Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hand stitched details

I am adding some close-up shots because I realized that it is really difficult to see the details of my quilted tile, Lavender Grass. Often my work is noted for color combinations but in this piece, the stitching is more noteworthy.

It was enjoyable to try a new combination of stitches and threads. The green background was free motion quilted (stitching with the feed dogs down) so it was easy to move the fabric in an up and down motion creating the grass (and securing the layers together).

A pale lavender sheer was heated to the point at which the fibers started to melt and deform, giving it an interesting bumpy texture. This can be done carefully over a heat source such as a candle. There is a little experimentation involved, too close and the fabric melts entirely or, worse yet, becomes a glowing fire. (See why a save environment is important!) Just close enough to the heat and you will have get a randomly textured surface that holds its shape and doesn't ravel, ready for your moment of creativity.

I used my sheer for the misty look of the spent grass and added hand stitching using 2 stands of embroidery floss. For the dainty yellow flowers, I used pearl cotton in my needle and make colonial (candlewicking) knots.

To complete the upper portion of the tile, I changed to a silver metallic thread in my needle and hand stitched using a back stitch. This stitching is difficult to see on the photo, but it not only serves to quilt the layers together, but adds barely noticed grass skeletons to complete my roadside image.

Have you experimented with a new technique today? Do you have a stitch or method to share?

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