Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sketching on Fabric


Ever notice how "they" make you feel guilty if you don't keep a sketchbook or art journal? It’s all over the internet and blogland, it's a trend—you have to do it to increase your creativity and inspiration, and enhance your visual vocabulary and artistic voice, etc., etc., etc.

OK !

So last year I decided that since I really didn’t like sketching on paper (bores me silly, I'd rather be stitching), I’d try sketching on fabric, …maybe just once a week. I turned to my garden for some interesting subject matter with permanent marker in hand and a piece of white cotton fabric from a shirt.

My first sketch—a branch of blue flowers on a bush. For the background, I added scraps of fabric around it and stitched them down by machine.
Then, I thread painted the flowers and leaves by machine 
and started to add some hand stitching.
It then required a frame of some sort into which I extended lines from the central panel.
Seemed empty. An idea of needle turn appliqué. 
However, it would have to go all the way around.
The uneven, raw-edged overflow made such an interesting border that it stayed.
The central background required more hand stitching in a simple running stitch.
I added the backing and machine quilted the appliqué with black thread. 
 And finally, after a year, this piece is finished—whew !
"Blue Flowers in My Garden" (14"x16"/36cm x 41 cm), April 2013, hand & machine appliquéd, hand & machine embroidered, machine quilted.
Here’s the problem. Every time I sketch on fabric, it turns into something bigger. 
Need I mention the pomegranate tree quilt? Imagine if I did a sketch every week...? 
OK, that's it, I can't keep up! No more sketching on fabric--or at least not until I get through my 
"To-Do-List." At last count, it contained around 20 items waiting in line. That's a big back burner...

Linked to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays."

21 comments:

Terri in BC said...

All I can say is WOW! Thank you for outlining your thought process. I'm not an artist, but I love to let my brain wander and I've never been successful at recording it in a journal or sketchbook. perhaps I should try your method!

Connie Rose said...

Wow, Nadia, this is absolutely amazing!

Carole said...

Ha, Nadia! I have the same feelings about the sketchbook.....as a painter I'm supposed to be carrying one with me wherever I go! Not for me and obviously not for you. I love this piece and your story of it's creation. Have a great and guiltless week!

Julie S said...

As if YOU need your visual vocabulary enhanced!!! Your needle turn applique never fails to amaze me.

Merilyn said...

I just loved this post, it took me through the whole process of what you do.....it's so free-range and it always looks amazing when you are done with it....bravo to you, another delightful piece, wish I could just let go like that LOL!!!!!

Muddling Through said...

I LOVE seeing your creative process, and "they" didn't give you that talent and it isn't up to them to tell you how to use it. Just my opinion.

Sandy said...

Wow, that's amazing. Thanks for sharing your process!

Sarah Martin said...

See, now that is just so dang great.
If you sketch on paper (well, I do like to actually, mainly because I don't have a sewing machine in my car lol) but then you have books full and stacks of paper, which really were all ideas for sewing something anyway! Great to just cut out the middleman and go straight for it. I love it.

Ms. said...

Ha! How satisfying and original. How surprising. LOVE it!

nadine said...

Absolument magnifique !

patricia said...

i sure hope i can get this one to post. so, i've wanted to say for so long now that i love the way your machine stitching is so utterly unlike any i've seen or done myself. i started out with free motion but then didn't like the look of it. too rigid. you've thrown that look out with the bath water. and your applique work is totally amazing, intriguing and beautiful. ok let's see if this one goes through.

Susan Christensen said...

Your creativity is boundless dear Nadia!
This sketching turned fabulous painting is wonderful in every way!
-sus

Michelle said...

All of that to avoid sketching on paper? :-) I love it -- especially the appliqued frame.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

I enjoyed watching how your sketch evolved into a piece of art. I have tried (and tried) to force myself to keep some sort of art journal and the best I can do is jot down instructions on various techniques I have stumbled upon. Drawing is definitely not my forte so that's out. Methinks I'll be sticking to my to-do list too!

deemallon said...

Wow, I would think after such an exertion that sketching on paper would look pretty inviting. I'm not a natural drawer either, but sometimes I just love how much easier and freer it is than drawing with thread... so going back and forth is nice.

But none of that is what I really want to say. . . which is - you have such a signature style, and it is so driven by texture and an organic construction, that I can understand why 2D paper just wouldn't do it for you!

Nina Marie said...

LOL well first of all I think a to-do list is kinda of organic thing that things grow and die as you go. Also - I think of my blog as my art journal - I don't need to have a book to grow my creativity (I literally tried that for years and it never worked for me). I do keep a sketch book for as a tool - not as a history or form of growth. And believe you me - we would have told you "Nadia step away from the pomegranates" - if we thought you had gone too far - they were great and so is this piece!

norma said...

Love it , love it and enjoyed seeing your process. I know what you mean about "them" saying that you need a sketch book. I don't have one either. Drawing is not my strong point, but you have made your thread sketching into an art of its own. Bravo!

blandina said...

As I know you, you are never predictable neither you do things like others do. This piece is stunning, I enjoyed the creative process.

Karen@littlebirdiequilting said...

A fantastic piece- great 'organic' process!

Teodo said...

Great, great, great. Bellissimo. linda

Martha said...

Your sense of color, texture, and composition - gorgeous!