A while back, in this post, I shared with you the beginnings of a new art quilt based on a watercolor painting I had done. I've finally had some time to continue playing with it, and it has progressed to the machine- and hand-stitching stages.
I began attaching the pieces, using machine appliqué, starting with the lowest layer of the motifs and working to the uppermost layer. I like using a slightly open, flat zigzag stitch, so the color of the fabric will show through the thread.
Here, the entire right half of the butterfly has been appliquéd; the triangles and decorative stitching stitching around the purple center were embroidered by machine. The black background fabric behind each piece has been cut away for two reasons: (1) to prevent build-up of the layers, and (2) to keep the color of the motifs from being dulled by the presence of black behind them.
I auditioned beads at this stage; I liked the white ones and nixed the red ones -- French knots seemed the better way to go, so . . .
. . . I decided to embroider them at this stage, before the backing was attached, so that the knots on the back would be buried within the batting. (Full disclosure: I later learned that the type of knot I make is really an Italian knot because I wind the thread around the needle the wrong way . . .)
I then embroidered the black lines using a back stitch; to keep the stitches even, I placed a piece of masking tape, marked at regular intervals, next to the line I was stitching as a guide. White perle cotton accents were added to the violet flowers at the top.
It's on to the machine quilting at this point -- hope you'll stay tuned!