Friday, September 9, 2011

A quick leaf collage

Today I felt the need for some instant gratification.  I have been doing so much preliminary work that I wanted to make something that I could finish quite quickly.  Not instant gratification, but nearly so for fibre art.
Here is the finished piece.
Obviously, I have not finished the edges, nor decided what I want to do in that respect, that would take a whole other afternoon (after a bit of looking and thinking of course).

Last night I was watching Quilting arts TV episode 613, and was inspired to make this collage by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, who put together a srcap collage background for one of her lovely painted ladies.
I didn't quite use her method, but it inspired me.  Here's what I did.
I started with a foundation of thick interfacing, which you can see under the white cotton.  I mostly use this for my fibre work, because it saves using a hoop when I do free motion later. (I do not use a foot when doing free motion, and this requires very stiff foundations or a hoop.  (I don't suggest this as a safe way to stitch, it's just the way I do it, because I can see quite clearly what I am doing)
At the top of my fabric, you can see some texture stamping.  To save time, I decided to test out a set of stamps I made yesterday from sticky foam shapes stuck to perspex.  I needed to test them out before I use them on an upcoming project.
Here's a close up of the texture.  I want to use these stamps to create the texture of leaf  litter under trees.
As you can see, there are three different sizes, as I want the print to recede into the distance.
Here I have added another layer in another colour over the top.  This is how I want to use the stamps, layering the colours to create depth, but these two will do for this project.
OK, on to the collage part.  I basically cut bits (Irregularly) of scraps into squareish pieces and arranged them randomly, allowing some of the background to show through.  This was my first layer.

 OOps, I missed a photo.  Under the layer shown above, I scattered leaves cut from a variety of fabrics, from sheers, to velvet, ultra suede, knitted fabric, fleece, tyvek, etc.
Over this, I layered larger scraps of sheers, which had fusible on the back.  (I got an awful mark right in the middle - from not using a baking parchment sheet, but you will see how I fix that later)
Here is a better shot of the sheer layer.  You can see some of the leaves through the sheers.
Next, I outlined the leaves with free motion.
Then added some more over the top and stitched them down, ("randomly" covering the nasty mark) and voila' all done
A collage is born.  I am quite pleased with my quick project and especially all the lovely shiny fabrics.  I intend to do some "quilting as well around the leaves and it will reflect the leaf litter stamps underneath, just not sure which colour, grey, or brown, or.....

Decision, Decisions, Decisions....

Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions.  
Author Unknown