I realised while I was over on my flickr account that I forgot to post about some artwork I made for my family as christmas presents. I couldn't show you at the time as they might have been peeking on my blog and I didn't want to give the game away but now I can show you a little more. As is the way of presents made at the last minute, I didn't manage to get as many photos in good light as I would have liked but hey, I'm just glad I remembered to take any!! So here is the first piece I made based on dried flower head drawings from one of my sketchbooks.
Quick sketch of flowerheads
Fabrics before stitching
The background is two layers of different fabrics that were hand painted with dyes which were then stitched over using free embroidery. The background stitch size is a bit bigger than I wanted but my machine was playing up with the thread so I decided I could live with it:) The fabric strips for the stems were just stitched in place although I think it would be nice to fuse them with bondaweb to avoid having frayed edges - unless you want them as a feature. In fact you could just fuse the two layers of fabric together if you wanted to exclude the 'texture' of the free embroidery stitch altogether or keep the stitch and back it with wadding to have a quilted piece which would resolve the wrinkled effect.
The main issue I think with this is the close-up detail looks fine, all in proportion and balances well but when you stand back and look at the piece overall you realise there are areas that need a bit more attention. The stitch detailing is lost from a distance and it doesn't hold its own compositionally. I also got a bit carried away stitching the little curly stems at the bottom so I need to remind myself when to stop too! Hopefully I can get a really good picture of it in its frame soon as it looks so much more intense and detailed in real life. The poor light in these photos has bleached the intensity of the dyed colour somewhat.
This was more in the nature of a quick colour study in fabric and stitch. In retrospect, I would have planned the compostition a bit better beforehand if I had had more time, but saying that there are elements I really like and elements I'd like to change so lots of ideas to take forward for the next study.