Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Six days of stitching the Secret Trellis Garden

Working in the garden is often challenging, but it's also rewarding when you see the fruits of your labor. This composition, called the Secret Trellis Garden, is one from my 100 Days of Textile Collage project. This garden grew over the course of 6 days.

The Secret Trellis Garden
from 100 Days of Textile Collage project 2023.

Days 1 - 6

The beginning of this collage truly started with fabric leftovers—scraps from fussy cutting hexagon shapes for English paper piecing (EPP). You can see where the hexagons have been cut out. The background is also pieced from cut-offs from previous projects.

Secret Trellis Garden Day 1: running stitches in a zigzag pattern.

Following the design on the print, the scraps were appliquéd to the base in a zigzag (or "trellis") pattern. Unknown to me, the seeds for this stitched garden had been planted from the inception—with the trellis. 

Secret Trellis Garden Day 2: outlining the circle motifs.

The trellis was build (stitched) over the first two days. By Day 3, I needed to figure out how to bridge the two appliqué pieces to make the piece more unified. See that odd-shaped dark background showing through between the two appliqué pieces? That was the problem.

I incorporated yarn thrums in a previous composition and felt it was successful. So, auditioning thrums and other ideas was needed to bring cohesiveness to this one. 

Auditioning placement for yarn thrums.

The addition of another lighter fabric solved the problem. 

With the addition of a third fabric, the prints started to tell a story. The bees, grasshoppers, circles (flowers), the mason jars... all began to converse in this textile garden.

With another piece of fabric added, the lighter value made the composition mor unified.

The next obvious step was to turn the composition 180 degrees so the grasshoppers were right-side-up.

Secret Trellis Garden Day 3: rotating the work 180 degrees.

With the garden theme secured, it was time to add blooms and greenery. The yarn thrum spirals transformed themselves into flower blooms. French knots formed the flower centers. The beetles (the "crunchy" bugs) disappeared beneath flower petals where they belong.

Couching the yarn thrum flowers (in progress).

On Day 4, the garden took shape.

Secret Trellis Garden Day 4: yarn thrum blooms and stitched leaves and vines.

Day 5 focused on details: more French knots in the flower centers and the circle motifs; fireflies stitched in a doubled fly stitch; stem stitch outlines on the glass jars; stitched leaves with fly stitches supported the flowers.

Secret Trellis Garden Day 5: stitched flower centers, vines, leaves and fireflies were added.

On Day 6 the final touches included additional leaves and greenery, background kantha stitching, feather stitches at the bottom to ground the vines.

Secret Trellis Garden Day 6: the final composition.

In an outdoor garden, the work can been realized in the outcome. With a stitched garden, the work can be seen by looking at the back!

Secret Trellis Garden (back view).

The halfway point of the 100 Day Project

Today is Day 50 of the 100 Day Project 2023. The Secret Trellis Garden is my 8th textile collage composition.

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