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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Stuck in the Trees

Here it is... the long awaited commission for D.  She's the one who said, "just make me something.  Be creative."  I don't want to make her something she might not love.  I had to probe a bit more and did get the words green, summer, and trees from her.  This image popped into my head.  It was from the end of Bergheim Road, east of the city.  I found it the day I went searching for flax.  I've always wanted to stitch this one!  Here's my process so far...

choosing fabric colors, source photo nearby

It all begins with the perfect sky.  This one was a section of cloth from Dahn (sounds like Dawn) Cassleman in the Yukon!  She's at the Wilderness City Quilter blog.  I don't dye - or haven't much yet.  So when friends send me sky fabric, I'm quite thrilled.  It was a terrific barter for the thread I sent her.  I stick all the land pieces on with glue.  Lapel Stick works best for me.  I know many threadpainters dye or paint silk backdrops first, or transfer photos onto the cloth... but the way I do it means I can begin stitching right away.

machine stitching, blending colors, painting with thread

I go top to bottom in the scene.  It really is like painting.  I add thread by color where it's needed.  I blend.  I have stitched into the sky before, but this is nice the way it is.  Plus, it will be somewhat covered in tree boughs when I'm done.

One of my favorite parts of the process is finding the right colors - whether it's the base fabric or the threads for stitching.  My thread stash is SO HUGE (yes - I am indeed bragging here) that it's like going on a scavenger hunt in my sewing room. Fun.  ; )  It's incredibly satisfying to find the perfect color match.

i always have the right color since that garage sale last summer!

I love love love to work with variegated threads.  Look how perfect this next spool will be for the brush in the corner of that scene!  (See?  The constant exclamation marks tell you I'm excited!) 

auditioning thread

I got to the point yesterday where I had pretty much finished the background.  Here it is so far!

7x9... maybe a tad bigger.

My plan is to stitch in the trees by machine, and then embellish the foreground by hand.  I am nervous about the trees.  It was a lot of work, and there's no going back if I screw this up.  I figured that this time, I need to have a plan and sketch it out a bit first.  I came up with this idea to have the opening off centre.  I love the way the tree line top is in a V-shape.  It has nice movement to it.

sketching out a plan...

Now I am 'stuck in the trees'.  I spent an hour trying out thread and combinations of threads, and a variety of stitches & tension alterations.  I'm getting close... I think I'm ready but WHEW it's time to call it a day.

practicing up for the trees

There you go!  Linking to WIP Wednesday at The Needle & Thread Network.  See you there.


22 comments:

Karen said...

Loved watching over your shoulder as you work. Great post!

LeighAnn said...

This is a type of artwork I wasn't aware of until I saw yours. I love it!

Kit Lang said...

So fun to watch you go. :)

HollyM said...

You have your own way of working which is what makes it special. I love the picture; it's going to be lovely.
It's funny when I followed your progress and you mentioned that the trees came next, the first thing I thought was,"oh boy, that would sure make me nervous stitching on top of the scene with all that work!" Of course that was the very next thing you said. You've prepared we'll and you're waiting for another session. It will go perfectly!

B J Elder said...

You have a wonderful eye for color. I'm still working on my thread stash. The right color and intensity makes all the difference, that's for sure. Like the others have said, it is wonderful watching over your shoulder as you add each layer.

Heather A said...

Love the glimpse into your process. Looks crazy fun ... and SCARY! (GOOD scary, though).

Jeanette said...

Very beautiful. Good luck with the trees, I'm sure it will look fantastic when you are done.

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

Amazing!! Looks great already. I love how you bring a prairie scene to life.

elle said...

The way you work makes sense to me. Lots of fun!

felicity said...

A big time WOW from me. It looks beautiful!

Megan said...

I love reading about your process Monika, it is so fascinating. This piece is looking wonderful so far, I think it will turn out just as great as all of your other ones!

greelyrita said...

Doing a piece that's heavy with trees like this.. I guess you could say, you're branching out! HA HA HA...I kill me sometimes. :)

Looking really good so far!!

Christie DescribeHappy said...

Good golly I adore your work. Seeing the steps from what your thinking... to pasting fabric.. to thread painting. Totally fantastic! I must find a way someday to spend some time stitching with you. I'm sure I'd learn a ton and we'd laugh the whole time! Good luck with the trees!

Susan Being Snippy said...

totally enjoyed your description of your progress!

Mary Ann said...

I loved this post. I like to see how it`s done. It really blows my mind when I see how you create such amazing pictures.

Caroline Heinrichs said...

Lovely work, thanks for the tidbit of information on your process. Happy Autumn Monika!
Carli

Connie said...

Beautiful work and love seeing the way you are stitching down the background. Sheila mentioned you and I had to come take a peek. Can't wait to see the trees!

Terry Aske Art Quilts said...

Beautiful fabric and thread interpretation of the scene! It's wonderful to see your process, and I'm looking forward to seeing the tress!

Cathy Tomm said...

Very good start. I think I would be nervous of the starting the trees too.

Coleen said...

Monica, I am in awe of your work. I have never been able to paint or draw but put fabric in my hand and I can create pretty much anything. I stubbled across your site and am so happy I did. I lived in Saskatchewan for many years and there is a big part of me that wishes I was back there. The prairies are beautiful. I now live in Peachland BC, its a nice place too. Please keep up the great work, I am anxious to see the next steps of the piece you are working on now.

Dahn said...

Your piece is looking awesome. Can't wait to see how you finish it.

Lee said...

Lovely work, thanks for the tidbit of information on your process. Happy Autumn Monika! Carli

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