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Maples Done

The work in progress I shared here is now complete. It measures 12″ x 12″. Click on image for a larger view.

I quilted the bottom section using the marks left by the twine used to wrap the fabric bundles during the printing process. They made for a simple, effective design. Then I fussed and dithered about how to quilt the silk screened piece on the right side. Ultimately I decided that simplicity was in order. I had enough quilting design in the other two sections and the silk screened design was quite enough for the right side. So, simple lines is what I did. A detail:

I couldn’t resist adding the beads. And, interestingly enough, this work is created entirely with silk fabrics. The botanical print fabrics are silk noil, the screen printed fabric is a very light-weight silk and the binding is a raw silk. Each has its own signature look and texture. I am very pleased with the way they play off one another while creating harmony.

On to the next! I have a lovely sumac print that is waiting for me. What do you have waiting for you that has your creative juices running?

Maples

Cutting into a strip of the botanical prints turned out to be quite liberating. I’m certain there is a psychological term for it but I’ll just stick with ‘progress’ and be happy for it.

I love the shape of a maple leaf and isn’t it wonderful that there are many varieties? Here is a small grouping of very delicate leaves. I have joined them with the last scrap of silk fabric that reveals the twine markings from the cochineal dye bath — see this posting for more explanation — and, on the right side, a piece of silk that I silk screened ten years ago.  Click on the image for a larger view.

Note that these sections are not pieced in the traditional way with a quarter-inch seam. Instead, I overlapped the fabrics by one quarter inch (or less) and used a very narrow zigzag stitch to attach them. This allowed for maximum use of each of the fabrics.

I auditioned quite a few threads for thread painting the leaves and decided on using another variegated hand-dyed pearl cotton that I purchased from Elin Noble. I’m quite happy with the results.

The thread painting went a long way in brightening the leaves. To continue with that idea and bring more balance to the bright silk strip on the right, I chose one of the Nature Colors collection from Superior Threads.

Things are coming together so I am back to work. There are a lot more circles to stitch before this small piece is done. It will measure 12″ x 12″ when completed. Stay tuned.