Because my home is small, I need to start quilting smaller things – there is no space left for big quilts unless I am making them for someone else. So I’ve decided to go into more embellishment on smaller pieces.
Free-motion stitching is a method of enhancing quilts with thread, adding texture and other visual interest to art works. So I took a photo from my own collection of the hosta growing out in the front yard last fall. The green color is draining out leaving a beautiful buttery yellow. Every time I see hosta I admire the veins as being a great pattern for stitching! The photo was printed on a large sheet of printable fabric, and then I added some free-motion stitching, going over the veining of the leaves.
The piece is not yet finished, but I am so happy with these results that I will think of some good way to make it into a piece for show.
Here is another experiment, prompted by Quilting Arts, the TV series. In episode 404, Deidre Adams shows her process of putting together scraps of fabric, covering them with free-motion stitching to add texture, and then painting on top of that.
Seems to me that free-motion is the next big step for me for a number of reasons. One is that I need to work smaller now, smaller and more intense. I have run out of room to keep larger pieces! But another is that adding detail has many, many options, enough to keep me busy and interested for a long time.
So here is my first rough draft. I did not piece fabric, but just took larger pieces of ones that I don’t care for as much. After much thread and about an hour of time, I had a “sampler” of possible designs, and then I put acrylic paint on top, with a fabric medium mixed in. Clearly this is not finished, but I await inspiration to add more colors or patterns. It has promise.
Let me recommend a book for inspiration: Free-Motion Quilting by Angela Walters.