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Monday, January 13, 2014


I got round to working on the piece I told you about here; in fact, it's pretty much finished, though I'm still debating about the foiling.  And one or two other bits and pieces... I don't think a piece is ever really finished; the trick, though, is to get to a point where you accept that you have done everything possible, and it is at least okay as it is... And that's where I'm at here.  You may not agree (feel free to differ, that 's what the comments box is for!).  Here it is;
A fair amount has happened since you last saw it.  Having drawn in the skeleton of the leaves, I got really quite disheartened: I thought it was awful.  Which is pretty much where I left it in the last post, telling you (and most of all, myself), that it had a long way to go.  I picked it up again a couple of days ago, and started by adding the hand stitch, in variegated hand dyed yarn by Sassalynne (I rarely ever dye my own yarn, too much of a fuss, though now that I'm getting into natural dyes,  I might change my mind).

The stitch helped.  A lot.  It added much needed texture I started in the top left hand side, carefully avoiding the leaf shapes, and as I approached the dark green section, I happened to spot a lutradur leaf made from rust dyed fabric.  It wasn't rocket science to realise that it would look good on that section... so on it went.  I don't normally add things like that until last, but somehow, it felt important to do it right away.  More stitching, and a bit of raking about to find another lutradur leaf.  That produced not just the leaf, but a 'seed pod' that I had felted, which seemed to fit very nicely under the text.  The second lutradur leaf was then added right up at the top.

I haven't stitched anywhere that I've added an embellishment, other than a stitch or two to hold them on the work.  That's not my usual practice, but they are very light, and don't really need any stitch to reinforce the areas that they are lying on.  Which left the text, and the leaves.  The text was easier, so I worked on that next.

I had said in a FB conversation that I wanted to make it difficult for people to find and read the text, possibly hiding it underneath things, or around things, or spreading it around the work.  What I didn't want, though, was for it to be difficult to read, and the gold on that green/yellow cloth was exactly that.  So I took a dark blue fine liner, and rewrote the text, a major improvement.

And then there was Those Leaves.  I really didn't want to hand stitch them, and when I wondered what that was about, I realised that they, too, needed to be relatively free of obvious stitch.  I wanted to outline the leaves, not make them stand out as a direct result of the thickness of the thread.  So I machine stitched them in variegated thread, which made them puff up slightly, but without visual interference from the thread.  If you see what I mean...

And there it is.  It's a small piece, about the size of the laptop I'm working on, and I'll probably put it into a mount for display.  It's title : Highland Leaves.  The colours make me think of Scotland in autumn.

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