A couple of years ago I decided it was time to learn how to use my beautiful new Bernina sewing machine. Of course I had little interest in the 80 or so built-in embroidery stitches. No all I was concerned with was how to work free-machine embroidery. Looking for a subject to start with, I found a beautifully coloured autumn leaf on my way home after dropping the younger children at school. I started sketching with it (I think that just might have been the last time I actually did any sketching....oh dear....)and soon had the basis for my design.
After that the real fun started to unfold. This piece grew in the making of it! It is a collection of a number of various techniques I wished to explore, some for the first time, others were ones I had often used before.
The background was hand-dyed, with a layer of painted Bondaweb applied. Next stage was the making of the 4 metal foil leaves following Maggie Grey's instructions in her books. The centre leaves were both free-machined on soluble fabric, one densely, the other a mirror image designed to look more ethereal and lacy. For the top layer, the beaded lace, I turned to one of the stitch patterns on the machine itself, stitching a grid with metallic threads. I then beaded the piece before dissolving the fabric in water. Other elements were a piece of painted canvas as background for central leaves, and water soluble paper as edging around the metal foil leaves in order to help blend them in with the background. These were also quite heavily free machine stitched.
Creating this piece was fun from beginning to end!