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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Langenfeld from Landscapes in Fabric

I'm Embarrassed to Admit It...

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to gardening. I like a beautiful lawn and garden but don't want to do the work, or even be outdoors much. There, I've said it and I'm not proud. BUT I do love to create a beautiful scene and flowers with fabric (indoors!)

If you've purchased a #TwoStitchMagic video from my website, you have gotten a free hydrangea pattern. Here I'm using the basic flower pattern for some of the blooms in my picture. I love to make those beauties, and have begun a new picture with some fabulous fabrics. Let me show you what I mean:

This piece from Fiber on a Whim struck me as the perfect background for the hydrangeas.

The colors aren't showing up correctly in this picture, but you can see some shapes which give the illusion of leaves and stems and sun peeking through in the sky.

(Haven't pressed this yet, I do so only on an extreme need basis.)

This hand dyed piece was created by Fabrilish. It motivated me to make the flowers purple, blue and pink, no matter what! It has plenty of petal-like texture, plus a big range of darks to lights from which to choose. A wide range in values always helps a piece pop.

Here I've cut out large circular areas for the dark flower backgrounds.

It's hard to cut into this beautiful stuff, but worth it.

Frond Fabrics produced this deliciousness. Who would have guessed that an underlying turquoise would be just right for hydrangea leaves? I have purchased this fabric in several color ways, in fact the boats in my piece "Boats at Dawn" where made from one.

Love the dramatic value changes.

(Frond is a wholesaler but you can buy directly at shows where they vend.)

"Natural Instincts" fabric is perfect for more leaves, especially for ones which will need to come forward in the picture.

Many of the darker ones (above) will tend to recede.

I'm not sure where/if you can find this fabric, it was done by McKenna Ryan for Hoffman.

In Wendy Richardson's hand dyed piece, I've only used the greens at the bottom so far. I had really intended to make a landscape with this piece as the background.....we'll see how much of it I have left.

Here are two background pieces for individual flowers (the dark pink and dark purple-upper middle of the picture).They don't need much texture because petals will be placed over them. Mostly I choose darks knowing it will provide the shadowy dark areas between the brighter petals. Where there are some light values I'll be sure to place those towards the light source. or cover them with a petal of a darker value.

I've been doing a lot of cutting! I put fusible web on the back of all the fabrics from which I wanted to cut. (This time I used Misty Fuse because I had big sheets of it rather than my go-to, Lite-Steam-A-Seam 2 which is narrower.) Fusing gives fabrics slightly stiffer and makes the them slightly easier to cut. I find using a large scissors is much easier than a small one, even though some pieces are only half an inch long! Oh, one more thing, I have drawn out some leaf shapes and used the paper drawings for patterns. You may see some light outlines under/next to some leaves, that's the edge of my pattern.

After cutting a bunch I play with their placement so as to give color variety but mainly develop a roundness by placing dark petals on one side and light on the opposite. Be sure not to make a straight line of lights or darks, mingle them with other tones. When the arrangement is good, I quickly hit it with the iron. (I have left the backing paper on the big background shapes but remove it from the fabrics for the little pieces, before I cut them.)

Well that's it so far, check back in a week or so to see how it's coming along. By the way, I'm using a collage technique for this piece. I am so inspired by Amanda Richardson's awesome work, that I decided to give collaging a try. I won't be painting silks and velvets like she does, however.

Give it a try, it's really fun to do, and you get great results so easily! Send me some pictures of what you've created. Please!

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