Thursday, March 3, 2011

Thread painted tree

So it's thread painting Thursday and today I made a small freestanding applique for the waterfall piece.  It is the tiny tree that you can just see at the top of my design from yesterday.
To make this tree, I put some water soluble stabilizer very tightly in a hoop and started thread painting with straight stitch and a variegated brown thread.
Here, you can see just the basic outline of the trunk.  I made the shape up as i went along, but you can draw first if you would rather.  I find it easier not to have a line, so little mistakes and wobbles simply become part of the piece.
Next, I filled in the trunk, making sure I went back and forth over and over so the stitches interlocked.
And here is the finished trunk.
Next I  filled in the leaves.  Most thread artists tend to use a tiny granite stitch for this, however I like to use up and down strokes, simply because that is what Eucalyptus trees are like.  If I was drawing a deciduous tree, I might do it differently.
I loaded two values of khaki green, lighter in the bobbin and tightened the top tension so the lighter thread would show at the tips.  This is called colour spotting (see Encyclopedia of machine embroidery, or Beginner's Guide to Machine embroidered Landscapes)
This was taken at 10x using my digital microscope.  You can see the tiny bits of  lighter thread comming to the top.
here is the tree, with the foliage done.

These three pictures show the final steps.
While the work is still in the hoop, I pin it to a piece of poly styrene

Next. I release the hoop and trim of most od the stabiliser

Finally, I hold the piece under running water until the stabilizer has washed away
 The work the needs to dry
If you are impatient like me and If your poly styrene is very thick, you can push the pins right down and  use an ironing cloth over your work, lightly ironing until it is dry.  This will still take a fair amount of time, because you need to make sure the polystyrene doesn't get too hot and melt.
Your small piece can be used as an applique, or in another fibre work.
Hopefully in a week or so you'll see this one in the final waterfall piece
Tomorrow we will look at another fibre art technique in Friday Focus