Wednesday, 15 February 2017


I think I picked the last perfect agapanthus flower left in the garden for this week's art project study.  It is so delicate & the beauty of the individual flower gets lost when we look at the agapantha head as a whole. I love the placement of the stamens, the way they sit low in the centre of the flower.

The rest of my aggies look like this...

 I decided therefore to incorporate both in this week's project. Being short on time, I didn't spend too long thinking about how I could represent these two images together on textiles, I went with the first idea that popped into my head & proceeded with minimal planning.

Thinking of the background first, I wanted to produce a stylised version of the head of green pods, so played with a few ideas with pencil, before blocking in my chosen design with pen.

The next step was to cut out a stencil from a scrap of freezer paper I had left over from another project.  Having drawn up a grid on my background fabric it was time to get the stencil brush out & start! I  happened to have some left over grey paint, so adding more white, I used it to create a repeat patterned background. I was very happy with the result & I was very relieved that that scrap of a stencil lasted 9 rounds of paint application!  It was definitely ready for the bin after that though!

Whilst the background was drying, I whipped up a few quick sketches of the floret & settled on a profile design.

I cut out a copy of it to trace around on my 'map' (pattern) to see where it would work & where it wouldn't!!

After choosing some fabrics, it was time to sit at the sewing machine.  Although there was very little actual stitching needed for this piece, I was using a cotton that was a contrasting colour to the fabric it was going into, therefore I needed to be careful to stay neat & straight!

Cutting back is where the fun starts & the first cut boded well!

Second & third cuts left me with a cute little floret that I was happy with.  I didn't cut back the green at this point for two reasons; 1) It was needed for the stems of two florets 2) I still needed to stitch the stem outline in!

Carefully placing my 'sandwich' of fabric layers, I stitched in the next floret.

Then the process of cutting away began again.

The stems were drawn on with an air erasable pen before stitching in place & cutting back.

With the addition of some beads to pep it up, here is the final result.  In hindsight, I would have preferred the grey stencil to be a little softer, so that it receded into the background more. I obviously didn't put enough white paint into the mix!!

Otherwise, I am quite pleased with this result, especially given my restricted time.  I think I have now finished with the 'agapanthus meets contemporary reverse applique' experiment.  Next week I'll find another source of inspiration from my garden.

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