Thursday, April 2, 2009

Puzzling it out

For a while now I've been struggling with making puzzle pieces for Pat Winter's Pieces of Friendship swap. I got some fabric with paper dolls to use as a central image. blah. I colored in some toile with fabric crayons. feh. I tried some simple crazy quilting with fabrics I have. ho-hum.

Then last week, on our visit to Esther's Place, I found a large bin full of hand-dyed, felted wool fabric pieces (and bought way more than I could afford).

My first piece is an experiment in working with these materials. I pieced the wools and did seam treatments and then needlefelted a flower.

I often use a copier or the camera when a piece is developing, to help me "see." I'm not sure if it's the flattened plane or the different media, but I can often see things in a photo that I don't on the actual piece.

This wip photo clearly shows the large empty areas on the left that just stand out too much and detract from the flower. That solid green corner just pulls your eye away from it.

You can see in the final version at the top of the page that I used some simple embroidered swirls to break up these areas. Now the focus is back on the flower. At least, that's how it seems to me.

Photocopying can be even more helpful because it drops out the color. I almost always copy a design in progress, just to see where the lights and darks are and how things flow.

I think I'm on the right track. Pat Winter blogged several times recently about having a hard time with red as the main color. I think that influenced me to select a wool plaid in red and bittersweet as my focal fabric for my second puzzle piece. I have the background pieced and now trying to figure out where to go next.

I have a scrap of a silk print that has a bittersweet background with grayish-turquoise flowers on it, so I think I may try to incorporate that color. My initial inclination is to do something autumn with those background colors--perhaps a fall leaf or pine needles but I'd like to push a bit out of my comfort zone with this.

I also cut a solid fabric puzzle piece from a nicely mottled wool in a butternut color. I think it will be a stunning background if I can figure out what to put on it.


Jeanie said...

It's a lovely puzzle piece ! Hope to see more :)

Pat Winter said...

I don't see anything wrong with your puzzle. The pretty felting is a great focal point. If you feel it is plain, perhaps adding a bug charm or beaded bug like a bee or dragonfly would take up the space you are concerned about. I like how the felting draws your eye because I love felting, and it is so popular right now. Great job!!

Lelia said...

Now that I read the comments -- & your more recent post ... I think Pat is right. Maybe just a charm. Or perhaps a small flower made with seed beads? I really like it : )

Lelia said...

You know, maybe a dinky bee button ... or a dinky lady bug button?

An insect would be fun!