Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Wistful Wisteria


I've become a lot more fond of the green family over recent years.  So when Gerrie chose chartreuse as our color for this challenge, the only difficulty I had was deciding which direction to pursue.  Especially at this point in early spring, I found myself surrounded by so many gorgeous shades of bright green!  But what came to mind early on was a photo I'd taken a year or two ago in my neighbor's backyard, of the baby leaves on their wisteria vine.


Before I spent some time photographing the wisteria covering their backyard arbor, I'd not appreciated how fuzzy wisteria leaves are, and how gracefully they curve as their viney stems shoot out new growth.  And of course, I loved the photographic effect of the purple bokeh (the fancy photography name for the blurry background) of the wisteria blossoms.

Using thread painting techniques demonstrated by my friend Susan Brubaker Knapp in Quilting Arts magazine and her thread painting DVD, I set out to "paint" this picture.  I started with large pieces of green fabric fused to the purple background fabric.  And, as I added color and texture with thread, I worked on translating the picture pretty literally to capture that fuzzy white glow around the leaves.  I had a great time using almost every shade of green thread I had in my collection, as well as some blues, browns, reds, yellows, and white.

Here's a detail shot:




I finished this with a simple facing.  I really enjoyed my thread painting experiment, and learned a lot about how much stabilizing is necessary for all this stitching!  (And I owe a big thanks to Susan for her email tips and encouragement!)

12 comments:

stART said...

Exquisite work - quite perfectly beautiful - you captured the textures perfectly!

Gerrie said...

Having lived in two homes with Wisteria growing down from the pergolas, I am thrilled to see this! I love how you were able to get those lovely fuzzy edges with your thread painting. The background is a wonderful homage to the beautiful blossoms to come.

Kristin L said...

Personally, I'm not a big fan of super-realistic work in quilt form, but I can appreciate the care you've taken in creating this. The colors are gorgeous, and your stitching is well done. The best part about it is that you've tried something new, and it was enjoyable and successful -- especially for you (who is really all that matters).

Karen said...

Your thread painting is just getiing better and beter Diane, this is beautiful and the colors are really vibrant.

Vivien Zepf said...

Well done! I never would have thought to add the reds, etc to the stitching. Spot on decision! Looks great and achieves the results you were looking for.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Diane, you captured the leaves from the photograph brilliantly. They are just glowing and I'm loving all that thread work.

kirsty said...

Woo hoo! Go, Diane!! So well done!
And lovely. Wisteria/jacaranda blues and chartreuse are one of my favourite colour combos (I may well have chosen it as my palette if we hadn't already had chartreuse) so this quilt made my heart skip a beat.

Renate said...

Oh my! What wonderful thread painting! I can feel the fuzziness of the new shoots!

Deborah Boschert said...

The thread painting is stunning! I can only imagine you sitting at your machine, with the photo next to you, carefully stitching then checking the shadows and tones in the photo and repeating over and over. You did a great job! I can't imagine achieving that fuzziness in any other way.

Terry said...

Besides that amazing sense of the fuzzy softness of the leaves, I love that you chose that one simple, graceful branch and those sensuous leaves. Beautifully done.

Helen Conway said...

I am with Kristin on this one - generally I can't see the merit in taking a beautiful photo which is a work of art in itself and re-doing it. But I find myself in awe of the fuzziness!

Vicki said...

Diane you are my sort of art quilter. I love this quilt and the thread painting sorry I am so late commentingit has been a trying week