Aspen Collage

Aspen Collage

I showed you this idea for a fabric/felt collage with my last post. I decided to change out the background fabric as it was too close in color and value to the piece of silk that I was planning on stitching an aspen branch.

I free motion machine stitched on the silk to create the look of my sketch of the aspen leaves. I backed the silk with a piece of commercial felt and cut it so it couldn’t be seen but still gives stiffness to the silk. I don’t mark the design when I stitch, just do it by eye. Once it was completed, I felt like the branch was too dark in comparison to the leaves and I liked the look of the dark leaves in my sketch.

So I colored in the leaves with a permanent marker in dark brown. That definitely was an improvement and gave quite a contrast with the lighter silk. The silk was dyed with natural dyes and was a failed attempt with eco printing. I am trying to use up all those scraps and class samples with these collages.

I chose one of my recently snow dyed cotton fabric pieces and hand stitched the printed aspen leaf on to the snow dyed background. Before I did that, I did outline the leaf with FME (free motion machine embroidery). I wanted to have some of the brown from the silk in other areas of the design.

The last detail was to outline some of the snow dyed “leaves” in the background. I didn’t really choose this piece of fabric because it had leaves but once I had attached everything, I noticed that the leaves were there, looking like aspen leaves. I just outlined them in a “sketchy” manner with a green fine tipped marker. I could have hand stitched them but I didn’t want them to be too prominent. You can’t see them from a distance but they do show up when you view the piece at a closer distance.

I haven’t decided how to display or frame this yet. I am going to make a few and then see if they work together somehow or if they are a series that will be treated similarly.


9 thoughts on “Aspen Collage

  1. The leaves are most definitely there in your snow dyed piece – and the colours in the fabric are ethereal – so delicate.
    Colouring in the leaves on the silk was a good choice and you’re going to have fun now in composing your pieces!

    1. Thanks Lyn! Yes, it is going to be an interesting challenge putting these all together in some cohesive format. Got to do a few more first though.

  2. Each of the pieces have their own personality and bring something different to the overall design. Great idea to use the marker on the ice dyed piece. Very subtle, but it works.

  3. Thank you…you have just given me an idea of to what do with a lovely piece of tray dyed silk I did ages ago. It has shapes and colours of anemones. Some sketching and quilting with free machining will be fun to do.

  4. I liked the original background piece, but see what you mean now you’ve changed it. I need to step out of my comfort zone and try more experimental things like this, it’s another thing I just don’t seem to have an eye for though!

    1. Thanks Zed, yes the original background piece was a good color but just seemed to disappear. With the contrast of the dark green piece, I thought it gave it more interest. And the composition process and planning is a learned skill. You just have to keep working at it. The way I find the easiest is to get out all the bits and pieces and just try them together in different compositions. Then, you can usually see what works best together. Then I take a photo and look at the photo. I always see things to change in the photo so I may take bunches of photos and then choose which arrangement looks the best. Give it a try, it’s kind of fun.

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