Monday, May 26, 2014

Red Devil Begonia Leaf

The original leaf photo.
This project began with a walk through the local farmers market on a sunny Saturday, with my neighbor, we usually walk there every Saturday. I saw this beautiful begonia plant, that one of the vendors had, I asked if I could take a picture, as I have been making quilted leaves from my photos. He said he had a leaf I could have, that broke off when he unloaded the truck. What luck, and generosity! It is quiet large, at least 8" long, and very wide, the color is a bright vibrant burgundy, with darker green accents, and lime green veins. I carefully carried it home, and put it on the scanner, it did not turn out well, the scanner flattened the ripples and it did not look right, so I went with a regular photo on a white background. I was so excited, I could not wait to begin.
I enlarged by "postering" when printing, so it was on 4 sheets of paper. I did a black and white copy first to check the size, and how to make the curled part of the leaf overlap in 3-D. I printed on treated sheets of fabric with "Bubble Jet Set" and freezer paper backing. I did not have any trouble feeding the fabric through the computer printer. I printed a second sheet of the top left corner, to use behind the leaf curl overlap. Even though I used Photoshop to increase the color saturation, it still printed out very blah, so I made a light wash of acrylic paints with glazing medium, to punch up the color. It worked very well, but I lost some of the lighter highlighted areas.
I began by trimming each section, butting the edges together and fusing an iron-on fusible (Wonder Under) to the back, then fusing it all to a Bali batik in a very similar color. The technical difficulty of adding the extra piece to curve out over the front, was a challenge, I needed to find a pivot point, which was NOT where the four sections came together. It was at the base of the curl. I thread painted with rayon thread, the lime green veins first, then added a dark green around them, following the color on the photo.
A very dark burgundy went a round the edges, and a medium burgundy spread inwards in flame type veins, and mottling. I followed the darker areas of the print, and added some in the center also, surrounding the dark green and working towards the edge. OOPS!! I sewed two of the layers together, on the 3-D curl, unstitch! This was not the only time I did this, it plagued me all the way through the project. Pay Attention!!
You can see how the curl overlaps the bottom part of the leaf. I stitched a lighter burgundy, in the center from the veins out, then a medium mauve rayon to finish in a net pattern to fill all the center areas.
The Finished Leaf Wow, it came out awesome!! To finish it, I had to trim the outside edge, close to the stitching, then used a black Pigma pen the darken the edges, where some white fabric was showing. I decided to use a fine floral wire around the outside edge, to give it shape and help crimp and ripple the leaf edge. It took patience to zigzag stitch the fine wire to the back, with dark burgundy thread. I did not want a satin stitch ridge to finish it, the zigzag was softer and blended with the stitching I had already done.
The back of the leaf stitching, and a photo with the original leaf, the edge is turning black, my neighbor is trying to root it in a glass of water. The color is almost identical. The finished fabric leaf is 14" long by 12" wide.

Remember to enter to win until June 1st, a wall hanging or drawstring bag, by scrolling down to the previous post, and leaving a comment there. Click on the # of comments to add yours.

I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" to see what other creative textile artists are up to click on the badge in the right hand column.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Here is your chance to Win!! To celebrate my 20,000 page views, coming up soon, you will have a chance to win a small wall hanging or a drawstring bag. I will be drawing two names, Sunday, June 1st, when I get on the computer, so up until then you can leave a comment on this post. Make sure I can get in touch with you, with an email or link to your blog. The wall hanging is 13" x 15" it is a Gelli mono print, with my handmade stencils, then stenciled another layer with acrylic paints and sequin waste. A fabric border was added as well as additional leaves with fused applique. I was trying to find different ways to frame an 8" x 10" Gelli print.
The Frog Bag is my own pattern, I call it "Twisty Bag" as the strips twist around the bag, creating the points at the top. It is a fun vibrant green frog print, and is about 8" tall with a heavy drawstring. I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge at right to see other wonderful textile artists.

There have been 48 page views, but only 3 comments?? If some of you don't know how to add a comment, Click on the "# of comments" at the bottom of the post, to add your comment.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Keep in Touch - Give Aways

I am planning some give aways for the week of my 20,000 page views. So keep in touch for your chance to win some handmade goodies. I am collecting items now, to get ready, it will be next week, or the week after. If you follow me on "Off the Wall Friday" by Nina-Marie you will get notified there too. Thank you for checking out my blog, AMY

Needle Felted Landscape

I wanted to start a quick little project, so I got my needle felting machine out from under the table. It is a Pffaf, Smart Embellisher, I have hardly ever used it. We are gong to be working with wool in the Fyber Cafe group, for the next couple of months, so I wanted a sample to show them. At our May meeting,click here we did some hand needle felting, with one needle or the hand held multi needle tools. We are going to be dyeing some wool at our August meeting, then have a wet felting Play Day.
I had my handy helper sleep test the piece as I worked on it. She said it was soft enough for a nap, but needed some black fur felted into it.
Note the box of colored wool roving behind my assistant. I also have some silk, silk blends, mohair, mohair curls, and some blends with Angelina fibers in it.
I began with some felted wool, from machine felted sweaters, that I got from an artist at a garage sale, I wish I had gotten it all, she had felted tons of sweaters. I needle felted the two pieces together, and started adding blue sky colors, some light teal, and some bits of purple. The background blue was fairly dark and it gave it great depth where it showed through.
I added some green wool balls for trees, added little brown twists for trunks, and made two red barns as a focal point. Various shades of green layered the hill side, I did not have a plan as I went along, maybe a plan would have helped the layout a bit. At the bottom right I added "nepps" little balls of waste wool, I had to cover them with loose fibers to get them to stick down, otherwise they just stuck to the shaft of the needle. I have lime green and lavender, they created lots of texture.
I added hand embroidery with vintage rayon threads, gold on the left for tufts of grass, and pink, lavender and lime green French knots on the right. I have an old Whitman's Chocolate Sampler box jammed full of vintage Rayon embroidery floss. It is a bit of a rat's nest, but I pull out individual strands of thread to embroider with.

I used rayon thread to machine free motion quilt the entire piece, the shine adds texture to the soft wool. I added a third barn on the far left, and some gray silk for smoke from the chimney. I think it came out lovely, it's about 8" x 10" and now it needs a name. I will probably add a yarn to hang it from a branch.
The finished piece. I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other talented textile artists are doing this week.