I thought I’d try to make a small quilt with sort of a ‘watercolor’ feel. I started with these photos of coneflowers from my back yard.
After a lot of playing in Photoshop, I reduced the photos to this black and white ‘sketch’ — if I could only draw, this would have been done a lot faster.
I printed this on some cotton fabric and backed it with some stabilizer and then I experimented with different thread options for the leaves.
Even with stabilizer, and using a hoop while thread painting, the fabric was bunching up a bit. Also, the white fabric showing through the thread wasn’t giving me the look I was after, so back to Photoshop. I painted the sketch with multiple transparent layers to get a watercolor look.
Here’s the result after printing on fabric.
Before starting with the thread, I backed this with an ultra-firm stabilizer (peltex #72) and a backing layer of fabric. I started the thread painting on the stems, and kept it fairly light, but when I got to the leaves, the thread started building up pretty heavily.
At this point I knew the ‘watercolor’ idea was long gone, but I was liking the heavy thread work, and at least a tiny bit of the fabric color was showing through.
Here’s the finished quilt, Coneflowers. It’s 17 inches wide by 25 inches long.
And here’s a detail view.
I really like how it turned out, though it’s nothing like I intended. I think I might go back to the black and white sketch and try another version, but with much less thread work.
In honor of National Poetry Month, I wrote this haiku after working for hours on this thread painting:
Coloring with thread
Quilting or Embroidery?
Love all the texture.