Monday, June 20, 2016

What I'm Stitching

While I wish I had a picture of this piece before I started thread painting, I thought I'd share the work in progress now, and post another picture when it is completed. I'm still thinking about a name--Anderson Island Mermaid? Dawn over Oro Bay? Nisqually Reach?

I acquired this beautiful batik while visiting friends on Anderson Island in Washington state. They had a large box of fabrics from a man whose quilting wife had passed away and generously suggested I take what I liked. Who can refuse an offer like that! In the collection was this batik piece, about 30"x 35", of a mermaid silhouetted against the sunrise (or moon? or sunset?) Regardless, it was too lovely to leave in a box of unclaimed fabric!

I admired her for some time, thinking about how to enhance the batik. I started thread-painting her hair, ultimately adding eight colors of thread over the dark batik base. My threads ranged from a variegated golden brown to dark purple. It was so much fun to thread paint such a large area! I then added scales to her tail, using turquoise, green, purple and yellow thread. The shelf she sits on was a solid dark blue, the same color as her hair and tail. I used my bag of 'tree bits' to add a wash of colors, with variegated thread holding the tiny bits of fabric trapped beneath a layer of tulle. I layered the main elements over a scrap of polyester batting for loft, then sandwiched the whole with batting and backing. Next step is to quilt the background--the sun (or moon) sky and water, and decide how to finish the piece for hanging. I am still debating further embellishments in the form of glitter, sequins or beads.

Got a suggestion for a name or further embellishment? Let me know!  Here is a glimpse:
Mermaid in progress--Rana O'Connor 2016