Marsha chose this month's theme and she chose flowers. Such a perfect theme for mid summer. I am a huge lover of flowers and grow a variety of perennials as well as annuals. They are always an inspiration.
I was a bit late in even thinking about what to create this month. Early in July I was still under the influence of pain medication and was only able to do some watercolor washes and doodling for the Art Elements post. I created several flower doodle drawings that you can see here if you missed it.
Finally when the fog of medication wore off I realized I needed and wanted to create something that had been on my mind for a while. I created some cyanotype prints on fabric a couple years ago that I wrote a blog post about here. This particular piece has been sitting near my sewing machine begging for my attention. I knew I wanted to either use it as a centerpiece for a larger quilted wall hanging or alter it and do some hand stitching.
I opted for hand stitching-the only thing is I didn't think any of it through before I starting stitching.
Perhaps there was still some brain fog going on. I picked my thread colors and started sketching some flowers across the top of the skull. About half-way through with embroidering the flowers I realized I had no idea what the end results were going to be. The fabric piece was approximately 9.5x11". So did I want to just frame it? Nope. How about just cutting out the skull and flowers and fusing it to another piece of fabric to mount on a canvas or frame? Maybe BUT I was almost half finished with the flowers and knew that if I cut around the stitched flowers I might end up cutting the stitching or I would end up with some ragged edges. What to do???
Before going any further I decided to see if I could use just a little watercolor to cover the white lacy looking pattern at the top of the fabric. It was actually a plastic placemat that I used for the cyanotype print. It looked cool until I started stitching and the stark contrast of white was too busy with the flowers. So I tried watercolors and of course I got it a little too wet and the watercolors started to bleed into the stitched flowers. YIKES!! So lots of flushing with water to try and remove the color before it set. Lots of blotting and lots of cursing. This was definitely a lesson in 'what not to do"! When I finally removed all the color from the stitched areas I was able to tone down the bright white with just a small amount of watercolor. I let the fabric dry thoroughly and decided it was time to make a decision on cutting and fusing to another piece of fabric before I did anymore hand stitching.
|As you can see from the previous photo to this one, I kept adding flowers and leaves as needed. My initial sketches just didn't quite seem to be enough.|
I knew that black fabric would really set off the colors well so I delicately fused some wonder under to the back of the cyanotype being careful to not put too much pressure on the embroidery so it wouldn't flatten it out. Then I decided on a somewhat oval shape so I could almost cut out all the areas that I didn't like on the cyanotype print. Once it was fused down to the black fabric I stitched around the perimeter with fly-stitches and then went back to finishing the flower wreath on the skull. I decided to have the flowers spill over the edges of the cyanotype onto the black background to ensure that the cyanotype was fully incorporated onto the black. When I was happy with the flowers I decided it needed just a few beads. So I used some size 8° beads with an 11° as an anchor bead to scatter around the feather stitching along the edge of the cyanotype.
|Ready to be layered over quilt batting & stapled to a canvas for framing|
Here's a list of the guest participants and the Art Elements team members. Please enjoy the blog hop.
Evie and Beth
Art Elements Blog Contributors:
Cathy You're here!