A few weeks a go I started work on a new rain forest waterfall design. I first drew out the basic background design onto nonwoven stabilizer and then gathered together my selection of fabrics for the background forest, rocks, pool and and sandy foreground, mostly batiks and hand dyes.
I started with the lighter background area behind the waterfall. Before starting work on the main quilt I made a small experimental post card sized piece to try out the technique I wanted to use.
Once all the pieces were fused in place, I added free motion stitching to give greater depth and create the impression of foliage. I then started to build up the layers of rock using invisible machine applique.
Of course, as usual I had my feline ‘helper’ making stitching a little difficult at times.
With the background now completed it is time for the fun part….adding all the details and embellishments. So far I have started adding a few snippets to give the effect of foliage in the areas surrounding the waterfall. These have been fused in place and then once I am happy with the arrangement I will add free motion stitching and some couched yarns.
For the waterfall I used some fine tulle which I shaped into folds to give the impression of flowing water and held in place with a free motion zig zag stitch and invisible thread then further free motion stitching and rayon thread. Behind the tulle I added a layer of angelina fibres to add a bit of sparkle.
The waterfall before being stitched down. I will next start to add rocks and foliage to the foreground.
I have been working fairly intensively on various projects over the last few months but am now between major projects, and while I decide what to do next I thought I would try my hand at making some fabric postcards. It is another of those things that I have wanted to try for ages but wasn’t quite sure how to go get started. I bought a book by Francis Kohler called “Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Postcards”, got some Fast2Fuse interfacing and I was all set to go.
For my first postcards I used some free motion embroidered leaves on organza which I had left over from another project. I stitched these to some batik fabric which I then backed with some ordinary stabilizer and decorated with free motion stitching. I then removed most of the stabilizer and fused the design to the Fast2Fuse and a backing fabric, then cut to the correct size. I used a satin stitch with variegated thread to go round the edges.
The next cards I did, were made using some fabric that I had hand painted and then made into an experimental seascape with rocks, spray and waves.
The Fast2Fuse is quite thick, but I found that using a number 12 topstitch needle I had no problems going round the edges with two rows of close zig zag.
For the next two cards I used some left over Mickey Lawler Skydyes fabric and added some daisies using raw edge applique and a bit of free motion embroidery. For these cards I added some lightweight batting and quilted them before adding the interfacing and backing.
For the last postcards I used up another experimental project. This time a collage of purple flowers and leaves which I cut without using any pattern and then embellished with couched yarn. These cards were also quilted before fusing to the stabilizer.
These cards are great fun to make and I can see why many people say that they find them addictive to do. They are relatively quick to complete, a good way of using up left over bits and pieces from other projects, and also an excellent way of trying out new techniques.
Well, we’re in to February now and it is still raining. We’ve lived in Brunei for fourteen years now and I don’t remember ever having such a wet season, we’ve even getting leeches and frogs on our patio on a regular basis. The frogs I don’t mind but leeches are not so nice.
I’ve been continuing to work on my rain forest art quilt design and it is slowly coming together. The difficulty is deciding how much extra detail to add, where to put it and when is enough.
In the photo above I’ve started adding some jungle floor foliage using raw edge applique, these fan palms are very common in the forest here.
fan palms and seedlings
fan palms spilling into the border.
These details are all attached using fusible web and I will secure them when it comes to the quilting stage. I plan to add a few more plants and some jungle creepers then I think I will be ready to put it all together and start the quilting.