Ginkgos in the Round

I’m in the midst of a couple large projects and seem to be moving slowly on them. In the course of working, though, ideas keep crowding my mind. I truly believe that the more one creates, the more ideas come to mind — sometimes, though, it’s a bit overwhelming. One of the ideas I was contemplating called very loudly to me so I decided to listen to myself and take a little detour.

I haven’t designed with ginkgo leaves in a while, but the images seem to float in my subconscious all the time. I was thinking about a class I took with Libby Lehman many years ago. One of her exercises was to sketch simple shapes on paper — rectangle, square, triangle, for instance — then create designs within the shapes. I thought it would be fun to use a circle and fill it with ginkgo leaves.

I chose a hand-dyed fabric and started drawing. The blue lines (a little difficult to see here) will disappear with a spritz of water when I’m done thread painting. I like the variation in colors of the fabric and decided to create a bold contrast with a 50-weight, solid gray-blue thread.

Ginkgos marked, thread selectedI cleaned and oiled my machine and replaced the needle. Yes,  I make a habit of doing this after 8 hours of stitching and/or at the start of a new project. After all, I expect my hard-working machine to be there for me and I feel that this is my way of meeting it half way. Next I did a test drive of the design on a fabric sandwich with the same weight fabric and batting I’m using for my project. And, boy, was I ever glad I had! I’ve been using 60- and 100-weight threads recently and the settings on my machine didn’t work for the 50-weight thread at all. Whew. Bullet dodged.

I stitched 2 leaves, tied them off and began on the third leaf. Almost immediately I felt a drag on the machine and was having difficulty moving the fabric sandwich. Naturally, I stopped to check the bobbin. Here’s what I found:

Stitched to the SliderAs my sister says, there are those who have and those who will. Clearly it was time that I stitched my Supreme Slider into a project. And now that the experience is behind me I view it as a simple reminder to pay attention. It is so easy to become focused on moving ahead and forget that what’s going on under the needle right now is worth your full attention.

With the Slider removed and the tiny leaf stitched, it’s time to get back into the rhythm of thread painting.

Slider removed, small leaf stitched

12 replies
  1. jennyklyon
    jennyklyon says:

    Beautiful Franki — a lovely design and I still love those ginkgo leaves. I’ve done the same thing with the Slider-many times actually! If I keep the back clean it won’t move and get in my way, but of course I had to learn that lesson many times.

  2. Franki Kohler
    Franki Kohler says:

    Thank you, Suzanne. This is a small project so I’m thinking you’ll see it complete next week. I’m rather please with how it is looking. And. . . those tiny leaves were drawn from actual leaves that fell this year.

  3. vivian helena aumond-capone
    vivian helena aumond-capone says:

    glad to know I am not the only one that has sewn through the slider,, also cut my Teflon sheet the other day instead of ironing on it! That should teach me to put it on my cutting board! Beautiful Ginkgo! PS.. not going to PIQF.. too much work to do at home.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Ah Vivian, I’ll bet every fiber artist on the planet has cut one (or more) of those Teflon sheets. Good thing they’re so darn forgiving. Too bad you are missing PIQF. I was there this morning and it was worth the trip.

  4. 379christy
    379christy says:

    It’s always good to listen to those inner voices, especially when they say such wonderful things. Love the heavy thread!

  5. HeathersSewingRoom
    HeathersSewingRoom says:

    Thanks Franki, really enjoyed reading about setting up your machine. Thread painting is something I would like to become more experienced in and you are inspiring me to make the time. Aren’t your Gingko leaves a great design, love them.

    • Franki Kohler
      Franki Kohler says:

      Nice to hear from you Heather! I’m delighted to hear that I have inspired you in some way. That is the highest compliment I can think of. Do give thread painting some time — I think you will enjoy it and the results.

Comments are closed.