In my last post, a Sentimental Journey, I filled you in on what’s been happening in my life the past few months. I had sketched a pretty good (for me) version of a wilting sunflower, and had an idea how to translate it into fabric. Once home, I decided to do an improv-pieced background and place my sunflower image on top of it. It turns out that the background I came up with was, actually, composed of two different improv ‘blocks’.
For the upper part of the background, the ‘sky’ I used strip piecing similar to a couple of earlier projects. I hand cut strips in a more or less consistent width, then stitch them end to end, in a fairly random order, then cut them into lengths equal to the width of the piece I need, then stitch them together side by side. For this project I used a variety of commercial fabrics, including some textural prints, and ginghams and shirting plaids, all in shades of blue.
For the “ground”, I put together some Sujata-Shah-style stack-and-cut strips of wedge shapes, also using different textures and shirting plaids, this time in brown and gold colors. They represent a late-summer field of dried grass, or corn stalks.
Here is a progress photo of the background piecing.
I sandwiched and quilted the background first, using a few different variegated Sulky threads, in golds, yellows, browns and greens, using a walking foot.
Then, I made a cartoon of my sunflower sketch, enlarged to fit the size of the piece (20″ by 30″) and cut out all the pieces from several hand-dyed fabrics and batiks. These were fused in place, edge-stitched, and embellished with more stitching, some free-motion, some not, in stages building from the background of the image to the front. The last step was to enhance some of the shapes with shadowing. For this I used Derwent Inktense® pencils and a fine-tipped ‘water brush’ to control the amount of water and prevent it spreading beyond the edges where I wanted it to be. I used facings rather than bindings on the edges, which has become my preferred mode for these little art quilts. It makes a nice, clean edge that hangs flat to the wall.
One disappointment with the finished piece is that although the stitches do not, the lines of the quilting showed through the applique a bit. This is especially noticeable in the photo, though it is not so much in person. But I am generally pleased with the finished piece. Even though technically, summer has just begun, here is Summer’s End, all done and ready to share.
Linking up with AHIQ over at Ann’s and Kaja’s.
Thank you for stopping by!