I started this project after a walk on a beautiful sunny day. Using white fabric, I machine stitched shapes using a twin needle and then cut out parts. I coloured a second piece of white fabric using Caran D’Ache Neocolor II water-soluble wax pastels and Derwent Inktense Pencils. The plan for the piece evolved as the weather changed. An ice-storm brought down many branches from my pine trees and then froze them to the ground and covered them with snow.
I stitched the pine branches onto water-soluble stabilizer with the sewing machine and once the stabilizer was washed out I sewed them onto the back side of the cutouts.
Prudence is another doll whose shape was inspired by a bottle. (See Making a Pattern from a Bottle here.)
I used the sewing machine to make the hair. Using the same green thread I used in the body, I sewed straight lines on water soluble stabilizer and then sewed over it with a decorative stitch that caught both straight lines.
After washing out the stabilizer and letting it dry, I cut it up and used Fray Check to seal the ends before sewing it on the doll’s head. I marked dots on the head with a pencil as a guide.
The face was painted with pastel pencils.
Here is the completed doll.
I love So You Think You Can Dance. This season I have been trying to sketch while watching it on TV. I have no way to record the program and stop the action, so I make very crude stick figures in various positions all over the page of my sketchbook. Afterwards, I use my little artist’s manikin and put it in the position of one of my stick figures and draw a slightly better sketch of the dancer.
Once I have a sketch I like I trace it onto water soluble stabilizer. I use free motion embroidery to fill in the figure and then add a lacy grid pattern around it to make a rectangle. In my first embroidery, I filled the background in a little more than I intended so I added some gold metallic thread to the figure to help it stand out.
I left it for a time while I decided what to do about it. It needs a back ground in order to see the figure. Hanging it in a window also works, but the sun would not be good for it.
Meanwhile I had done some more sketches and was ready to try again. I figured, as long as I have to add a background I might as well embroider it on a background and then I don’t have to make sure all the bits of the background lace is attached to other stitches. So I went off to my favourite sewing store, Yarn Forward & Sew On, to get some suitable stabilizer. Well, I did buy a little bit of stabilizer, just in case, but Jo-Ann Raven persuaded me that I should frame it in a deep frame with the fabric close to the glass leaving space behind the embroidery for light. So that is what I did. Thanks Jo-Ann.
At the moment I have not put any backing on the frame. I have photographed it hanging on a blue wall (at an angle to avoid reflections) and again out in the garden.
For my second embroidery, also on water soluble stabilizer, I did less background stitches. I think too few. In future, I will do something in between, less than the first attempt and more stitches than the second.
I made some more fish.
I made three bodies and then embroidered the eyes and fins.
I’m still having trouble with the stabilizer scrunching up as I sew but it’s a little better after putting it in the freezer for a while before I start embroidering on it.
When I started to sew on the fins , I realized that I had forgotten to embroider the dorsal fins. I also didn’t like one of set of eyes, so I decided to redo it in a different colour.
The tail fin of the green and purple fish was a little floppy so I coated both sides with Acrylic Matte Medium. When I finished the fish I hung them outside to photograph.
This piece was inspired by my March trip to the Biodome in Montreal. There were fish in 2 of the ecosystems, but the ones in the Gulf of St Lawrence held our attention for the longest time.
I eventually want to do a fish with an embroidered body, but for now I thought I’d do a few in fabric with free motion embroidered fins.
So far I’ve only done this one in black and white with red fins.