I started the Early Morning Club as a way to create lots of pieces and meet my crap quota. Each morning I get up and spend 30 minutes or less composing a 6" x 9" finished vertical piece. Here are the pieces from the past week.
Monday, October 6th
I loved the texture that heavy quilting added to last week's pieces, so I decided that would be the theme for the week. I wanted to try yesterday's piece again, but this time using heat-set crayons to color in the squares, rather than using fabric. I then stippled the entire piece, choosing thread colors to match the background fabric and also the crayon colors. I love the color of the background fabric but don't think the crayon colors work that great. I think I wanted--for lack of a better term--a more sophisticated palette, but I have to remember that I was working with crayons (a box of 96 Crayola, to be precise).
Tuesday, October 7th
After playing with crayons yesterday, I was inspired to get out my watercolor pencils and create a colorwash as a background for stitching. I colored the background with the pencils and then used a brush and water to blend the colors together. At this point, the background was fairly wet so I used a hair dryer and then an iron to heat set the colors. (At least I believe they are heat set. I have a piece using these pencils that is at least four years old and I've noticed no color loss.)
Once dry, I had beautiful blending of colors and interesting design lines develop. I used various colors of rayon threads to quilt it by following the design lines. I really like this piece. It is pretty and soothing.
Wednesday, October 8th
As much as I liked yesterday's piece, I wanted the colors to be more intense. So I decided to try another technique that I call fleece and tulle painting. I started this piece the same way--creating a colorwash with watercolor pencils. Then I ironed the background to a piece of fast-to-fuse, which is a heavyweight fusible interfacing. I wanted to have a more stable surface for stitching the fleece and tulle to the piece.
Then I selected colors of fleece (wool roving that has been carded and dyed, but not yet spun into yarn) and tulle and began placing them on the design, following the colors of the colorwash. I stitched them in place using various thread colors. I finished by trimming the piece to size, zigzagging around the edges with a variegated thread, and adding some copper foil.
I love the rich colors of this piece, but I wish I had spent more time on the underlying design.
Thursday, October 9th
Let me just say that I adore this piece. Again, it started as a watercolor pencil colorwash that I heat set and quilted. I used various rayon threads and quilted following the design lines. I like the mostly nuetral palette and I like the texture that developed from the heavy, vaguely parallel lines.
Friday, October 10th
My vision for this piece was to create an underwater feel using the fleece and tulle painting technique. So I started with a colorwashed background and then broke out my boxes of fleece and tulle. At that point I realized that I was going to have a bit of a problem because I didn't have many choices of tulle and fleece in the aqua, teal, blue, purple, and lime colors I wanted to use. Indeed, I didn't have any lime at all, which meant I had to substitute this greener green. So I wasn't able to blend colors as I had envisioned. Ah well, I need to check my supplies next time before starting a project.
Note: the schmutz on the piece is actually an iridescent foil that just didn't want to photograph well for me at all.
Saturday, October 11th
As I have been creating these colorwash backgrounds I noticed that the paper I used to protect my work surface absorbed some of the colors from the pencils and in many cases were prettier and more interesting than the fabric itself. So on Friday, as I created my colorwash background, I placed another fabric piece beneath it. This is the result. The colors are softer and more pastel than I would normally use, but the blending is very nice.
Sunday, October 12th
I wanted to end the week as I began, with crayons and very heavy stitching. I wanted to see if I could get more intense colors with crayons than with watercolor pencils. I can, but it is more difficult to blend them. I quilted this piece to within an inch of it's life, which explains its distortion. I tried to block it to size, but the stitching was too resistant. The stitching alone took 45 minutes.
I enjoyed playing this week with various art supplies and stitching. After three months of early morning work, I needed a change and to try something new. So I did. More interesting techniques to add to my toolbox.