Wednesday, June 18, 2014

"Paper Birch and Swallowtails"

Leaves were the next step in my project. I decided to make them with a photo on fabric instead of the Lutrador. So I grabbed a branch off of my birch tree and put it into the scanner. I printed it with the computer, larger than life size onto fabric pretreated with Bubble Jet Set. I fused it with a Bali batik and stitched the veins first then the edges, with green rayon thread. There was very little detail in the leaves, plain and simple, the stems how ever were difficult. I started by zig zaging a fine wire onto the leaf backs and the stems, awful, they looked ragged and unfinished. So I ended up wrapping the stems with a 3/8" cut strip of bias batik. It made it a little bit heavier than I would have liked but the color is good.
I worked on the birch bark to get it into a tube shape, after stitching it, I quilted over the seam to blend it together. I found a half inch piece of PVC and a dowel that would fit into it, and a piece of finished board for a base. Wrapping the PVC tightly with a cotton batting, I got the diameter I wanted and stitched the edge to make a roll. Stuffing it into the bark tube was a trial in patience. Whew, pulling and tugging!! I screwed the dowel to the base, and the PVC with the bark tube slides on nicely.
I worked on the butterflies next, I printed them on treated fabric, and fused them to a pale yellow backing. Thread painting all the black detail was next, I used rayon thread, and it was difficult stitching black on black. When I turned it over, you could see areas I missed, but couldn't see it from the front. Since the back of the butterflies would be seen, I used Pigma pen to black in the area on the back. Tiny details of orange dots, turquoise dots and yellow crescents were added, and a gray body. The yellow of the photographs was left plain with no thread.
The finished butterfly, I trimmed it and added fray check along the edges. The wings will be free, it will be applied only on the body.

Two views, lit by side lighting. It is so awesome, the pictures don't do it justice.

Two views with natural lighting, still not the best, I think the focus is off. I still have to finish stitching on the butterflies, and put a top on it. I need to take a pic of a cut tree with the growth rings on it. I thought I had one in my photo files, but no luck. I will link this with Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click on the badge in the right hand column to see what other wonderful, creative, talented textile people are doing.


  1. Amy, I don't know your email addy... I'll walk you thru the tute on circles, email me!
    LeeAnna leeannaquilts at gmail dot com

  2. Love the creativity and unconventional shape!

  3. amy, I put up another picture on the circles tutorial that may help make it clearer! Let me know if it helps.
    LeeAnna Paylor not afraid of color