Poppies! Poppies! Poppies!



Poppies

Size (h w d): 17 x 18 x 1 in

Medium: Fabric, thread, and yarn, on blue ultra suede on stretcher bars

Subject Matter: landscape

Type: Fabric Collage

Poppies. Artist Gina M.

I’m doing something new here today. I posted a new work on Instagram a few weeks ago and received questions on how I made it. I thought I could answer these questions rather than recreate a step-by-step tutorial. I will also create a packet of fabrics and trims for those who want to make something similar. I’ll post the curated packets of fabric, ribbon and trims at the end here.


Inspiration:


In between making art masks, during the 2020 pandemic, I would sew the leftover mask scrap fabrics together and make one-of-a-kind Franken-fabric.

My inspiration for this piece was my neighbor’s front yard.A few years ago they planted wildflowers and each year more blooms pop up with a color explosion. The garden inspired me to create a landscape in the same collage style.


Starting:

Intimidated by a blank white canvas, I picked a sturdy fabric with a flower-like pattern already on it for the background. I tore fabric in various greens and purples for the leaves, keeping the purple for shadow areas. After scattering them across the surface and fiddling with them a bit, I fused the larger pieces of fabric to the background with an iron and fusible web and used fabric glue for the thin smaller items. Then as I liked a section, I would take it to the sewing machine and top stitch over the layout. I followed the edges of the pieces, more or less. I didn’t care if it all got covered with stitches at this point because I knew there was more going on top of these.

I like to iron everything as I go to smooth out and get some of the puckers to ease up - but not all. They all wont smooth out anyway. So embrace it.


Texture:

My topstitching acted as additional texture. I would alternate between zigzag, decorative stitches, and straight stitch. All stitches are fair game. The color of thread sometimes matched the fabric I was sewing over, but sometimes it was a contrast. For instance, some of the green leaves have purple thread over them. I found this defined the leaves while also creating interest. If I didn’t want to call attention to a leaf or flower, I changed the thread to match.


I also used thread to create line work. I thought I could also do some hand embroidery here, but changed my mind. My machine has a free motion foot on it so I can move the fabric in any direction with the feed dogs down, so the circles were easier than it may be on a regular home machine. But it can be done. Or embroider the line work. It all will work.


Embellishment:

I noticed I needed to push the sky, or top of the landscape back to add depth. The leaves were jumping out all over visually. The piece of netting with a bit of bling fixed that. I layered it over the top fourth of the piece and sewed only the top and sides down. I left the bottom open so I could tuck other things in if needed.

The poppies are a scrunched up piece of a red decorative organza scrap that I didn’t sew flat. I left the center of the gathers puffy, making sure I sewed all the edges down. If it looked like it needed it I would run a length of stitches through the middle of the puff to sculpt it more. I also tucked in some red silk flower petals as I did this.


The last thing was to add the string, yarn, and trim. This was zigzag fun. I did glue some spots of the string to the background so I could sew more than one at a time. **NOTE: make sure it is totally dry. The needle doesn’t like wet glue or hot fuse.


Finishing details:



Now what? I had this fabric creation in need of some structure. I found a set of art canvas stretcher bars 17”x18” and my piece was only about 16”x17” and intentionally not straight on any edge. So, I added another layer of texture by sewing it face up, centered onto a larger piece of fabric, 20’x20” that I cut down after I wrapped around and stapled it to the stretcher bars.


Hope this answered some questions for those who asked and inspires you to make a creation of your own.


I have the art listed on Ebay if you would like it.





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