Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Border embellishment

Good afternoon ladies! I hope everyone has recovered from the holidays. ;0)

Sewing every day hasn't been happening; however, creating has! Getting started on the embellishments for the border was very hard. I don't know what the problem was, but I just couldn't get started. I think it was like when an artist stares at a blank canvas and is afraid to get started. It's been awhile since I embellished any of my CQ pieces so that probably had something to do with it!

It took me a a couple of days of staring and pulling fabrics and looking at books and looking at beautiful photos on flickr but I finally got started. The first thing I did was take Block 4 (the center block on the bottom) and change it from this (click to embiggen):
Block 4 - beaded
to this:
Block 4 - revised
Yup, I took out that strange row of french knots and beads. I liked it; however, it was in the wrong place and just took over that whole area. Now, of course I needed to find something that fit in that area. Since it is the center block, I thought a bunch of grass or leaves or something might work. I went through my hand-dyed fabrics (I didn't dye them, I just bought them) and pulled a really nice, olive green piece and cut out some nice leaves:
Leaves - olive grn
Hmmmm... nice design, nice fabric, not so nice in this application. Olive green is not the right color! So, let's try a nice blue-green:
Leaves - dark grn
Hmmmm... nice design, nice fabric, not so nice in this application, again. The color is right; however, the camera is picking up more contrast than is actually there, you can hardly see the green leaves in person. I also think it's too stark, although it would make a great agave for a southwestern block! ;0)

Finally, I tried these crocheted leaves that I got at an estate sale last summer:
Leaves - crocheted
I like these much better as far as shape and texture, but they may be a bit too light in color. I may try and make them a little darker with some fabric paints, we'll see. I'll let them sit awhile and move my focus down to the end of the row of blocks where I want to put some mushrooms. Here is a mockup of some mushrooms cut out of felt:
I really like the dimension the felt gives them, especially with two layers of felt. I decided I wanted to join the layers together off the fabric and then attach them to the block with beads or something. I used buttonhole stitches with perle cotton at first (bottom), but it seemed too heavy, so I went with 2 strands of silk floss (middle). Then I realized that they had more of a folk art look than I wanted. What I wanted was a design more suitable for the world of fairies, something soft and magical... so I came up with the swirls on the top mushroom:
Mushrooms - variety
I like the swirls much better, the folk mushrooms will get saved for something else! I'm not sure if the swirls are too close in color to the mushroom, so I may try a different color on some of them tonight. In any case, I did get started on the embellishments! ;0)

That's all for now, take good care of yourselves and I'll talk to you in a few days.


Miss 376 said...

So much patience to get it right, can't wait to see what makes it onto the block

Debra said...

You are much better to experiment than I am with embellishments. I should probably take some lessons!

Anonymous said...

I like the lighter-color embellishments. They have an ethereal quality. The dark green looked dead, and the gold didn't go at all.

I too have blank-canvas issues these days. I have been making art long enough to not worry about it, these phases come and go.

Have a lovely day.

Allison Ann Aller said...

Those colors and images just POP on the black and white borders...I didn't know you had this in mind and I think it is fabulous!!!!

Anonymous said...

I really like the swirly idea. Love to see how this is going.