Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Up in the trees

Today's post is about  my work theme, which is leaves and nature, but it could also be about my Tangled Textiles challenge theme, which is look up.
I have been working on this piece.
Which is about looking up through the trees at the sun.
Whilst it fits 'Look up', it is not, however, the correct size, as I made it to go in one of my secondhand store finds.
It is a wrought iron fire screen.  you can't see it here, but the whole piece is very transparent and I like the effect.  I have decided to not put a backing on it, but as you can see, it does need some weight, so I am thinking along the lines of a beaded fringe on the bottom and some couched yarn around the edge.
however, as you can see I still have a bit to do.
To begin with, I layered organza from pale yellow through to deep blue and added a sun in a metallic fabric.  These were layered on light lutradur and then I free machined circular lines, expanding from the sun and changing to the blue shade.
Next I used some patterned chiffon in orange and brown tones to make the branches and free machined them down, adding a few free machined lines for twigs.
I started adding leaves which had been cut out of organza, chiffon and satin with a soldering iron, and of course I ran out of leaves.
So today I am making a new batch of leaves to add.
Here you can see I am set up to start making the leaves.  I keep the soldering iron in an upturned terracotta pot, which keeps it safe.  The fabric is hooped to help with burning.  I find keeping the fabric taut helps to make the lines easier to cut in the synthetic as it melts.
Here is a set just cut.  Basically I just draw a leaf with the soldering iron.  It helps to draw slowly, if you go too fast, the fabric can tend to move.
Here is a batch of cut leaves ready to go.  This technique also seals the edges of the fabric.
And this is what is left of the fabric - swiss cheese.  I am sure I will find something creative to do with it!
Next, I free machined the leaves onto the branches.
Basically, I do it in two motions, which involve a bit of backtracking.

Above left is the basic outline of a leaf   In the second picture, I go up the centre of the leaf.  Then in the third picture, I come back down, drawing the veins as I go.
Here I am a bit further along.
And with all the leaves added.  At this point, I decided the sun needed a bit more colour, so I just free motion scribbled a bit with a variegated yellow and orange.  And here is the final piece (before the edge treatment)
I am pretty pleased with the way this one came out.  I like to do leaves like this because they are dimensional and have a lovely texture.

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Make something wonderful and have a great time doing it!