Friday, April 19, 2013

Threadpainting a Lily - Off the Wall Friday

2011's Entry
Now once a year, I do a lily quilt.  A local art gallery holds a Lily Festival which includes a juried mixed media show and I use it as my excuse to indulge myself to make yet another flower piece.  Still its fun.  Working in series isn't a bad idea either and doing one a year is indeed working in series - even if they are pretty, pretty flowers.  Hmmmmmm and I have 4 done so far and this will be the 5th - so that makes it my biggest series yet  - grin.

So not only do I do a lily quilt every year but  - as is my habit - try to learn something in the process (now there's an idea huh?!)  This year I want to work on my threadpainting  - the Ellen Anne Eddy way.  So after picking a back ground - Can you guess which one I picked? - Making several trips to the third floor for supplies (my aerobics workout for the day)  - I was was ready.

Wait - that brings up another thing I noticed - For a woman who is safely intrenched in the non-fusing camp of quilters - I sure own a lot of fusing supplies.  But honestly, I don't have anything against fusers - some of my best friends are fusers  - I just don't like to glue my quilt down.  Still there is just sometimes where fusing is so much easier for the task at hand!

With that thought, I went though Ellen's process of making a waterlily. Her directions were clear and  it was fun playing with all the dazzling fabrics.  Running my fingers through them aroused all the dreams of becoming a pretty princess.  It was fun being at the machine again - just me - the stabilized background and thread.

But when I was done - that's where the fun stopped.  I looked at the waterlily and it was a hot mess.  Instead of this fanciful graceful floating flower - I had this  - well - you can see.  Needless to say, this was my "trial" flower.

yeah, I know - this would have Tim Gunn shaking his head
and Nina Garcia saying, "OMG, what where you thinking!"

But to quote Ellen's blog. . . .

"Everything worth doing is worth doing badly. If you ever want to do anything well, you need to be willing to do it over and over again. Badly at first. You need to be willing to weather that through."

I think that is great advice right?!

I did start a new one today - picking sheers that would show a bit better - editing my thread choices and neatened up my stitching.  I just want to say that although Ellen's book is super easy to follow - you better know what you are doing with your machine and free motion quilting or this will be a big leap for you.  Luckily - once I got the first one done - I knew exactly what was wrong and the second is coming much nicer.

Ohh and BTW - the waterlily will be a free standing applique - so I will eventually cut it away from the background.  Hopefully I'll have more to show you next week!

So what have you been up to creatively??


Sylvia said...

I took a class from Ellen, it was about 10 years ago. I kind of failed my class project, didn't have the right stuff to make it happen. I have always meant to go back to that project. Good luck with the lily, I am sure that practicing will make a difference.

Heather Pregger said...

I LOVE Ellen's quote! So true!

I can't wait to see the next lily. As Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!'

Shannon said...

I hope your next flower goes better! I'm struggling with thread painting this week too, although a different type I think. All your different backgrounds are so pretty!

landscapelady said...

I love Ellen's work, and just think how many years it took her to perfect her craft. I wouldn't expect anyone to get a masterpiece on the first try. I like that you showed us your mistakes (learning pieces) it helps us all to know everyone has those. I know I sure do, the important part is not to give up and move ahead. If we were afraid to "screw it up then we would never create new things and we wouldn't be off the wall quilters, now would we:-)

Julianne said...

I love the quote...My thread painting skills are bad...I have a challenge due in July to do some thread painting, I am not sure I am up for it either. Have fun and I am sure your next attempt will be much better.

MulticoloredPieces said...

Now you see, I liked your first piece. And I would've kept the background and played with it, too. I know of Ellen's method and she wants to avoid the buckling, but I find I want to work on the piece as a whole. And I can usually get it to all quilt out anyway.

The other thing I have to say is: put the book aside and figure it out for yourself. You will have more adventures and learn more and your work will be more original. The point is to play!
best, nadia

Anonymous said...

Since I want to see what happens next, I started to follow your blog. :-)
My guild had a workshop with Ellen Edy a few years ago, and I enjoyed it. I did that before I had done FMQ; it made my first FM meander a breeze. However, I've changed sewing machines and haven't gotten my FMQ synchronization back.

Karen S said...

I just read this post -- I'm a little behind, I know -- and it made me smile. I own a lot of fusing supplies and, while I like the other kinds of appliqué, I love to fuse. And you will get better. I promise!