Posted in hand embroidery, painting, quilting

Return to Lake Montgomery

It’s been a while since I shared the turtle in the pond fiber object. As a reminder, it was inspired by a photo taken by Bill on a recent camping trip at Lake Montgomery.

I loved the light, the colors and the texture of this image. I knew right away that I want to create my own version in fabric.

Here is a recap of how I processed this inspiration. First of all, I used fabric paint and the Shibori technique to render the background on cotton fabric.

The piece is about 15 by 20 inches.

After the paint dried, I added another layer to render some shadows. Next I painted the two halves of the turtle onto white fabric…….

……………..… and appliqued them to the background using fusable interfacing.

This is how things stood while I pondered what other elements would enhance the image.

I decided on a few damselflies. More images by Bill were consulted. I picked three beauties, hand embroidered the bodies with floss and machine stitched the wings.

You can see the water plants I added in the foreground using applique and paint.

I sewed on a black border and then paused. This week I finally got around to quilting. My intent was to make the stitch lines look like pond ripples.

How did I do? Are they watery enough?

It took a lot of pondering and a dose of courage to add the turtle’s reflection. The only real option was to hand paint it using opaque Setacolor. So I did.

And here is the finished project.

Springtime at Lake Montgomery
Detail of reflection

This fiber object is now a wonderful reminder of a very special camping trip.

Posted in hand embroidery, quilting

Sunday Walk, Sunday Work

Yesterday was cool, but sunny. We went walking on our favorite trail, the Pathfinder. On sections of the path which are not shaded by trees, there were wide swaths of blooming flowers, predominantly white clover. Clover is not a native plant here, but still highly valued by the local denizens of the air – bees, butterflies and dragonflies. Bill got some great photos of these fliers with his high-tech telephoto lens. I confined my efforts at photography to things that hold still – especially the flowers. I also snapped photos of the pond, focusing on the willow branches which overhang the water. My goal is to incorporate additional elements into my turtle fiber object.

Upon returning home, I set to work. I have been fussing for the past three days over how to add pond insects to the turtle FO. I first tried making appliques on a scrap of fabric with the intention of fusing them to the background. That technique didn’t seem to work well. It didn’t give me the transparency I wanted for the wings and it didn’t give a life-like look.

But then I stumbled upon Lola Jenkins, a self-taught fiber artist who specializes in thread painting.

https://www.lolasdesignerquilts.net/craftsy-class

This bold, fearless quilter takes a black sharpie marker to her quilt, creating permanent stitch lines. She then stitches over these lines with black thread. In her Craftsy class, she likes to say, “If you are like me, go for it!”

So I did. Not with a marker, but a pencil. I drew the insects, then free motion quilted all of the pencil lines. Here are the inspiration photos (taken by Bill) and the resulting free motion quilted images.

I used embroidery floss to fill in the bodies

Now my lovely turtle has a few companions. I’m happy with today’s additions and feel more confident about starting the next step – background quilting.

Posted in hand embroidery, painting

Hydrangea in my Rearview Mirror

Before I say farewell to my study of the oakleaf hydrangea plant, I want to share the little study I made of the blooms. Above is a reference photo for the plant. The “flowers” open pure white, changing over times into shades of rose, rust and green. I say flowers in quotes, because the part of plant that most people identify as a flower – it has petals, after all – is really a bract, or sterile flower. The real flowers are in the tight little buds that you see at the top of the panicle. Here is a specimen, much dried up, that I took from my hydrangea.

Interestingly, there are some bracts with four petals and some with five. I did a drawing in colored pencil before I started making the fiber object, which depicts the rusty pink color of late summer.

My first thought was to make corner blocks for my quilt with images of the flower panicles. But after I had assembled the quilt and laid out the border, I decided corner blocks would not improve the quilt at all and might even detract from the focus. By then I had already started a sample block.

It is a sweet little object, just 4 by 4 inches. Made with hand painted cotton, block printed and embroidered. Perhaps I can use it in another project.

Posted in Uncategorized

Easy Peasy Tassel Necklace

I’m back to the Daily Fiber blog, after a pretty long vacation trip. The fatigue of the trip has sapped my creative energy. So I thought it would be best to make an easy fiber object on my first day back.

This little necklace showed up in a women’s clothing catalog I paged through recently. It’s very fetching, but to me, not a good value at $70.00. I’d like to try my hand at my own version.

To make the tassels, you will need one skein of embroidery floss for each tassel, some jewelry jump rings, a few beads, lobster claw fasteners, thread cutters, tapestry needle, and glue.

Here are the first six tassels completed.
  1. With the paper sleeves still on the floss skein, slip a jump ring to the skein’s center, or tie the skein tightly in the middle with a piece of floss. Slip off the paper sleeves.
  2. Fold the skein in half, holding the ring or floss tie at the top. With another piece of floss about 12 inches long (matching or contrasting,) make wraps around the top of the tassel, working down the tassel about an inch or as desired. Tie the two ends together with double overhand knot.
  3. You can hide the knot by threading the ends on a tapestry needle, then push the needle up through the wraps coming out of the top of the tassel. Do this one end at a time.

At this point, you can finish off the tassel by attaching a lobster claw clasp to the ring, or if you used a floss tie instead tie the ends to the clasp. A drop of glue on the knot will keep it from coming loose. Cut the excess thread away. If you want to add beads, they can be threaded on the ties before you attach the clasp.

Trim tassel ends to length desired and you’re done! Here is my finished necklace. I spent less than $10, including the chain.

For this necklace, I made an additional couple of tassels out of yarn.

What a coincidence! This necklace goes very well with my new shirt!