I find this time of the year very inspiring to create! My garden, a water-wise garden, starts to come into its own around May and June when all the succulents show their beauty. Already the aloes are full of buds, just waiting to open! My garden is filled with a variety of aloes and they make the most beautiful show in mid-winter when everything is resting and looking very dull and grey.
THREAD PAINT AND FREE MOTION MACHINE EMBROIDERY
I was inspired to create this little shades of grey art quilt after a challenge, 50 SHADES OF GREY PLUS ONE COLOUR, was issued at my local quilting guild. The challenge was that we could only use different shades of grey and we had to add one colour.
This is the scene right outside my sewing room during the winter months.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CREATE YOUR OWN, YOU WILL NEED
· A 100% cotton fat quarter in dark grey for the background
· A 100% cotton fat quarter in pale grey for the insert
· Loomtex batting 35 x 55cm
· Backing 35 x 55cm
· Stitch and Tear stabiliser
· Isacord machine embroidery threads in shades of grey to thread paint
· Bright red and orange machine embroidery thread to embroider the aloes
· Matching all-purpose thread
· Wonder Invisible thread for the quilting
· A reference picture of your own
· A reference picture of you own in greyscale
· A pen/pencil to draw the rough outline on your background fabric
· A sewing machine of which the feed dogs can drop
HOW TO GO ABOUT CREATING YOUR ALOE PICTURE
· Create your background by cutting a rectangle from the pale grey fabric
· Cut wide strips from the dark fabric and use foot #97D (patchwork foot) to sew these on the top and sides of the pale grey rectangle to form a bigger background.
· Use a chalk pen/pencil to draw a rough outline of your picture on the above.
· Use Stitch and Tear stabiliser on the wrong side.
· Start with the palest shade of grey machine embroidery thread and thread-paint, using an open toe free motion embroidery foot.
· Continue thread painting and shading until you are satisfied. Consult your reference pictures (specially the greyscale one) constantly.
· Layer the quilt top, batting and backing and either pin or use spray glue
· Use black machine embroidery thread to quilt small pebbles in the foreground.
· Use the bright red machine embroidery thread to embroider the flowers.
· Quilt everywhere else, using Wonder Invisible thread.
· Square off your work.
· Cut narrow binding, use a quarter inch foot and the dual feed and sew binding on, mitering the corners.
· Turn binding to the wrong side and hand-sew in place.
· Sew a hanging sleeve and a label on the back
You have created your own 50 Shades of Grey Plus One Colour art quilt!
If you are passionate about textiles and want to learn more about how to incorporate my innovative techniques into your work, follow me on Instagram @tillydeharde and Facebook, Tilly de Harde Fibre Artist & Teacher and visit my website www.tillydeharde.com & subscribe to my mailing list. You can also view my very informative videos on my Youtube channel Please don’t forget to like and subscribe!