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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Langenfeld from Landscapes in Fabric

Size Matters

Last Spring I bought a great frame to use for a fabric picture. I didn't have the picture made, or even an idea for it, but it was (is) a great frame, great price, buy it when you find it, and all that.

But, the image for it had to be 15" high by 25" wide. An odd size image to work with, but what a great landscape it would make. Golden ratio or no golden ratio!

I dyed some luscious silk sheers to overlay on sky and water fabric. Put them together, placed sheers and solids over and under each other to emphasize the sunset. Wallah! I had a really long, short image of sky and water. Not enough. Add stitched waves.

Add a beach to ground it. Played with more sheer overlays. Hey, I thought, what about rocks? You love to do rocks. Then how about a row of posts along the rocks, and mounds of grasses, and oh, now what about the flat sand on the beach? Should spoonbills be added for interest and depth? I made spoonbills. Nothing was enough to make a pleasing composition in 15x25".

After 6 months (on and off) of playing with this time swallowing piece, I left it to make another sample for a Dyeing for a Landscape Class. Quickly. Lo and behold, the answer to both the quick sample problem and the odd size composition was right in front of me! With a fearless hand, I grabbed my scissors and cut the sunset piece in two! Next I snipped off lower rocks across the right side. It was instantly obvious that these 'halves' each had pleasing proportions. 8x10" image size in an 11x14" frame. Manageable. Within two hours, I had a new sample for dyeing landscapes and another rocky landscape almost finished.

(You probably I have realized that I used one of my favorite techniques when a large area goes bad- cover it with new fabric and keep on working! as I did to cover remaining rocks on the right side.)

So my cool frame still doesn't have an image in it, but it's a great way to 'frame' samples when photographing them. Here's a look at how the pieces turned out, except for frames


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