• Bonnie Langenfeld from Landscapes in Fabric

Put a Pool Noodle in Your Art


My dear sister is a patient person, thank goodness. Her birthday was in January and now 7 months later, she has her gift from me. We had spent a very special time together when she and her husband lived in AZ. We took a road trip to the Canyon Lake area and enjoyed stunning scenery. So I knew I had to make her a fabric landscape from that time. But I couldn't figure out what to do to make it really special until I attended a lecture from Regina Benson. Regina is famous for her dimensional fabric art and unique ways to hang it. Bingo! I knew how to make it very special.

As always, I began with a great photo and also used a black and white of that photo to get the values correct. I built the piece on two layered pieces of Decor Bond because the picture is large enough that the stiffer Timex would be hard to manipulate on my machine. Two pieces were used because I also knew that there would be a lot of free motion stitching. Choosing the fabrics probably took six hours and still I made changes after that. Fabric choice makes or breaks a fabric landscape.

I didn't want to fuss with pattern pieces this time so I cut fabrics free hand. Oh yes, there was re-cutting too!

On the left side of the above picture, you can see some marvelous fabric I received as a gift, it was perfect for cutting individual rocks with some shading already built in! Yippee!

I glued dark green fabrics down (foreground) to serve as background for plants that would be stitched over them.

I try to avoid stitching any clouds or lines in the sky. It always looks fake to me. But this time I had to put clouds in, they were the reason for the gorgeous white reflection in the water. So, I used ColorHue dye. It's the only way I add color to my work, except for fabric and thread, of course!

After mixing water with a bit of black dye concentrate, I dampened the 8mm white Habotai silk that came with the dye kit (with a little water). To add the dark lines for the underside of the clouds, I used a small artist brush and lightly drew the lines. Waiting for the silk to dry took only a few minutes, so next I layered it on Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 and cut out the shapes I wanted. I did find that when I fused the clouds onto the sky, the showed a lot of sky through them, So in some places I fused a second layer of white silk.

Here's the cool Pool Noodle part, from Regina Benson! Cut a noodle in half, lengthwise. It cut easily with a scissors! I made a tube to cover the noodle because the sides may show in the finished piece. To slip the tube on easily, I wrapped it in parchment paper. (Couldn't get the paper off after, oh!)

TA DA! Slip it in a sling at the bottom of your backing and you have a dimensional roll on the front. It really makes the foreground pop.


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* Two Stitch Magic is the method I created for free motion stitching details in my art. Find out more in my Store! Fun, Easy!

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