September has and will continue to be a very busy month......which doesn't allow for much studio time. However, I feel very fortunate to have so many activities that keep me engaged in life!
As my eyes slowly heal (now nearly 4 months post cataract surgery), I get more and more itchy to get back to enhancing my projects with handwork.
Early this spring, pals Kate, Judy and I enjoyed a couple of care-free days at Folly Beach to ice-dye and otherwise get messy. With stacks of dyed cottons in my stash already, I brought some odd-ball fabrics in the hopes of getting interesting results that would kick-start new directions for me to explore.
I cut an antique linen lace embellished table runner in half and dyed each section using different colors.
This will be somewhat challenging as the linen is fairly wimpy and three sides are already finished.....leaving little opportunity to square the finished piece.
The three of us had a successful exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum which concluded in early July. Happily, we've already been invited to return in 2018. I KNOW that sounds far in the future, but considering we are able to hang nearly 100 pieces, it's not too soon to start new botanical inspired pieces.
So, along with the ice-dyed brown lace-edged piece, I dug out some dyed crinkled poly and a very pale piece of dyed cotton. I think the later may have been microwave dyed. I try to document the types of methods used when dyeing but.....well I guess I don't have to explain.....
......So then I set about creating a design featuring Honesty plants. I'm not rushing the project....just trying to enjoy the process......here's what I have so far.
The discs are made by fusing Wonder-under to the w/s of the dyed cotton fabric and layering some small circular brown fabric 'seeds' on top, between the crinkled poly fabric and Misty Fuse. The main stem is a very narrow strip of hand-dyed fabric and the smaller stems are hand embroidered.
I had planned to machine satin stitch the discs to the background, but even with stabilizing I worried about distortion, so I'll be slowly hand blanket stitching around each one and further embellishing with simple straight stitches using brown embroidery thread. It's a bit of a challenge since focusing is still somewhat difficult but I am improving and relieved to get my fingers on a needle!