Monday, September 29, 2014

A Tree of Life is Complete

Ready to ship to Australia:
Detail view, lower edges

Detail view, a little higher up

Detail view, closer to the shoulders

Full view, front

Back view, detail

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stitching many leaves

Leaves pinned to the surface
Leaves stitched down.
Next up:  the lining, piping and label.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Leaves for a Tree of Life

A pile of leaves about to be pressed.

The first leaves--these were cut from scraps of brilliant Harris Tweeds.

Raw edges have been trimmed, and leaves laid on the surface.  I'll leave the stole on the cutting table for the next few days and play with the placement before stitching them down.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A Tree of Life stole, Part 2

Herewith some images of the stole progress:
Kristen sent along this sketch for the stole design.

My interpretation

The stole design takes shape:  I drew the outlines of roots, branches and leaves on the unbleached cotton foundation fabric.

Stuffing the "roots"--a large eyed darning needle has been threaded with cotton yarn.

The "roots" from the topside.

The two halves of the stole are on my design wall.  The stitching and stuffing has been completed.

Detail view.
I'm now making the many leaves which will be appliqued on top.
I used fusible interfacing to stabilize the fabric, and then stitched leaf shapes through the layers.

Each shape was stitched twice, then cut out.  Cutting a slit in one side allows the shape to be turned right side out.

Some finished leaves.
I have many more leaves to stitch and turn!  A good project while listening to the radio...

A New Tree of Life Takes Shape

 A few months ago, I received a package in the mail from Australia with materials for a second stole for Noel.  The suggested theme was "tree of life" with the colours predominatly green for "ordinary times".  Included in the package was a green satin evening dress with a voluminous skirt cut on the bias.
This collection includes the evening dress in the lower left as well as some scraps of Harris tweeds contributed by a friend in Scotland.
 I think I was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of fabric in the dress, so the collection had to sit on my table for a few months until I was hit by bolt of inspiration--to use the fabric in the dress in a "whole cloth" approach, creating an outline of a tree and then stuffing the leaves and stems from the back (a quilting technique called trapunto).
Sampler of the potential design.

The sampler from the backside.  I drew the design in pencil on the unbleached cotton and then stitched on top of the lines.  The stems are stuffed with cotton yarn, and the leaf shapes are stuffed with wool fleece.

A few more leaf shapes are appliqued on top.
Once I was satisfied that this approach would work, it was time to take it to the next level (next posting).