The TIF theme for this month was "details." After a perfectly useful crit from my new group (hi guys) I decided to push it forward, rather than pull things off. It is only a rough draft (they are all rough drafts, I keep telling myself) and I wanted to see if I could get closer to my original thought.
The thought was to work the 2 inch squares as a series of details in different techniques, and then see how they fell together into the dogwood blossom at a distance. All my stuff works best at arm’s length – that seems to be where I think about it most, and the size I work with. This was an attempt to get past arm’s length to across-the-room. The consensus of the critique was that there was enough material here for five or six pieces, and to pull some of the squares off and work to unify the whole. I couldn’t take anything off, because it was glued on too tight. And because I still kind of like it that way. So I thought about ways to pull the parts together to make a single thing. My best idea was lots and lots of thread.
On Monday, I started working into the background with thread. Then I did it some more. Then I did it some more after that. I broke two needles and ran through 5 or 6 bobbins of thread underneath. There is probably 300 yards of thread all over the background there. The theory was to pull the background together in a more unified way, so the squares weren’t quite so blocky, and make the blossom pop out. I tried to work into the non-blossom edges of the little squares too, to integrate them more into the background, and make the edges of the squares matter less than the edge of the blossom. It was surprisingly counterintuitive to make the stitching lines cross each other. My first thought was more stitching in the same direction, but it needed something else instead, so I tried to go across all the first set of stitches with the second set.
I do think the stitching improved the unity of the background. I don’t think it did it enough. I do like the little squares of close-up in the picture, but I can see how they are distracting pasted on like that. One suggestion was to make a border of them, but I think that would have been even busier, and harder to understand where the details were coming from – what they were details of.
The TIF challenge for April is "change".
I’m good with change.