Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Of Snow-dyes and Silks

I thought for sure I had sewn myself into a corner--or more appropriately, when you see the final version, a sinkhole. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this wall hanging at this stage because I wasn't sure it would be worth preserving a memory of it. Someday I will learn to take more pictures. . .

I had just finished my goldfinch quilt, which created a design using reverse applique and I wanted to play around with that technique a bit more. I had also come across a snow dye from last year that was a bit wild and I wanted to challenge myself to do something with it. Ultimately, I decided to do a reverse applique where the fabric underneath had some texture to it. The only fabric that even remotely seemed to go with the snow dye was some blue-purple and red-purple silk. So for texture I pleated some squares that were around 10 inches and added some iron-on interfacing on the back to stabilize that silk that is always wanting to return to bits of thread  and to hold the pleats in place. I created a template that was an irregular organic shape that fit each of the pleated pieces, cut the snow-dye in those shapes to reveal the silk, and machine stitched the edges of the opening.   As I was finishing these up, I happened to notice that wonderful heavy thread made out of sari silk that I had bought in NYC and that I had been dying to work with. It was a perfect color and so I machine couched it around each of the silk shapes.

Now I had hanging on my working wall a piece of fabric with three fuzzy-edged blobby shapes on it and I had no idea where to go with it. And so it hung there for a long while. I would occasionally try something on it but nothing worked until one day I tried that sari silk (love the feel of that stuff) in a kind of a scribble shape and left it there over night. The next morning that scribble looked exactly like a tree and so three trees grew in the three pleated silk shapes. But it needed something more.

To be continued. . . .

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