I have just started work on a new series of small wall hangings inspired by the fan palms in the Borneo rain forest. It’s been a while since I started a completely new project but this is one I have been thinking about doing for a while now and I finally got started after a recent trip to the forest.
Unfortunately our walk was cut short by a big thunderstorm but not before I had taken plenty of fan palm photos, I then took one of these and made a number of crops so I can experiment with different views of the same design. I drew out my patterns in EQ7 because I want to later scale up any of the designs I particularly like.
I started off with making some freezer paper stencils and getting my old Painstiks out to make the background palm fronds.
I then traced the design of the palm frond onto fusible web and applied that to some hand dyed fabric. Have chosen to use raw edge appliqué for these small quilts because there are a lot of very narrow inside curves, so I layered up the top with batting and backing then stitched round all the edges of the palm fronds using a matching thread. I then used a darker thread to stitch all the ridges in the leaves.
Before doing this the design had looked very flat, but stitching in all the lines brings the design to life and gives it texture.
Finally I used a dark variegated thread to make lines of dense echo quilting in the background which again helps to make the palm frond stand out.