I started working on this piece two weeks ago. I began with the original photo – cropped it, enlarged it, then printed out sections, taped them together, traced individual petals using tissue paper, planned out the background and traced the shapes…
“Sunflower” – paper template to enlarged size
Next I collected fabrics from my stash, bought some new pieces, started building the background, cut out the petals and arranged them in place,
“Sunflower” – the elements cut out and positioned
then started stitching: I laid down four horizontal strips of fabric from top to bottom, stitched them in place. Then added the leaf elements, edged stitched them – I didn’t “free motion” because I wanted more precision so, instead, I slowly freely stitched with my feed dogs in place – that allowed me to stitch very close to the edge of the appliquéd pieces. Next, I added a bit of detail and fill.
“Sunflower” – background stitched
Once the background was completed, I laid out the flower petals, fused them in position, then began carefully stitching them, first using a light thread at the edges, then more golden/orange threads for the centre of each petal. Finally I stitched the centre of the flower – my goal was to bring out the spiral pattern of the florets (the centre of the flower was printed on fabric to retain the natural detail of the floret arrangement, as well as the few small bursts of blue – too small to add using cut bits of fabric).
To finish the piece, I added a 3/8″ inner border of raw silk, mitred at the corners, then a purple piping, and finally a 3″ batik frame also mitred at the corners.
“Sunflower” – stitching detail
The whole piece I backed with muslin, including a sleeve for hanging at the top.
Now I’m walking around the apartment trying to find a place to hang it – there doesn’t seem to be one, without taking something else down! I’m really going to have to think about where to display it.
“Sunflower” without frame