Friday, May 29, 2009

Fall Madonna (16"x16")

I've put the last stitches into the Fall Madonna. It's been hard to take photos I'm happy with, but these are the better ones of the bunch.

I like the way the foliage on the vintage napkin I used as a background seems to create movement, as if the whole piece is windblown.

I added a bird button. The Virgin of Guadalupe's appearance in the traditional story is heralded by bird song. I studded the background with small beads in lieu of quilting.

I may take out the cluster of flower buttons below her hands. As you can see, I put a stack of plain buttons underneath because the flower buttons have long shanks, but they still flop over, exposing the white button.

Here you can see the combination of fabric and silk embroidered flowers.

Now that this piece is finished, I've started working on some UFOs. I've surprised myself with some of the things I've found almost finished in my closet. I'm also making a slow transition from work to summer. I've got a few work projects to finish, so I'm not quite on vacation yet. Plus, Alex will be graduating, and my parents will be coming to visit, so I'm catching up on some deferred house keeping. No rest for the wicked, as my mother says. Not yet anyway.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Almost Done

I'm almost done with both the Fall Madonna and Spring semester. I've got a bit more beading on the Madonna, and I've got a pile of papers to grade before Wednesday. After Wednesday my Summer begins: Alex's high school graduation, a few short trips, some camping, some work, re-civilizing my garden, some sewing and knitting. I can't wait.

I'm really loving this piece. The blend of raw edge
broidery perse and silk ribbon embroidery has worked very well, though pulling the needle through the extra fabric and the heat and bond isn't for the weak-fingered. The sunflower swag mimics the moon the Virgin of Guadalupe stands on in the traditional image. I've filled in some the empty spots with spider web roses and beads.

I've had these leaf beads for awhile, and I'm going to add more of them to the background.

Another close up.

Here's where I've been working. Both Bunny the cat and I like the light by the window.

Next week I'll move to the back porch with the lovely Louie. He always looks so pretty in the sun.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

More Fall Madonna

The Fall Madonna is going on a re-purposed napkin background. I have a set of 4 of these pretty ivy print napkins from the 60s or 70s. Debra has added machine embroidered ivy sprays and I've let down the hems and then trimmed the napkin to 16 x16.

Right as I started beading I found two of these heavy glass luncheon plates at the thrift store for a dollar each. They're perfect for beading trays.

So here she is: appliqued to the background, and then attached to a thin piece of flannel for the batting. I've fused some sunflowers that I'm going to hand embroider between with silk ribbon. If you enlarge the photo you may be able to see where I trimmed the Madonna's cape with beads.

These cute leaf beads are perfect accents for the machine embroidered leaves. I'm making progress.