31. Jan, 2018

Inspired by Di Wells

After an afternoon of dying yesterday I had all these lovely paper towels from cleanup that had wonderful dye hues on them. I couldn't throw them away. And then the Colouricious site I subscribe to had a "Talking Heads" video featuring UK textile artist Di Wells. Di works primarily on layers of tissue stitching through several layers to make small quilt wall hangings. A lot of her work uses honesty seed heads but mine are not ready in the garden yet and over the last couple of years I have done quite a bit of experimentation with using real leaves in my art work so I was away. This tree is just outside my studio window. Di uses acrylic wax or watered down PVA (Elmers glu) I decided to use soft Gell medium. I panted the leaves both sides and waited for them to dry Then I free machined the rib and vein lines and around the outside of the leaf in contrasting thread. It is actually pale lavernder but it looks fawn in the photo. I thought about machine stitching the quilt motifs on the paper towel but when I did a little bit it looked terrible. Paper towel is more forgiving that tissue and even though it tore a wee bit when I unpicked it I was able to "repair" it with a gelled layer of tissue underneath. To increase visual texture I then hand stitched a running stitch in pale blue silk thread on each side of the leaves. A smaller piece would make a lovely card. Most of my quilts take me months to complete; this quick little experiment was finished in a couple of hours and I am quite pleased and will probably try some other things along this line.The leaves under the gell are quite firm and protected and have an interesting gloss that contrasts nicely with the coloured mat of the paper towel. I just used one layer of the paper towel with some low loft batting and then some sheer at the back to provide a bit of support. I could try sheer over the top and stitch through the sheer which would give another interpretation.