What brings me comfort? My family is the core of my comfort. My family is Randy, my husband of 52 years, son Daniel and wife, Ocea, daughter Lisa and husband Clayton, and our new precious 3 month old grandson, Ethan Daniel.
My church, St. Paul’s Episcopal brings me comfort. The idea of beauty and order brings comfort. I recently read a quote from William Morris (1834 – 1896) “If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” I am already anticipating the 2014 spring crop of blue bonnets and the comfort they will bring.
So for this challenge I chose to do a representation of another of nature’s beauty, a tiger lily. And flowers, of course, are often given to bring comfort to the recipient. Flowers have a special language that can say, “I truly love you”; “I am thinking of you”; “I am so happy for you.”
The technique used for my 12 x 12 was inspired by the book Bold and Beautiful, Artful Quilts from just one Fabric, by Judi Dains. Judi suggests choosing a batik fabric with large splashes of color, placing it on your design wall and then standing back to get a good perspective. Look for the flowers (or butterflies or vases or leaves) that pop out in the fabric. This fabric reminded me of tiger lilies that my Mother planted as I was growing up, a memory that brings comfort.
After locating the tiger lilies, I marked the outside boundaries for this composition and placed the fabric under transparent plastic. Using a marker, the flower outlines were sketched onto the plastic looking at photographs of tiger lilies as a guide. (Judi does this right on the fabric. I decided that was NOT a good idea for my skill set). Pleased with the drawing, I placed the plastic on the light box, fabric on top, and traced the drawing on to the fabric using a black permanent fabric marker.
The next step is to outline the drawing with thread. I layered the fabric and a piece of batting and stitched on each drawn line. I used a decorative stitch on the sewing machine that goes back and forth multiple times for maximum definition. The feathers were done on the longarm machine. Judi then uses inks to further define the drawings. Instead I used a set of permanent fabric markers (Tulip) that were fun to use and did much the same thing as inks. They are transparent and let the shadings of the fabric shine through. A bit of glitz was added using a gold Artist’s Paintstik on the feathers. The final steps were to embroider the stamens using black perle cotton and to attach black seed beads for the spots on the petals of the tiger lilies.