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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Peppers


I finished My "Peppers" last night!  Hooray!  I'm quite happy with how they turned out... I struggled with making the red center one laying down so you are looking down on it.  I think the key was both the shading and sewing directional-ly. By this I mean that I'm trying to capture the shape of the object, by sewing in the direction that the object naturally goes.

For instance, where there was a buldge in the pepper, I sewed around any bulbous protusion, which, combined with shading, helps give the illusion of depth. Another way of looking at directional sewing is to think of the way something grows or sewing with the grain of an item. For instance, if you want to portray an animal, it won't look very realistic if you make the hair going in an unnatural manner.  Similarly, petals, leaves, and plant stems look closer to life with a vertical grain and more cartoonish with horizontal filling.

Background before I hand appliqu├ęd the trapunto peppers 
I also made a decision with the background of this piece.  If you're familiar with design theory, you'll recognize "repetition" and "unity" as two fundamental  design concepts. Many strong designs utilize repetition- whether they are visual art, writing or in a musical composition.  Repetition aows the viewer to feel more comfortable with the piece-as if the already know something about it, since they've seen (or heard) that part of the piece before. Repetition can also help unify a piece. Having too many loose ends that don't relate anywhere else in the work can be jarring and disquieting.

So, for my "Peppers" I used a background fabric which matches the background of my Tomatillo, but in a different color way.  I used the same pattern for the Freemotion quilting as I did on my Tomato. One of the lines of decorative stitch matches another in one of my pieces.

Why is this important? While each piece may be lovely and stand on its own, my plan is to put nine of these "Salsa" pieces together into a quilt. Although I'm doing similar techniques- Machine embroidered veges with decorative stitching and Freemotion quilting, if I'm not careful it will seem like it isn't unified.  Other ways I'm working to unify the peace and provide repetition include using the same font for the name of each of the vegetables or fruits, using an analagous color scheme (red, orange, yellow, green), and having my quilting and decorative stitching be more sharp angles rather than curves (I think of this being more like Mayan or Aztec patterning.

On to my Avocados....!

You Might Also Be Interested in:

New 5 x 7 
Challenge Pieces
5 x 7 Week 3- 
The Start of Salsa
Developing the 
Creative Habit

Check out these other Great Blogs!
For great ideas on freemotion quilting, check out Leah Day's FreeMotion Quilting Project

To find some wonderful quilting projects, visit Freshly Pieced

Confessions of a Fabric Addict 

Art Quilts by Nina Marie Sayre

Stitch by Stitch by Marelize Ries

15 comments:

  1. I love all your thread painting. Very beautiful. You are inspiring me to try some, and abandon my "findings" theme...if only temporarily.

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    1. I have been having a lot of fun with it. I feel like I've found my niche with machine freehand embroidery and freemotion quilting... though I'm excited to be taking a hand-stitch class later this month! Looking forward to seeing your next piece(s). Christina

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  2. Fabulous, as always! I can imagine how challenging it would have been to make the red pepper look realistic in that position - but you did it!

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    1. Thanks, Terry. I'm loving following your blog and progress too!

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  3. They came out good enough to eat. Your thread painting is fantastic!

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    1. Too bad the edible theme for the Quilting Arts calendar has come and gone! Thanks for the compliments. Christina

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  4. Wow - I'm blown away by your peppers - they are so realistic!

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  5. Ho-ray! It looks wonderful - it was so much fun watching you do them but gosh the finish product is better than I thought. I too struggle with getting my thread painting to lie flat for me at times.

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  6. Whoa! Holy Smokes. :D Your peppers are fantabulous. :)

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  7. Very nice. Lots of thread and thread colors. The peppers have so much detail they remind me of work I did years ago in colored pencil. I look forward to seeing the finished quilt.

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  8. Been following your progress and am really impressed. Thread painting is similar to any other painting. It gets better with practice. Good job.

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  9. You really accomplished your goal with making the peppers look real. Your comments on unity and repetition help us remember to keep design principles in mind at all times. Great job!

    Come see me at "Off the Wall Friday!" too.

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  10. This is just fantastic. You are a real quilt artist. The thread work is beautiful. I am visiting from Anything Goes.

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  11. These are so cool! Gorgeous quilting.

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