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Category Archives: machine embroidery

>From Start to Finish

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Sometimes art takes a long time to be created.  I drew this bird of paradise twenty years ago while finishing my undergraduate degree.  It is soft pastel on Mi-Tientes paper.  I still can remember the piles of pastel dust that formed on the easel as I worked.  Having a toddler at the time, I was concerned about her safety, and so the pastels went away.

bird of paradise drawing one

Two months ago, while cleaning in the studio, I came across the original drawing, as well as some photographs I’d taken of it at the time.  Since I’ve been working with machine embroidery on photo transfer, I decided to revisit the image.

20040101_21 

I printed out the picture onto Avery transfer paper, after flipping it in my paint program so that it was a mirror image.  I ironed it onto some white twill that I got at Dharma Trading Company, and backed that with several sheets of interfacing designed for machine embroidery.  Here you can see the piece in process.

bird of paradise embroidery 1

The piece, stitching complete.

 bird of paradise I detail two

A detail of the stitching.  You really can see the bird in the flower in this segment. 

I chose to finish this piece differently than the small water tower pieces, and chose some fabric from my stash to sew borders onto the piece.  Then  I stretched that over a 12” x 14” pre-stretched canvas I bought at Dick Blick.  I preferred to use a pre-stretched canvas because the fabric on the piece would be protected from any acids in the stretcher bars.  If I used plain stretcher bars I would seal them first.

 bird of paradise I

The finished piece, available in my Etsy shop

I once told a friend that time is never wasted making something we love.  This certainly was true for this piece.  Even though I never exhibited the original, it still makes me happy to see it and has inspired several pieces over the years.

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>Friday Flowers

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One subject which often appears in artwork is the humble flower.  From the old Dutch masters to Georgia O’Keeffe and more, many artists have  chosen to recreate flowers in paint, clay and fabric.

Over the past twenty years I have created many floral pieces as well.  here is a small sampling.

anthurium painting one

 Anthurium 1989  Acrylic on canvas.  30” x 40”

flowers for keiko 72 full

Flowers for Keiko 2004  7” x 9”  Machine embroidery, machine quilted.

Flowers for Angie 72 full

Flowers for Angie 2006  24” x 18”  Hand quilted, machine quilted, embellished with beads, sequins and mirrors.

20100226_09

Tulip Time 2010 6” x 6”  Machine applique.

August 2002 full view

August 2002 Journal Quilt Project, handmade felt, machine embroidery, 3D appliques, shisha mirror embroidery.

hollyhock page for fabric

Hollyhock Journal Page 2009  11” x 8.5”  India ink, watercolor, paint pen and found quote

floral medley complete

Floral Medley 2010  24” x 40” Applique, found objects, machine embroidery, machine quilted.

bird of paradise drawing two

Bird of Paradise 1989 22” x 30”  Dry pastel on paper.  This image is reversed from the original so that I could make a photo transfer with it.

bird of paradise embroidery 1

Bird of Paradise II (Study in Orange and Green) 2011 8.5” x 11” Machine embroidery on cotton twill. 

No matter how many times I revisit floral imagery, I always find something new to marvel at.  Do you have any favorite subjects that you return to again and again?

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2011 in art quilt, flowers, machine embroidery