Nellie"s Needles

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Playing With Scraps

All the trimmed off edges from my "ortwork" pieces get saved.  Today I decided to get out the bag they're stored in to play with those cut-offs.  There are some from the prairie flower installation piece,  my self-portrait, this month's "Interpret This" project,  the Rockie Mountain lake piece plus others that I've forgotten what they're trimmed from.

The strips got laid out and moved around until the arrangement looked good.

This is the layout that pleased me.  I liked the flow of the lines as well as the distribution of colors and patterns.  The already quilted pieces were butted together and zig-zag stitched by machine with mono filament thread.

I decided to couch yarns in a vertical pattern to bring even more cohesiveness to the overall design ... and had begun doing that before remembering that I wanted to document my process with photos.  I took a picture before more than two rows of yarn got stitched on.

I thought back to the piece, "Fading Memories", that I had recently completed and was inspired to use brown and beige yarns to go for the effect of tree trunks.  The colors were beginning to look like shafts of light, sky, and "stuff" in the background.

Then I remembered that I had been saving this paper napkin with the gold printed leaves.  They would be interesting leaves for this pieces.

I mixed a bit of fine gold Perle Ex Pigment with acrylic medium and brushed it on the surface.  This strengthened the tissue and will make it impervious to moisture, as well as give it a bit more shine.

After cutting out the paper leaves I recalled that I had a stash of leaf skeletons tucked away in a basket on a top shelf.

Here the paper napkin and skeleton leaves are arranged on the surface.
Some decorative yarns are snipped into little pieces for additional interest.  Then a layer of brown tulle was placed on top to hold everything in place.  I quilted the background with a dark mono filament thread in a bark-like pattern.  The paper leaves are quilted with a variegated gold thread.  The last thing was to square it up and finish the outside edge with couched yarns.

"Fading Memories II" (10"x 8")
Well, finishing the edges was almost the last thing.  LuminArte paint was added to the leaves to give them a bit more shading and shimmer as well as to make the leaf skeletons more prominent.  I can see now that I need to go back to add some of that gold shimmer to the white spots.

This piece will be my first donation to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.


Vicki W said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing so much of your process with us.

Julie said...

Here here! You've inspired me to get my scrap bag out too altho my pieces are very irregular in shape but it will be fun playing. The paper leaves work really well. Thank you for sharing your process again :o)

Mermaid's Purse said...

These pieces you do with scraps are so inspirational ......... I love reading about them!

Heather said...

No-one would dream this was made from trimmings Nellie - it is so beautiful and stunning - I love it. Thankyou for sharing your ideas and techniques with us.

Joyce said...

Wonderful. It inspires me to get out that bin of scraps again and try something like this...

Kay said...

Lovely! The AAQS will be so delighted to have this.

Libby Fife said...

That looks prett good! It has sort of an architectural quality to it with those "columns". I do love something from nothing:)

Plays with Needles said...

It's lovely Nellie! It also looks like there is tulle over the entire piece? Though I see that early on? And to think that all of that loveliness came from a pile of scraps!! You're a wonder!

FredaB said...

Amazing what you do with your scraps. Just beautiful.

thanks for your info re flattening the binding. It looks like it really makes a difference. Will use it next time I do a binding.



Gail P said...

Gorgeous postcards and thanks for posting the process. Triple thanks for donating them for the Alz auction!!!

karenfae said...

wonderful use of scraps!!

elle said...

This is a GREAT blog! When I grow up I wanna be like you. Thanks for taking the time to share the process. I'm learning to luv it myself and now I need to find an empty place to store scraps!

Diane said...

Nellie, it's GORGEOUS and should bring in a nice bit of funding for Alzheimer's research.