Friday, July 7, 2017

Sunny days

I wanted to set out the process I followed in doing my sunflower wall art. And especially the mistakes I made so someone else who does a similar one can avoid it. The photo that inspired it has been in my collection for about two years now. Who would have guessed that even in a climate like that of England one could grow large sunflowers.

It seemed a pretty simple flower to do and yet I procrastinated using other projects as excuses. Finally I pushed myself to do it a month back. To keep the challenge to a minimum I cropped the picture, editing out the wall and most of the leaves. In hindsight I feel it took away something from my finished work. The flower now looks too big and oversized. So note to self. Next time keep more background!

After tracing the printed picture on to a white background, (a mistake I realised later) I used reverse applique to sew. I started out with simple short straight stitches and switched to narrow satin stitch as I found that on trimming the foreground cloth there was a risk of the straight stitch coming off.
This was after I had trimmed the foreground cloth on all the pieces! There were a lot of loose threads that constantly kept coming out in spite of constant trimming. And the white showing through was also bothering me.So I used a matching colour pencil to shade the white and let it merge. The next step was to use machine embroidery to add the brown color. Looking back it seems that plain yellow looked better. Maybe I should redo this keeping it just yellow.
Since my yellow was a bit anemic I machine embroidered that too with some glowing yellow silk thread. That left the bits in between the bricks. To keep it realistic I had to color it gray. Machine embroidery or fmq seemed a bit daunting. Especially when I had stone gray paint. It was a touch dark but once I add some white it was just right. I would have been better off strating with that grey as foreground cloth.
Then all I needed to do was sandwich the piece and do some fmq on the bricks to give some texture and add some to the flower too.
Since the gray was painted fmq on that was ruled out. After debating on whether the white frame was necessary or not I decided to trim it rather than keep it. Binding and beadwork for the centre and some sleeves to hang it and there it was finished! 
Well not quite! I don't think I did justice to the photo and perhaps will revisit it. Fused raw edge and more background perhaps? Just plain yellow. Freezer paper applique. So many options to explore.

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