On the design wall tonight….

I’m working on the layout for a few pages in a fabric book. They’re still in the beginning stages, for the most part. I haven’t yet added the text, but thought I’d post a few pictures to reassure myself that I’ve actually been doing something.

The book will be bound in a Coptic style of binding (for some really fun possibilities in coptic binding, check out this link). Anyway, here are the pages for the Walking in Search of… book that I’m working on. Not all will open to a full spread; some will be divided due to folds during final assembly. The closed book will measure 5 1/2 inches square.
These are aspen with tea-dyed writing spaces :

This one is birches and the spaces left for text will be painted and inked to have the texture of bark after they’ve been written on:

This next one is a trial run for a technique plan to use to construct a picture of local barrens (or moors, for you folks in the UK) in autumn, when everything is a blaze of light and colour. Technique for making this follows:

The groupings of shrubs were made with Solvy heavyweight water-soluble stabiliser and tulle as the foundation. I sandwiched the tulle between two layers of stabiliser. I generally don’t use a hoop for this sort of thing.

I stitch swirls and curls to stabilise things initially:

Then I fill the area in with assorted threads, switching periodically and bunching colour in certain areas. In this case I used a zig-zag stitch to fill things in. Sometimes I use a straight stitch and continue stitching swirls and loops of various sizes and colours, overlapping. Depends entirely on the effect desired.

More colours added, followed by the stitching in of branches. This puts the branches in the middle of the bush. If you start with the branches and only stitch on top of them, there are no leaves behind the branches. Work back to front.

After you’ve stitched to satisfaction, trim the stabiliser and tulle close to the stitching and throw it into a sink of warm water. Leave it for 20 minutes or so, then swish it around, change the water and leave it for another ten or more. When it’s no longer sticky with partially dissolved stabiliser, pat dry with a towel and iron face-down on medium with a pressing cloth between the iron and stitchery.

I’ve appliquéd these in many ways, but have found the most satisfactory to be adding them either by hand after quilting or by machine before. You can also appliquilt them.

This next page is a dawn seen through the screen of the tent (painted cheesecloth). I’m going to add some embellishment and stitching by hand eventually…

Iceberg page. Still working on how to do ice pans in some way…

These are meant to be reminiscent of the islands in Tors Cove, Newfoundland, along the East Coast Trail:

Two of the other things I’m working on at present are Sea Stacks, which is still in the early contruction stage. Lots left to do here, but it’s amazing how quickly the basic tone for an image can be set. This is composed entirely of hand-painted fabrics and currently measures 30″x30″:

“Ferryland in Winter” has a completed layout and a start made on fabric selection (sky and ocean are hand-painted). It currently measures roughly 32″x34″. I’ll post as things progress:

So that’s what I’m working through just now. I’m sure it’ll change in a day or two…


7 Comments Add yours

  1. robotjam says:

    Some really interesting images you have there and what a lot of work !!!

  2. Valeri says:

    Well you certainly seem to be working hard. The sheer volume of work took my breath away. I love your painted sky! In fact I was impressed altogether!

  3. sarai says:

    Wow! “Actually doing something” indeed!

    Vicky, I think your work is incredible.

  4. arlee says:

    Wow Vicky—that journal is going to be stunning! Love the idea of the spaces for text—have had to work my little bits around, as i don’t plan for that–my words come later :}

  5. Micki says:

    Your tree journal is awesome. You do wonderful work. Thanks for sharing your techniques and for your in depth post on how you can work through a piece.

  6. Amy says:

    Your work looks wonderful. Thanks for detailing your techniques. As a beginner I find it to be really helpful to see how others create images for their work. Amy http://considerthisquilts.blogspot.com/

  7. Verna Banks says:

    wonderful work. you are really prolific.

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