Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scott's stole is almost finished.

Except for a bit of hand-stitching, this green stole is almost ready to ship.  I now have it draped on my mannequin (covered in a white sheet) to enjoy in my studio for another few days.
A Tree of Life has taken shape.

I feel however that the Tree of Life has morphed into "Leaves of Life".  I've managed to use a bit of almost every necktie from the congregation either as background, trunk, stems, or leaves.
The upper left side

Central section, both sides.
Back detail
This has been a very satisfying project.  I have revelled in the process, enjoying the luxury to work a little or a lot at any one time.  This has left me lots of thinking and planning time, an important part of the creative process.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Green Stole--lining & piping

Along with all the neckties came a beautiful selection of green cottons.  I cut a 3" strip off each one and pieced them together for the lining.  I inserted my label as well.
A finishing detail that I consider mandatory is piping.  The brown piping will be applied to the inside edges (along the "tree trunk") and the green piping along the outer edges and neckline.
Another source of amusement for me!  Just like the ladybug peeking out from under a leaf, here I've stitched some dark green leaves with a fish motif just above the "water"...

I've been able to use something from each tie or fabric sent to me.  In some cases, I used up every last scrap (the light greens for the background). 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Tree of Life Takes Shape

Both halves of the stole have been on and off my design wall for  the past week.  Yesterday I finally felt ready to start stitching the "stems" and "leaves".  Here's a view of the stole with leaves and stems stitched down on the left side.
A view of both halves of the stole on my design wall.
One of the light green cotton fabrics used for the background had ladybugs on it.  I was able to place one of these insects so that it's just peeking out from under a leaf!

Once most of the stems and leaves were stitched down, I  trimmed the two halves with a half inch seam allowance all round and then sewed the centre back seam.

  In this image the edges have been serged and the stole is on my mannequin.
Here's a detail view of a couple of the leaves:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Slow and Steady Progress...

This is the first time that I've attempted a Tree of Life motif and so I'm taking it slow and steady...I work for a few hours, then take a break, sometimes a day or more, before getting back to it.  I leave the work on my design wall so that I see it all the time--I make little changes or notes of ideas to consider.

A few days ago, I stitched the "tree trunk" using a selection of browns--solids, patterned and striped.  This morning I added the "water" below.
This is all bias-strip pieced.
My next task is to attach the stems and leaves.  I've made a pile of cording from a couple of the brown striped ties, and MANY leaves in various greens--dull, dark and bright greens.  I have managed to use a bit of every tie that was sent to me.
The "stems" have been pinned on, and I'll play with the placement over
 the next few days before committing to sewing.
Next to be pinned were the "leaves"--here's the current arrangement which will likely change:
This is a useful exercise--I've discovered that some leaves are too big.
I've learned not to ignore the "wrong" side of a fabric.  A quilting buddy of mine once said, "I've paid for both sides--I should use both sides!"  Sometimes a neck tie that is too bold or bright is better on the reverse side for the project.  This is true of these two ties:
The stripes are less obvious on the reverse side.