what if?

I recently made this small collage piece and thought that if I could see it easily in my workroom and be reminded daily, I might actually challenge myself more often to take a familiar technique several steps further than I currently do. When I have a piece which I consider a fail, I try to work out what has gone wrong and mostly I think it’s my colour choices so even though I have two colour wheels and an Ultimate 3-in-1 Colour Tool within easy reach, and I decide to use colour combinations that compliment each other, what actually ends up on the fabric falls far short of the original expectations. I’ve also always known that putting random colours of paint on fabric and expecting the end result to look fabulous will rarely, if ever work, but I do it time and time again and get the same muddy results or clashing colour combinations each time. I’m never surprised when this happens and I don’t know why I haven’t stopped doing this, but I’m hoping that from now on, seeing my “what if?” collage will be like someone shouting, “STOP! What if you actually think about this before you paint/draw/sew/cut….” Maybe I need several of these collages in strategic places around my workroom. Hmmm.

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Not sure about the heavy border of black soft cord but I think the appliquéd letters are a success. The large piece of painted interfacing the letters were cut from was a fail, but in smaller pieces the poor colour combinations seem more acceptable. I would consider this collage a success but I can’t really explain why. Do you agree? I welcome your opinions and or suggestions for improvement. I’m already working on a second piece using the same letter cutouts but in a different “what if?” manner.

Cotton fabric background coloured with acrylic paints. Letters hand cut from heavy-duty interfacing previously splattered with acrylics, and free-motion stitched to the background. The blue rectangles (painted cotton sheeting scraps) were stitched around the borders using a normal sewing machine presser foot with reduced tension and a very short stitch length. Backing fabric (not shown) of bonded twill fabric.


autumn winter challenge part 2

I drew cheeseplant leaves (Monstera Deliciosa) on my original tulip vase drawing but then didn’t relish the thought of satin stitching lots of near identical leaves so I changed my design – to an even simpler version of what you see below. Extra colours and details were added as I stitched and I’m not sure if it still needs more of either but I’ll leave it as is until the tulips are done and then check the balance.

I placed my original tulip drawings under heavy-weight tracing paper and then pencilled the outlines. When I was finally happy with the floral arrangement I inked over the pencil work, taped the tracing to a sheet of perspex and lightly pencilled it onto the calico using window light. Partly to avoid having to begin stitching and partly for fun, I subsequently coloured in some of the tulips. Too bad that thread painting can’t be as easy!

I also did a couple of practice pieces on a smaller hoop this week to determine how many strands of thread to stitch the petals with in long and short stitch and I’ve decided to stick with my usual choice of one. The practice hoop will also be used for testing and or fine tuning thread colour choices for the flowers. Yesterday I actually took the plunge and began stitching a tulip on the main hoop but I’m not taking bets on how many times I’ll unpick it before I’m happy with it!

tulip vase

tulips tracing