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.
It turned out lovely. What I always enjoy is when the piece takes over and takes you where you never expected!
Exactly. I usually plan out a quilt pretty much beforehand, but sometimes they just don’t cooperate with the plan.
Wow- love that you went through the process of how you did this. Thanks very much. The coneflowers are beautiful. Now to check the rest of your work elsewhere on your blog and subscribe to your blog. Do you teach this anywhere?
Thanks. I don’t teach, but I’m always happy to try to answer any questions, just leave a comment or send me an email. BTW, I’m jealous you’ve been able to do sun printing….nothing but rain here lately.
Explaining your design process and how you worked through the issues was very effective. And the final product is stunning. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks. I like to take photos of a project as I go (sometimes helps me ‘see’ things I otherwise miss), so it’s fun to go back and document the process.