My work is machine pieced, in this case I will be using straight seams.
Transferring the original picture to tracing paper, figuring out where the
seam lines will go and dividing those into sewable sections comes next. I have to leave space at the bottom for the deer.
The finished piece needs to be 32 X 78â€ť , so my working pattern will be
about 36 x 85â€ť since I know that my intensive machine quilting will take up several inches in the end.
When I am satisfied, the lines are transferred to overhead projection film and projected in the mirror image to freezer paper on the wall in the finished size, which will be cut apart to become the working templates.
When these templates are ironed to the wrong side of the fabrics, cut with a quarter inch seam allowance and sewn, it will look like the original layout.
I have a pretty good stash of commercial prints and hand dyes suitable for nature inspired work. One of the first things I do when starting a new work is to pull any fabrics that I think have possibilities of working into the piece.
My studio has good natural light from windows and overhead fixtures so I keep my fabric behind bamboo and canvas roll – up blinds to combat fading.
Much of what I choose will never make it in and more will be added later, but this is a starting place. The fabrics are all 100% cotton, mostly commercial prints, though I do sometimes use hand dyes. I use a lot of batik fabric because I love the variations of colors within a piece that lends itself well to the nature inspired work that I do.
Behind the cutting table, you can see the blinds in the down position.
When I was teaching in Springfield, Mo., I found this wonderful panel.
(Winter Whispers by Michelle Mara, Wilmington Prints)
The scale seemed right and since my specialty is working with commercial prints, and even though I didnâ€™t know if I would be accepted into Seasonal Palette I just had to buy two panels just in case! I needed two panels so that I could accommodate the seam allowances and still have things line up. I would want to fracture the scene, maybe rearrange the figures and integrate them into the piecing.
Deer often frequent the area of our farm pond and I thought they would bring life to the composition.