Friday, October 19, 2012

Embroidery on The Sun God's Garden

After spending so much time and thought on the composition of a quilt, it's fun to actually begin the machine work. For me, the embroidery is what adds rich texture, and holds all the pieces in position.  I do this in a hoop so I don't need any stabilizer underneath the pieces.  This creates a softer quilt top and allows the quilting (over wool batting) to add more dimension to the finished product. For more information on how Ann handles her embroidery refer to her book, Coloring with Thread.

Detail of Scraps of a Different Color showing rejected embroidery pattern
Being a coneflower fan, I wanted to begin with them.  I had already decided how I wanted to embroider my angular flowers. First I had experimented on another quilt where I discovered that I didn't like my first idea. This is why it is so important to test out ideas first, so problems can be avoided on major pieces of work. So I had to rethink my ideas and this is what I came up with.
Embroidery and quilting detail of coneflowers with honey bee
Each petal was detailed in the opposite direction with a variegated pink thread. This was a simple plan which I could easily accomplish, yet different than anything I had done before.

The papyrus was another challenge.  How will I embroider them?  I chose to use metallic blue and green thread to detail the heads, and gold thread for the sepals. This was lots of fun and a challenge to work with metallics.  I had finished writing my Mastering Metallics booklet by this time, so I tested out some of my suggestions! The detail on the curved edge is really pleasing and adds richness of texture.  I also love the little circles that hold the seeds in the papyrus head.
Harry becomes the focal point using Superior Thread's Midnight Rainbow #844
 And then there is Harry. I knew all the embroidery on the bird was going to make him come to life. I didn't worry too much about individual feathers, I just wanted texture.  Midnight Rainbow add the color I wanted over the double dyed blue/purple fabric. Notice that the grass behind the bird adds more depth to the quilt.

Now that the embroidery is complete, all that remains is the quilting.