Monday, July 6, 2009

Orchid #1, continued

I made a lot of progress today on my first orchid piece for the Fiber Art Options’ project we are hoping to turn into a traveling exhibition. After heat setting the paint with an iron, I trimmed out the painted orchid and hand appliqued it to a black background. I then layered it with batting (wool/poly) and an upholstery-weight backing, and pin basted it. You can see all the layers here:

Then I started machine quilting it, using 50 weight Aurifil Cotton Mako thread, which I love for this kind of work.

I added a slight suggestion of leaves in the background, but left it pretty much alone. I’m trying to decide if this is enough detail in the background. If I get up tomorrow morning and it still looks okay to me, I’ll finish it up and face it.

Here’s how it looks now:

This last photo was taken outside, so the colors are pretty true.


  1. Oh, wow! It looks amazing! How can you accomplish something like that with no a/c in the house?? I'd just be lying around complaining under a full-speed ceiling fan!

  2. Susan - this is really coming along! I can't believe how much different the quilt looks after the stitching. It really gives it life!

  3. Melissa,
    You hit the nail on the head... I always feel like my pieces are not alive until I quilt them.

    I am quilting with windows open in the studio and two fans aimed directly at my body. Tempted to quilt naked, but since the windows are open, I don't want to offend the neighbors.

  4. Susan that's really going to be gorgeous!!!!

  5. Your stitching is amazing! I love everything about this piece.

    Have you thought about video taping yourself machine quilting? Hope that's not too oddball of a question. As I looked at the orchid piece I kept thinking to myself I would love to be able to watch you work. Of course, you can tell me to just wait for the TV show! Congrats!

  6. Kathy: Yes, I've thought about video. I'd love to add clips to my blog. Rob (my husband) got me a Flip video camera and a tiny tripod for Mothers' Day, and I'm going to test it out. I need to get better lighting, I think.

  7. Susan... I love the way this piece is progressing... and I love Orchids! It is amazing the different way the piece shows indoors vs outside :-).

  8. What a difference the quilting makes! It looks amazing!

  9. this is so beautiful! I am not a quilter...I know I am admitting this on your blog...sorry...but I love the colors and the stitching makes it pop!

  10. This piece is going to be so beautiful. I am a big fan of lots of background quilting, so I would probably add more. But your flower will steal the show.

  11. Susan,

    I've never liked orchids much until now! The machine quilting is beautiful and really brings out that pink.

    If you need help with your videos give me a call! I'd love to help you get started on You tube, you'd be a big hit!



  12. Thanks, Leah! I'll call you if I need help with the video thing!


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