a shiny boost as well. But how much?


After discussing my dilemma with the resident photographer and critic, the answer was simple.
The background was too big.
So the solution?

chop chop chop chop chop!
That first cut was the hardest.


Monday, 20 November 2017

Landscape Sample - Final

It was tough settling to work on this piece. My mind wasn't focused. I took lots of breaks and that seemed to help.
After I finished stitching the background I rinsed off the stabilizer, and let it dry overnight.


It came up a bit stiff and there was some of shrinkage, but most of that will be concealed.

Without the netting the thread colours came up bright.


A few auditions and I started attaching the birch trunks.


Problems necessitate flexibility and this time was no different. There were two issues that arose. I intended to stitch the boles in a loose satin stitch and then stitch over that with a bright, shiny embroidery thread white. Whether it was the residual stabilizer, now in the fabric or the number of layers of fabric itself, the embroidery thread shredded quickly.

I abandoned the satin stitch anchor and just went with the looser irregular zigzag with the shiny embroidery thread to both attached the birch trees and highlight the white. This worked just fine.
The issues with the cloth itself simply meant I had to stitch much slower.

I know there is a scientific or maybe psychological explanation but an odd number of trees always 'feels' more satisfying.


I'm leaving this piece uncropped and unfinished on purpose. Part of this workshop is why I over build my pieces (dimensions) and how to decide how much to crop.

This piece has a decidedly different look when square


and when rectangular.


Saturday, 18 November 2017

New Piece - Sample

I feel like I've done confetti art to death. It was well received by the CQA judges and I'm ready to move on. I'll do more, but just not right now.
After my little venture into the collage world, (fish), I'm not quite ready to jump into a major piece.

I'm giving a show and talk next month at the Dufferin Piecemakers guild in Orangeville and a workshop in the New Year. As the ladies haven't chosen a workshop theme yet I thought I would work up some fresh pieces that would be quick to finish and still have a lot of impact. The Confetti is a choice, but I'd prefer not to go there for a one day workshop.

I photographed this piece of original art a few years ago at a local show. The colour is chunky and I thought collage might be the way to go. Just a few colours but with a major impact.


The Blue and Greens were what caught my eye. ( And the birch of course )


 Confetti method but the pieces are much larger. I started with two colours of chiffon and then moved to solids.


After a false start I went back and added the dark foreground, and then started over with the foliage.


I muddied my 'birch' fabric and added some blue paint to tie things together.
After first covering it all with netting, I changed my mind, removed the trees and used the soluble stabilizer. I wanted a cleaner look without the net. As these pieces are much larger, it isn't necessary to stitch the whole thing.


In some ways it is easier to work with. As long as your fabrics are wet-able there is no issue with removing the stabilizer at the end.


The stitching is lighter and more open. This works up faster.

Collage Fish - Happy News

I ALMOST threw the collage/water background into the garbage the other day. I was getting very frustrated with my inability to remove the purple markings. I had a little chat with a fellow in my guild who has become quite adept with dyeing fabric. He too, was surprised I had difficulty removing the marks which for him, like me, had always disappeared.


I came home and tried steaming the marks. It was worse. I folded the piece and put it on a shelf.

In the middle of the night I got to thinking about how this piece of fabric was so different from anything else I had used, dyed, crayoned or painted. The answer was milk protein.

I had this fabric with me when I attended a natural dyes workshop with Maggie Vanderweit. It ws necessary to soak the cotton fabric in a milk solution to add the animal prtoein needed to get a good dye result from leaves and flowers.

The next morning I put a small amount of hot water in my washer, added detergent and oxyclean and let it soak.  I had nothing to loose, as the piece in this shape was unusable. After a soak and then a short but thorough rinse cycle I took it out of the machine.

It worked.
The piece came clean.  The batting held up well too.

A Win Win day.
So I'm back to where I might just finish this.