Friday, June 13, 2014

Birch Tree & Swallowtail

The inspiration for my next project comes from another of my photographs. The birch bark will make some wonderful texture to stitch, and I can make it into a 3-d tree section. I'm going to make it tubular, so it stands, with a branch of leaves and several swallowtail butterflies.
I will use my own pic of the swallowtail also, it was sucking moisture from the mud, I have since found out, that the males do this to get minerals from the mud to create pheromones for mating.
I enlarged the bark to 2 x 2 pages in the posterize setting in Windows print wizard, it will make about a 5" diameter tree trunk. It is all fused together with a muslin backing with Wonder Under for stability, for when I do all the stitching. I am using rayon thread, it is not so "natural," but I like the shimmer it creates, and it will highlight the texture. One side of the tree is slightly green, I used a dull gray green thread, and on the other, I used black first and stitched over it with a charcoal. On second thought, I probably should have threaded BOTH spools thru the machine and stitched them together for the effect I wanted. Oh well, next time. I am adding bits of small detail with a pearl white thread, to give it a lift, as it was getting too dull. On the dark slashes on the tree bark I used a gray cotton "Halloween Netting" that I dyed to green, it has knots at all the intersections and LOTS of texture. I keep looking for more every year, to dye other colors, but can't find it again. Last year I did find a black cotton netting with larger holes, and no knots, but it worked beautifully on the knot holes. I cut a few paper butterflies to check them out and pinned in place.
DETAIL PHOTOSI am going to print the butterflies on fabric, and I'm deciding how much of them to thread paint. Also deciding if I want to make leaves free hand out of Lutrador or print them on fabric and thread paint them. I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see other wonderful textile artists.


  1. wonderful texture. I like the idea of some floating wings. It's so neutral, and textural and subtle.
    LeeAnna Paylor