Guest post by Kerry Ayers Cain – Design Team Member
A Mother’s Day Gift – Part 2
In the picture my mother is wearing her signature turquoise color. In fact, my daughter has teased that turquoise or teal is the go to color for all women in my family – my mother, my four sisters and me. So needless to say, I had a large number of turquoise fabrics to choose from for my collage. Below is a picture of the fabrics I started with, supplemented by buttons and ribbons I got from Blue Twig Studio. Included in the fabrics I have are a number of vintage type lace and handkerchief pieces that I got from my Mom and that I had previously dyed. If you would like some pieces like this to work with and don’t have any, Deb has some pieces in stock. Most of Deb’s vintage pieces are neutral in color, but you can easily change the color by spraying them with Radiant Rain (or you can dye them like I did). (Note from Deb – a lot of my vintage pieces are not on the website, however if you call me I can give you some descriptions of what I have available, or you can set up an appt to visit the studio).
As with the size of the picture, as I work I often end up adjusting the size of the piece, but the first step is still to decide on the preliminary size for the wall hanging.
Next I choose a background fabric. Sometimes I use a number of fabrics for the background, including cottons and upholstery fabrics from sample upholstery books. In that case I draw the dimensions for the piece on muslin with permanent marker and then arrange my fabrics to cover the area. I then use invisible thread and a zigzag stitch to catch all the edges. I design on this patchwork background. Below is a wall hanging of my daughter when she had pink hair that uses this type of patchwork background.
For my mother’s collage, I used a single piece of batik. I then began placing fabrics on the background in a potential collage design. I initially fold larger pieces to the desired size, as I don’t cut anything until I have determined the final arrangement. I will normally try a number of different designs until I find my favorite. Because I may ultimately decide I like an earlier design best, I take a digital picture of each arrangement, so I can always recreate one. As part of the design process, I will place any embellishments (such as ribbons, buttons, and beads) loosely on the arrangement. Once I have decided on a design, I will cut my various fabric pieces to the correct size. Below are three of the 7 or 8 potential designs I tried. I finally decided on the third one. Although relooking at them now, I waiver and think maybe I should have gone with 2 – has this ever happened to you? 🙂
I first worked on the portrait part of the collage and put it together by itself. I layered the two fabrics and created a frame for the picture using a pleated ribbon I got from Blue Twig. I liked it because the pleating allowed me to manipulate it to fit around and slightly under than my oval picture. I pinned it in place and machine stitched it to the layered fabrics.
I then prepared the picture to attach it to the collage. I decided the best way to do that on this piece was to fuse it down. So I ironed a piece of misty fuse (very easy to use) to the back of the picture and cut it out on the oval line. I then fused it down on top of the pleated ribbon and fabric.
Next I layered a leaf ribbon that Deb also carries on top of the pleated ribbon. It comes in a number of colors, but not turquoise. (Note from Deb – I have quite a few colors of this ribbon, so if you are wanting a particular color that isn’t listed on the website please contact me about it.) The closest was a pale blue. I took it and painted it with diluted radiant rain. Basically I took the lid off the radiant rain, poured a very small amount into another container and added a little water. Radiant Rain out of the bottle is fairly intense and I wanted a softer color. I then just painted it with a brush onto the leaf ribbon and ironed it after it dried. I attached the leaves to the piece with flower sequins and beads. The “finished” photo part of the collage then looked like this.
I then attached the two lace pieces to the background. I machine stitched along the long cut edge and couched the turquoise cord down with a zigzag stitch. I then hand beaded to finish holding the lace pieces in place. I decided it would be easiest to machine quilt the background before adding the photo piece.
When I laid the finished photo piece on the quilt to machine stitch it on, I decided something more was needed in the bottom left hand corner. I tried a number of things such as beads and buttons, but decided I liked some velvet ribbon streamers best (Note from Deb – the velvet ribbon is not on the website right now). So I machine stitched them on and then stitched on the photo piece. I added paper beads in the corners and wooden flower buttons that I colored with Inka Gold in silver. Inka Gold is a really fun product that you can use on wood, metal and paper to give something a nice bling. It comes in both metallic shades and colors.
So the finished piece looks like this. I hope my mother likes it.
Thanks for a great tutorial Kerry. I know your mom will love it. ~Deb
Let Your Inner Artist Out to Play
Blue Twig Studio – 5965 Whiskey River dr – Colorado Springs, CO 80923 – USA
- A Mother’s Day Gift – Part 1 (bluetwigstudio.wordpress.com)