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Friday, 20 May 2011

Let Me Sleep On It...

Ever since the first french-knotted canola field I made, I've been dreaming of stitching a field of flax.  Now with this exhibit approaching, here's a great reason!  I have some photos of local flax fields, but they tend to mesh right into the sky on a clear day from a low angle.

my photo, east of Saskatoon 2009

This is the first time I began looking at photos on the internet to get ideas.  Some views showed a particular angle where you could see thicker blue (flatter) parts of the field, and thinner flower tops (on slopes) that exposed a lot of the greenery.  So here's how I started.

excuse the poor evening lighting...

I really needed to walk away and 'sleep on it it' before going back to it.  After hours of staring and studying (copyright free) flax field photos, here is how this piece was transformed.

The canola in the distance and the darkened horizon really adds great depth.  I love it!  The sky is painted, covered in mesh cloth, and stitched in wavy lines that really make the sky work with the lines in the land.  I will redo the satin stitching since the variegated thread looks striped (yuck).  I have a pale moon added into the upper right of this piece and POOF, it's done and I am so proud of it!

The french knots are made of cotton and fine rayon threads, mixed to create just the right color.  No, Becky, I didn't count them yet.  : )  But I will!  Here's how I do it.  If you can count how many french knots are in this 1 inch wide section, then you would multiply it by 8.

119 here?

So, 119 per inch, times 8 inches = lots and lots of blue french knots.  ; )  That's my answer and I'm stickin' to it.

Taking a break from a piece you feel stuck with is like giving art it's beauty rest.  The same goes for this one that I showed you yesterday:

work in progress: Spring on the Prairie (4?  5?)

It's good, but it's not done.  I pinned it up on the wall and left it.  The next morning after a good night's sleep is when the magic happens.  It took one glance and I knew what it needed.  I got straight to work.  It's just right now.  Funny how that works!

click to see it up close

I completely love the storm cloud on the horizon with the clear blue sky above it.  I stitched fine rayon blue-grey lines to suggest the heavy downpour.  I couched on an indigo blue cord to set in the horizon, and I made sure the field still swayed loosely in front of it.  Although this is a variation of the first Spring on the Prairie, this one is certainly my best. 

Off to the lake we go!!  Have a great long Victoria Day weekend!



elle said...

The detail really does make it. I was resisting canola but blue flax!!! How many French knots??? LOL Great work!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

These are all amazing. I love the flax. That was always my favourite..as a kid on the farm, seeing the periwinkle blue fields in the morning.

Scrappy quilter said...

I love the flax too. I love it in the fields when it's in bloom. It's incredible just like your work. Hugs

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Yes, there is something about letting the design marinade that really seems to work! I have to say of all your pieces so far I am very drawn to the last one.. Spring on the Prairie with the rain storm. Just stunning how you capture the rain and the wavy field. So much motion and depth. Just lovely! I have much to learn!

Becky said...

LOL Love those flax fields, and the rain! Amazing! The way you make such a flat landscape so interesting, is just brilliant!

Wendy said...

Maybe we'll pass you on the way to the lake! Same route :D

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