Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Sprig Away

Today's project has been working on a sprig of Cilantro for my Salsa quilt.  This has been a little more challenging, as the uneven ruffled edges of the cilantro and the thin, fine stalks are going to make it pretty impossible to turn under the edges to applique.  Unless you know a technique that I don't!

"Cilantro" freehand machine embroidery by Christina Fairley Erickson
"Cilantro" back
So, I did this one a little differently, in that I decided to put a green, leafy background on the back, below the layers of stabilizer.  This way, I can carefully cut around my machine embroidery and fasten it to the background, but allow some of the leaves to not be completely secured, and the backing fabric will show.  I expect I'll have to color along the edges where I cut, however.

I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the background this time around, though I'm considering putting it on either a red or yellow-orange piece.  While I'm working on this little sprig, here's something to think about on a much grander scale!

Sea Nettle" by Dina Barzel in foreground
"Bridging Shine" by Jo Hamilton in background
Yesterday, I started talking about the Bellevue Art Museum's (BAM) current exhibit "High Fiber Diet."  One of the artists and a friend of mine, Dina Barzel, is an incredible woman in the fiber arts.  Dina has been working as a full-time artist since 1970 and makes fiber sculptures.  I met Dina through the Surface Design Association and am happy to have her join our monthly meetings here in Bellevue.  Dina was born and grew up in the Western Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania.  The traditional uses of fibers were an essential part of everyday life, and made quite an impression on her.

Dina's sculpture for this show, "Sea Nettle" is made of silk fibers, shaped around molds.  Some of the molds are large and light enough to even hold the artist!  The silken globe rise up to the twenty foot ceiling, some partially open, as though they are allowing others to escape from within.

In the background, you'll see an oversized male portrait called "Bridging Shine" by Jo Hamilton. This piece is made completely of mixed crocheted yarn and is about twice the size of life.

"Sea Nettle" by Dina Brazel (detail)

"Sea Nettle" by Dina Brazel (detail)
You might also be interested in:

BAM High Fiber Diet La Cebolla (Onion) Developing the 
Creative Habit

For wonderful Tutorials on FreeMotion Quilting and more, go to Leah Day's FreeMotion Quilting Project


  1. Thanks for sharing! I would love to see an exhibit like that, am not too far away. Hmmm.... I may have to take a little road trip...

  2. I love your cilantro! nice job, and the exhibit is wonderful! as you can see, I'm giving up on trying to do a 5 x7 every week - simply not enough time :-( I am enjoying following your "journey" though.
    thank you for sharing it :~)

  3. This exhibition looks amazing. I can't really grasp the scale of seeing this in real life. I'm looking forward to seeing your cilantrol piece :)

  4. Your cilantro is fabulous! Wow! I checked your Moulin Rouge pieces, and love them! Thanks so much for pointing me that way. I have placed your blog on my blog list, I love your work.

    I have recently been accepted to a very small six person fiber group that explores technique. I am the way junior member, but hope to learn what the others have to teach me.

    glen/Quilts and Dogs