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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Langenfeld from Landscapes in Fabric

I Can't Do it Anymore

I love to teach how to make landscapes in raw edge appliqué using Two Stitch Magic. I'm always looking for new students and repeat students. Their enthusiasm and success is very rewarding. And for many years I've made hundreds of pictures with just those techniques. But it seems that now I regularly get a bee in my bonnet to do something new-different: melted felt work, dying silk for my pictures, using different stabilizers, new thread brands, new fusibles, new ways to display my work. It may sound normal but for me it's a big step outside my comfort zone and is exciting at the same time.

So now, it seems I cannot 'do' just my normal techniques. Maybe it's the artist in me or some attention deficit issues. (I prefer to think it's being creative and being open to new ideas and challenges.)

Previous posts explained how I was trying to use Amanda Richardson's technique (which involves no sewing); how I incorporate melted felt into some of my work; how I may hang work with a pool noodle inside for dimension as taught by Regina Benson. I may have my work 'stand' in corner frames made by Shawn Olmsted; I sometimes dye silk for gorgeous landscape color blending.

Arrows show thread adhered with gel medium

While exploring how to secure all of the petals on the floral in my last post (because I didn't use the right fusible). I found information about gel medium and how it can be used as an adhesive. This is often used by artists painting with acrylics but I tried fabric gel medium alone on some fabric samples and liked it. (The fabric gel medium is usually mixed with acrylics to paint on fabric.) In this woodland piece, I wanted to create detritus and bare branches without the complications of sewing them. (I thought seeing stitches would detract from their realism.) It worked well in this piece to secure thread scraps and snippets of pearl cotton with dabs of the gel medium. In places where I used too much, the dried gel made a shiny spot. Framing it under glass seems to hide the shine. Liquitex Fabric Gel Medium is what I used but it is made by several other companies. (Arrows in the picture show where gel adheres threads to the picture.)

So although I can't seem to do only my normal raw edge and thread sketching work, it is the core of what I create. I hope that you find inspiration in my adventures, or at least amusement!

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