I’m a member of Loose Threads, a group of Northern Michigan Textile Artists that meet at the Charlevoix (Michigan) Library. In fact I am the founding member. The library asked me to start and chair a group in 2007 after the Michigan Quilt Artist Invitational show was exhibited in our gallery space. Two years later we had our first show at the library. Most of the group had never shown work outside of a guild show so it was a learning experience. But the show was a great success and the library asked us to plan another.
We are now getting ready for our 4th show: Material Obsessions III (we came up with that name after the first show.) Each year we try to have a portion of the show that is themed. Last year several of us did a take off on a painting by Paul Klee. This year we are attempting to show a “forest” with pieces that range from 54″ – 72″ tall and are all 14″ wide. That is a challenging format. I’ve been flailing away at my first piece; the second on, on the drawing board is far more interesting and I’m anxious to get to it.
I was at a loss for an image so I went with the familiar. I pieced a background and began to build a tree by fusing pieces.
The entire time I’ve been working on it I’ve been concerned about what to do for leaves. The palette is spring and the leaves need to be emerging and lacy. I certainly didn’t want to cut and sew on thousands of little leaves. I considered beads and french knots but this is a big piece and I’m not a fan on hand-work especially in the summer. I painted Tyvek and used a heat gun in an attempt to get an interesting effect but it wasn’t right.
So back to “snippets” which I first learned from Yvonne Porcella at workshop in the mid 1990s. The technique was to scatter the pieces and use free-motion catch them under tulle or netting. But since this piece is big & clumsy I decided to hoop the snips between tulle and water soluble stabilizer. After making a sample I’m satisfied with the effect.
Once I have enough they can be cut up and arranged before I stitch them down. The plan is to have it finished before Thursday so I can do the hand finishing of the facing during the event at the lavender farm. Then I can start on the next “tall story”.