Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Roots" part IV

The Umpqua Valley Quilters' Show was last weekend, I managed to get my project finished with NO time to spare. It took all of my effort the last week, to concentrate on all the detail. I printed more photos to hang from the bottom, with the yarn roots. I tea dyed fabric to put on the back with fusible web, and wrote names and descriptions with a Pigma pen. My research at the last minute found 6 great-great grandparents photos. I had to put the names together with the genealogy, maiden names, and figure out who was who. I almost didn't add the extra photos, do to time constraints, but I am very glad I did. It added a finishing touch, as well as a link to further generations. I also added a few extra pics of grandparents, and places, like the old Wipperfurth farm in Germany. I need to find out what town it is in. I had the hardest time trying to find a picture of myself to fit into the knothole. I ended up with an early picture from around 30 years old, all the relatives pictures were the earliest I could find. So I decided not to use a current pic of myself. The detail on the quilt got to be overwhelming, I wanted to add everything I had put into the original sketch, each thread painted butterfly, each glass ladybug bead. The fern curl was one of the first things I put in my sketch, and the last thing I sewed, but it had to be there! I used the "Tube turners" and stuffed a bias strip with poly batting, it was tricky to get it stuffed and to curl nicely, hand applique was also difficult as I had to work around all the other finished stuff. The thread painted butterflies and dragonfly were done on a layer of tulle, and a layer of wash-a-way Solvy film. I used rayon thread, with a matching poly thread in the bobbin. They were outlined in black and highlighted with an iridescent pearl mylar thread. Sewn on with black thread on the body only, so the wings were free and 3-D. I added clear glass seed beads to the spider web to highlight it, the silver thread I used to stitch didn't show up very well, the beads added a lot of sparkle, also last minute. The two Steller Blue Jays were not entirely thread painted, they were fused applique first, then free motion quilted to outline and add detail. I used about 8 different fabrics on the jays, and 6 colors of rayon thread. I painted the black eyes and the white highlights on the eyes and face with acrylic paint. I added a touch of "Fray Check" on the eye to make it glossy. I figured if I had nuts in my tree, then I needed jays or a squirrel, I ran out of time on the squirrel. The fusible web did a mirror image on the bird, so I had to make a second one, the correct direction. I think having two blue birds at the top really balanced the design, one of the few things not in my original sketch. All of the 3-D leaves, trees, branches, and flowers, are one of the main features of the quilt, they ran through the middle level of the design, climbed the tree, and popped off the fabric, giving a real sense of depth. Depth was achieved several ways, I printed ferns and leaves onto the background with acrylic paint, then added raw edge applique with leaves stitched to the background, and finally 3-D leaves overlapping each other. Adding mushrooms, hand dyed cheesecloth moss and lime green velvet moss to the foreground added a lot of detailed layers. I had wanted to add more detail to the moss with silk ribbon french knots and green seed beads, but no time. I made the 3-D leaves several ways, I used fabric fused front and back to itself, for a stiff, but thin flexible fern frond, I stitched it only on the stem and left the leaves loose. For the trillium and vine on the tree, I stitched fabrics wrong sides together and turned them right side out, for a two sided leaf. These leaves had more thickness, and stitching added detail veins and highlights. Of coarse the mushrooms were the best, I made round yoyos for the tops, and took a little tuck in the back edge to make more of a cone shape instead of a flat disk. Most of the stems were stuffed with pipe cleaners, and gave them stiffness and flexibility. I tucked them into moss, and also stitched at the top edge of the cap to attach them. I had gotten 3 small rubber frogs that I sewed onto one shelf mushroom, and two other regular mushrooms, they were very cute!! Can you find them in the photo? The purple flower on the left has two layers, darker purple behind the top lavender petals. Seed and bugle beads in yellow are dangled from the inside with a round purple glass bead at each end. I embroidered the detail veins on the petals with vintage rayon embroidery floss. I finally added a few purple and white silk flowers to balance color and fill in some blank spaces, they are all attached with a seed bead. The only part I didn't like, is the bottom edge where I attached the yarn roots, the edges are all cut and stick up. I want to put some small antique bone beads over the raw edges, to give it a more finished look. The zig-zag bottom edge worked great, I only had so much tree fabric and the roots only reached so far, so I trimmed it that way on purpose. I like the effect it made of blending into the ground below. A straight edge would have been too abrupt.

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