The first, more realistic, version of the Marsh Marigolds is finished. It took a bit longer than anticipated because there are so many layers of batik and hand-dyed fabrics that I could not free-motion stitch the leaves, flowers, etc.
The background is pieced with an insertion technique that builds up a lot of layers and the backing is even batik. I stitched the background using a walking foot and then proceed to add the elements working from the back to the front, starting with the tree. The tree has a couple of layers in some places and when I tried to free-motion stitch I had skipped stitches all over the place. Adjusting the tension and even going to a jeans needle didn’t completely alleviate the problem so I resigned myself to stitch the motifs using a walking foot. That meant going slowly and sometimes shortening the stitch. After a while I managed to find a rhythm but it too a LOT longer than free-motion.
The show I created this piece for is called Bridging Realism to Abstraction. Artists are asked to create two views of the same subject from different points on the continuum from realism to non-objective abstraction. I have a week to complete the second piece which is further along the continuum toward abstraction. It will be the same subject but a wider view of the wetland. The show opens at the end of January and I am very interested to see what the other artists depict and how they do it.