Monday, 27 March 2017


This week I have not only been cutting back layers of fabric, but I have been mercilessly cutting back...actually, more realistically, HACKING back....a few plants that have threatened to overtake our garden.  One of those plants is dogbane, which may well be a repellent against dogs & cats, but it is so stinky, invasive & rash inducing, that it is a bane to we gardeners as well!

Nevertheless... it has a very pretty flower & I particularly like it in bud form.  Therefore, to compensate for the fact that I have severely reduced it's life expectancy in my garden, I chose to focus on it for this week's art project!

The leaves are an interesting shape with serrations along the upper edge.  They also form an attractive cluster, so I began by drawing them.

Then I drew the bud, choosing to stick to a linear representation, as time was not an abundant commodity this Monday!!

A rummage through the green fabric drawer for leafy greens, then...

...another in the purples, from which to source my final shortlist of fabrics.

Within the design, I wanted to reference both the leaf shape as well as the bud.  Using the leaf shape as a kind of frame in which the bud would sit,  I then cut back the first layer leaving a space to sew on....

...the 'sandwich' of layers I would be using to create the bud.

Before cutting back the bud though, I had one more section to sew on.  I took the leaf I'd cut out from the section below & carefully placed it on top of my bud.  This would give me my green ends to each of the bud 'petals'.

As you may have noticed, there is a LOT of fabric wastage in this technique!  Consequently, I have overflowing scrap bins in different colours.  These are helpful when making cards, doing fabric collage or even trying to rustle up an approximate colour plan for my larger pieces.  When I can reuse a discarded piece of fabric, I do.  Using it within the same  art piece, as I have here, is a bonus!

And so the cutting back began!  From this... this, and then...
...finally this!  I was very pleased with the design, the colours & the way it was all coming together, but it needed just a bit of tweeking.

Adding stitch to the very edge sections of this design, reinforced the 'frame' effect & helped to focus the viewer's eye on the flower bud.  A very pleasing end result achieved in a relatively short space of time.

The weather has finally turned a little more autumnal (mid 20's celsius), which means I will be spending more time trying to tame the garden before winter comes.  Whilst I'm cutting back & digging up, who knows what plant will grab my attention & beg to be my muse next week!

Until then...happy cutting!

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