Thank you all for your very kind comments re my "I Remember 17" Take It Further piece for February! The beautiful image by Sandro Botticelli, which was used in the print by P & B textiles that is in the center of the block, was so inspiring...
But now I am back to work, finishing up my project for the Kreninik Thread Company. I definitely have a leaf thing going these days, so decided to try out Ira's first leaf tutorial. (She has a second one, on how to make 3 dimensional leaves that are not attached to the fabric, posted here. ***Waving to Ira in Israel, thank you!!!***)
Step 1. My parchment paper is pinned in place where the leaves will go on. Here I am using a template for drawing my shapes. I like not having to draw on the fabric.
Step 2. The "warp" is stitched into place, through paper and fabric. (Don't you just love that early morning light?)
Step 3. Once the "weft" thread is brought through the fabric and paper from the back, it is needlewoven on the surface, not going through to the back until the entire leaf is done. I am using Kreinik Silk Mori floss here, by the way.
Step 4. The paper was fairly easy to tear out. I used a tweezers to pull the paper out from beneath the woven leaf, being careful not to pull on that floss, as it would separate and get wonky very easily if I did.
Step. 5 This was an assessment step! I found the edges too wobbly, not finished enough. I wasn't crazy about the tension irregularities in my weft either. So I decided to add one more step to clean things up. (This is no reflection on Ira's method, but due to my thread choice and the large size of the leaf shapes, I think.)
Step 6. So a chunky chainstitch went around the leaves to define the shapes and unify them a bit more. They are still a bit funky, but it's not a deal-breaker.
Here you see them in the context of the overall composition. At this point they dominate a little too much; it's now too heavy in the upper left corner. But the lower right just needs some extra color....I am thinking about adding some beads here. It happens every time, doesn't it? You just know they will spread all around the border.
But this afternoon I am off to Washougal High School's Fashion Design class to give the girls a trunk show of some of my work...to get them excited about embellishing and the possibilities of handwork, hopefully.
When I told Chad I would be there today, he said, "As Axel Rose says, Mom, 'Welcome to the jungle!' Only it's MY jungle."
So I'll get to see some current 17 year olds up close and personal......