Have you ever been there? Well, that is what I thought as I looked at how my Leaf piece was progressing. It was an experimental piece - I was trying some new materials and methods - but, really, I thought it could would be somewhat respectable.
Wrong. Frustration, frustration, frustration.
I have been blogging about this project for a few weeks.
I used a photo of mine to create a sketch.
That worked well.
Next I gathered fabrics and created the background.
The background is pieced - I did that successfully, I admit. Unfortunately, from a color perspective, I knew the yellow was going to create problems when I added individual leaves, but I thought I could get around that.
Technically, my next step was to shape the trees a bit more and then fuse them to the background. I was using Mistyfuse for this and when I did fuse them (after this photo) it worked well. I also stitched lightly around the edges of the trees with no problem.
You can see in this photo that I was appreciating and experimenting with how to address the issue of the less-than-ideal color of the background as I played with arranging my leaves. Note that the applique of the 'slenderized' trees to the background really looks okay.
Yuk!!!! This is what it looked like after I have done the upper portion of leaves.
Here are three major problems as I see it:
- The worst is that the background did not provide satisfactory stability. I had thought I was using a fairly heavy weight Pellon that I have used before. Now I am thinking it was a lighter weight then what I have used in the past and I was out of my heavier Pellon.
- Also annoying is that you can see towards the bottom of the photo that the Pellon I had fused to the back began to give way and I wound up with a pucker in the background that wasn't there before! I suspect the problem here is because I really steamed the piece trying to smooth out the thickly appliqued leaves and this destroyed the pellon bonding.
- When I steamed the whole mess, the seam line of the background piecing shows through on the leaves.
I welcome feedback on what went wrong. Granted that this would not have been the greatest of art works if it had been successfully sewn but it would have been nice if I could have created a technically proficient piece.
What am I learning from this? Hmmm.
- I am wondering, if the results would have been any better if I had not fused the leaves on to the piece. This was the first time I fused pieces and then did outlined them. Perhaps the lack of give in the upper fabric played a role? I am wondering if fusing with Mistyfuse works well if you are going to quilt over the entire piece - not heavily decorative stitch/outline relatively small fused pieces.
- Would this have worked better if I had a stiffer support behind the fabric? I am sure at this point that this answer is yes. I am going to put some tear-away stablizer behnd another part of the piece and see what happens.
- Then, there are the design issues... I really should have stopped to find a better fabric for the background. I chose the gold background for the wrong reason. It would have worked in another piece, but not with these leaves. Then I was too caught up in catching the gold of the individual leaves to switch them to a different color.
- Also, at the design level, I probably never would have been satisfied with my outlining of the leaves on this piece, even without the lack of stability. It is too heavy for this composition. This is a basic design flaw that goes back again to better color selection in the first place.
Thanks for listening everyone! Supportive suggestions are most welcome.