Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snow Gums

For my WIP Wednesday, I am showing you the first steps of a new large landscape I have been mulling over for a while.
In this case, I did not have a sketch or photo to work from, the idea had just been in my head for a while.  I started by placing a large 1400 by 900mm   (about 50  by 36 in) sheet of lutradur up on my design wall.
The lutradur is lightweight and a pale green colour.  I get it by the roll from the hardware where it is sold as weed mat.  I have recently started using this under my free machined work because it gives it body without bulk, so I don't need to use a hoop or add batting to do free motion work.  It is very similar to light lutradur and becomes softer with use, especially when you are doing hand work.
You can see above I have drawn a sketch of the tree straight onto the stabiliser.  I know this is a difficult picture to read, because of the transparency of the lutradur.  Here is a digital sketch of what is drawn on the stabiliser.

Better?  At least now you will know what I am talking about.  I traced this onto wide format printer paper with coloured markers as my pattern.
Above, I have the pattern folded and some tracing paper ready.
Of course we all know that when the moment comes to begin a new project, the perfect fabric is nowhere to be found.
I could not find any sky fabric which I really wanted to use in this piece, so I took some mid blue fabric and painted it with decolourant!
Here it is before the decolourant dried.
After ironing, looking good!
after washing out the decolourant.
And after the final iron.  This is pretty close to what I wanted, except perhaps a little blue still (this fabric did not go all the way to white - even with steam)  This gives me an opportunity to add more white with thread later.
So now I was ready to start putting up the sky.  I do try to start from the distance if I can, but since I am pinning my pieces not fusing or glueing this time (to allow more ease in the thread painting), I can easily add extras in at any stage.
Here I am tracing the sky areas of my pattern.  you can see that I don't worry too much about accuracy here as the layers will all overlap.  The arrows I have drawn outside the piece are to remind me of this overlap.
Next, I take my tracing and pin it to my sky fabric.  Then rough cut out the pieces with at least an inch extra.
Here are two of the rough cut pieces.  Remember, the arrows mean overlap.  No arrows means an edge of the whole.  In this case, the top.
Next, I trim the tracings back to the line.  ONLY the tracings, not the fabric.
 This is the reason why.  I trace around the shape onto the fabric with an iron-off pen.  This is to help me place the overlapping layer correctly later.
Then I simply place these pieces onto my foundation in the correct place ready for the next fabric, which will be all the hills in the distance.
That was a lot of writing, for something that really took a short time.  Needless to say it might be a few weeks before you see the next step in this sequence.

Just to finish off on a high note, here are a few photos of a very friendly King Parrot I had a chat with this afternoon.
Hello there, you don't mind if I just have a nibble?
If I promise only to eat weeds, would that be OK?
Of course, with all these weeds, I might have to stay a while...
No, No, I was not casting nasturtiums on your gardening skills!
Oh well, it was a lovely chat and I must visit again soon.  bye.

As you can see we had a lovely talk and it wasn't until I had gotten about a foot from him/her that  he/she felt the need to depart.

I'll be seeing you