Stormy Weather

I’ve recently finished and delivered this large canvas commission for a dear friend of mine.Stormy Weather 1Stormy Weather. 61 x 91cm

The commission was for blues, creams with a winter beach feel. It’s certainly not in my usual bright bold colour range, although all the fabrics are from my collection and most have been used in other combinations. Many of the deeper blues I have hand dyed. There are glimpses of bright colour here and there and metallic prints add to the richness. Stormy Weather 4 ST 8 The process of make these works starts with A4 sized pieces of fabric that I have stamp printed, for this work using metallic fabric printing inks. I then layered fabrics underneath and stitched all the layers together. With very fine, sharp scissors I cut away sections to reveal the under layer. With this work I took a hit and miss approach with the cut away sections to keep some of the printed areas adding more texture and colour. You never quite know what you are going to get at this point. The fabric underneath can really alter the look of the piece.

Once all the A4 pieces were complete, I invited my friend to choose the pieces she wanted to include. (I have a collection of sea greens, copper, deep blues, tucked away in a box ready for another canvas). All of pieces were then cut into 1 1/2 inch squares.SW7SW 6SW 5At this point I arrange the squares onto the canvas, photograph and arrange again. This process is repeated until I am happy with the design. Taking photographs of each arrangement frees me to mess it up without the fear of losing the previous layout.imageThe photographs are great to be able to refer back to and viewing from a camera or iPad image you see the scale of a completed work, whether the proportions are correct, how it works as a whole piece. It’s easy to get lost in section or details of the work…not seeing the whole piece.ST 4When I am happy with the layout, each square pinned to the canvas, I let it hang on my design wall for at least a week…I work on other things, ignore it. There may be some tweaking…the odd square not quite right…I look at in daylight, night time, move it around the house for different light.St3The next step is to edge every square. Usually I match the machine thread to the top fabric colour.ST 6 Lastly the squares are individually stitched onto the canvas.Stormy Weather 1

7 thoughts on “Stormy Weather

  1. Love this work Louise! And thanks for bring so generous with your description of the process, which clearly takes a long time…(the process as well as the description). It sounds like a really good idea to involve the eventual recipient in choosing preferred colours too.

  2. Thanks for sharing your process Louise. I am curious to learn more about how you attach the squares to the canvas. Do you tack each corner or more closely? and do you try to hide the stitching or just let it blend it with the other surface design stitching? and did you paint or cover the edges of your canvas?

    • The canvas is painted. Each square is stitched to the canvas in each corner using the same thread colour that I machine edged it with.

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