In my last post I descirbed how I painted and prepapred the background for my latest wall hanging. The picture below shows the next step with the palm fronds pinned in place ready to be fused, then stitched.
I then added the detail on the far river bank using thread painting. I first used a dark green along the lower and top edges, a lighter green to highlight the tree tops and then a thicker variegated thread for the palms alng the water’s edge.
The palm fronds were stitched in place using raw edge applique. Then the final step was to layer and quilt the whole piece.
The edges were finished with a narrow black binding.
Once the foundation pieced background was completed I started to add details for the rain forest, starting with tree trunks cut from a striped commercial batik which was just perfect for this purpose. I then cut snippets of fabric backed with Mistyfuse to create leaves and foliage.
I used the snippets to help blend the tree trunks into the background to creat an illusion of depth. Snippets in browns, reds and golds give the impression of fallen leaves at the base of the tree trunks and brighter green snippets provide contrast and give the impression of new growth and sunlight shining on the leaves near the top of the quilt.
Once the leaves were all fused in place I then used free motion embroideryand various plain and variegated threads to stitch them all in place.
I also added plants in the foreground and hand couched some cotton yarn for tree creepers.
I have recently completed several large projects and so felt like taking a break and working on something much smaller and quick to finish. I’d had the idea in my head for these bougainvillea flower inspired fabric postcards and had even made a quick sketch while I was working on something else so this was the perfect project to work on.
I started off with some hand painted ‘sky’ fabrics left over from other projects, then couched down several strands of hand dyed embellishment yarn. I used a free motion zigzag and invisible thread for the couching. I took some scraps of hand dyed and batik fabrics backed with ‘Misty Fuse’ to make the flowers and leaves.
I cut the fabric into tiny random snippets with sharp scissors. I’ve only recently started using Misty Fuse but so far I have found it very good to use as it is light weight, bonds well and doesn’t gum up the needle.
These were applied to the background stems using tweezers as the pieces were so tiny.
The leaves and flowers fused in place ready to be embellished with free motion stitching. I used several different shades of green rayon thread for the leaves and then several different pinks for the flowers. Bougainvilleas come in a wide range of colours here in Brunei apart from the standard bright pink that you mostly see across Europe, so it was a good opportunity to play with some of the fabrics I don’t tend to use so much and make a series of cards. Once all the stitching was complete I backed the cards with Fast 2 Fuse, trimmed to size and then zigzagged the edges using variegated thread.
In my last post I described how I created the pattern and started putting together my butterfly and flower design. Now, with all the pieces for the butterfly and flower fused to the background I added some thread painting with 40wt rayon threads which added a nice sheen and a little more texture.
Close up showing thread painting on the flower and butterfly
I did all the embellishment before adding batting and backing because I wanted the butterfly to stand out from the background. These photos show the design with the quilting completed because the original photos I took didn’t come out very well thanks to a nice smeary finger print across the lens of my camera.
thread painitng on the butterfly and flower
So once this was complete I sandwiched it all together and then began the quilting. I didn’t want the quilting in the background to stand out and draw attention away from the butterfly so I used a fine 50wt cotton thread which blended well into the hand dyed fabric which I used for the background. For the borders I used a thicker variegated thread and a trailing leaf pattern.