Do you see a theme?

If you have been following along this summer, you will know that I have played with a variety of techniques, but there has been one thing in my mind that I have been heading for…..


To refresh your memory, I took a photo of Sadie when we were traveling last year in Mozambique….

Back in December, I collaged the stork and then started working on the background. It took me 4-1/2 tries to get something that I was happy with. When I left you, this is where it was…..’

I had thought that I would work on it some during the 2022 tax season but that was just a pipe dream!!!

I tried couching down a few threads…..

but quickly realized that I didn’t like it and pulled them out again. I mean, what was I thinking when I put them in a row like this??? I do think that I could use this thread to add some highlights.

Anyway, this summer I spent a lot of time on my Botero Flower Garden…..

…loving the look of the dyed cheesecloth as an underlay.

And yesterday I posted about thread painting this meadow…..

So the question for September is “how can I use these two techniques to embellish Sadie’s background??”

I have concerns about both techniques…..

  • The cheesecloth will make the surface rough and I am worried that Sadie wouldn’t be able to lay flat…..especially with her sweet, skinny legs.
  • The fabric may not stand up to the intense thread painting in the 2nd meadow

So, do I need to do some sort of hybrid??

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts?

Back to the Sadie Background

Okay…..Ya’ll don’t laugh at me!!

After my last post exclaiming vehemently that the background was FINISHED…..

….I kept looking at it on my wall and the blue/green/brown BLOB on the left was killing me!!!

I couldn’t STAND how it looked.

And you all know what I did!

I got out my paint and my trusty sea sponge….

…and I went over that entire area with a light yellow…..

And NOW, I feel that it is finished…..

….at least the painting part.

Now I need to play with embellishments and see what else I can add to the meadow area.

You guys are going to be SO tired of this quilt before it is finished!!

Thanks for hanging in there with me!!

Sadie’s Background….Iteration #4.5!!

Well, after 4 tries, I think that I am finally happy with the background for the Saddle-Billed Stork collage.

Yesterday, I posted about painting this background……

As I looked further at it, I realized that I wanted to add a bit more shading to the two blue-green areas and also some more definition to the meadow in the foreground.

I decided that the best way to fix the meadow was using my trusty sea sponge and made a video to show you the process. If you have never worked with sponge painting, it is fun, easy, and adds SO much texture to the painting….

This is the final view…..

I am not super happy with the dark blue/green on the top left, but I think that I can work on it more with the quilting.

However, I AM super happy with the meadow area…..

It is going to be so much fun to add threads, thin pieces of fabric, and other yarns to make this area stand out.

Stay tuned for LOTS more!!!

Sadie’s background iteration #4

If you have been following along, I have now made THREE attempts to find a good background for “Sadie, the Saddle-Billed Stork”.

Yesterday I told you about painting a background with Tulip Fabric Paints but that it still wasn’t quite right!!

Now I ordered better fabric paints…this time using Plebeo “Setacolor” brand.

I traced my outlines onto the fabric using a GREEN Inktense pencil this time.

I learned my lesson about using BLACK… is too apparent!!

I started mixing paints and began the painting process using small strokes on wet fabric….

As I continued, I became happier and happier with the results…..

….and quickly finished the background…..

Once it had dried, I added Sadie….


As I looked further at it and compared it to the original photo…..

….I realized that the center section needs some more work so Iteration #5 will include changing the color and adding some shadows.

But, I haven’t done that yet so you will need to wait a few days for that post!!

I know that you are all DESPERATE to see the finished product so please be sure to subscribe so that you will know when the culmination posts!!!

Sadie’s Background iteration #3

For the last two days, I have been talking about building a background for the Saddle-Billed Stork Collage.

At this point, I was fed up with trying to use individual fabrics and decided to give painting a try!!

I had some Jacquard fabric paints but didn’t feel like I had the colors I would need, so I decided to make a run to Hobby Lobby and see what they had.

I was ecstatic to find that they had two packs of Tulip fabric paints, including one with “Nature” colors!!

I knew that these paints would change the hand of the fabric but hoped that it wouldn’t be too bad!!

I also purchased some new, wide brushes and also a new set of sea sponges….

This time I worked from a full-size template and used a black Inktense pencil to draw the lines onto the PFD (Prepared-for-dying) fabric. I found a fairly easy way to transfer the design by just lifting the fabric and roughly tracing the lines

The tracing looks really dark in the video but the lines were actually quite light.

After a bit of practice, I found that the paint worked better on a wet surface so I started out by misting the area that I wanted to paint. My first problem was that the black lines turned REALLY dark when the water was added!!!…..

But, as I added more and more water, and scrubbed the line using a “scrubber paintbrush”…..

….the lines finally faded out.

I used one bowl to do all of the paint mixing for the entire project and think that it helped to keep the colors in a similar tone…..

I sprayed each area and then started painting with short “X”- like strokes, adding more water as needed and continuing until the area was filled. I found that it worked better using an almost dry brush…..

After I had basically finished painting the area, I went back over some parts with a sea-sponge to add a bit more texture…..

When everything was dry, I added Sadie…..

….and LOVED how it looked.

BUT….. there are two problems with this painted background.

Firstly, it is REALLY stiff. The paints greatly changed the hand of the fabric.

Secondly, and even more disconcerting, the paints dried with a shimmer to them. They were labeled as Matte, but they obviously had some type of sparkle added in.

As much as I liked the overall look, the two problems made it unusable!!

So…come back tomorrow for try # FOUR!!!!