Saturday, March 28, 2009

photo catch-up

Updating with a few photos taken in the past several days... I've been a little lazy with the camera, in part because we drained the battery. You think you have your shot all lined up, and then it just shuts off. It's also been gray and rainy for a while, and though I love all the fog and mist and find those gray days to be pretty good for me creatively, it does make it harder to get nice photos. My best work time, usually, is very very early in the morning and late in the evening-- I think there's something about the non-descript character of the outside at that time (in the dark, or in the gray/overcast days) that lets my mind run free. I'm not thrown off track by external stimulation. Or maybe I'm just a night owl.

Back to the tree. Here's a before-thread view. I've gone back in and fleshed out some spots, added pieces to tweak the color.
And this is roughly the same area, with thread work (and low light). One of the things I love about working in fabric is being able to add this layer... with something like painting, you create the image and any adjustments or additions you make (while lovely, I'm not knocking painting) are additional layers of the same material-- paint. In most cases. With fabric, you can create the image and completely change the character and direction of the piece simply by adding the threadwork.

The colors and size of the thread used can have a dramatic effect, adding dimension, or pattern, or the suggestion of other meaning that isn't immediately noticeable in the overall image. Deciding what and how to quilt a finished top is something that many quilters struggle with-- what will complement it best? Should I emaphasize one part of the design over another? Should I use thread that matches the background, or go for high contrast? But they're crucial questions. The thread can take a piece from "nice" to "WOW". Sometimes it just serves to liven up the image. I started this piece about 2 years ago, and finally felt "done" this past summer.

For a long time, it sat here:

while I wondered what on earth I was doing with it. The reddish-purple bits weren't making me happy and something just didn't feel right. But the thread helps, changes.

All of which is to say, this is a big part of why I love working with fabric- the potential for changing direction and adding depth without losing what you started with.

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