Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pink Poppy

“Pink Poppy” by Susan Brubaker Knapp
8.75" square (Copyright 2015)
White cotton fabric, acrylic textile paint, cotton thread, cotton batting.
Wholecloth painted and free-motion machine quilted.
I finished this small piece, “Pink Poppy,” this past weekend. It is wholecloth painted, then quilted. Here is the painting in progress:

My favorite brush by Loew-Cornell has been discontinued, so I’m working with brushes by Tulip. They are not quite as stiff as the Loew-Cornell ones, but I’m pretty happy with them. I purchase several hundred brushes a year for my wholecloth painting classes, so I needed to find some good replacements. 

In the photo below, I haven’t finished painting (the flower center and the background aren’t done) and you can see that I still don’t have the values right. The darks need to get darker, and the lights need to get lighter. This is often the case when I get to this point in the painting. We are all more comfortable in the middle value zone. It takes some courage to add the darkest values. I often take photos of my painted pieces in progress so that I can see if I have the values correct. I’m not sure exactly why this works, but it does.

Now the center is roughed in, and the values are looking better, so it’s more dimensional:

Here it is finished, before stitching:

And now it goes under the needle of my trusted Bernina. I free-motion quilted using colors in the piece: hot pink, pale pink, dark purple, and chartreuse. The stitching adds dimension and detail. On many of my small pieces (this piece is only 8.75" square), I do a pillowcase turn before I quilt. First I baste the batting and a layer of interfacing to the wrong side of the backing fabric, then I sew the front to the back, leaving a small opening. Then I clip the corners, turn it inside out and quilt.