The "Fruits of Our Labor" started as an idea I'd been thinking about... I'd like to walk you through the process so you too can put your ideas into action!
Start with a rough sketch (very rough as you can see!)
Clean up your sketch to create a working pattern. The background is more of a guide so I didn't make actual patterns for this step. When you have more detailed elements such as the woman, chair, barrel and wine bottle you'll need a pattern. I traced my sketch onto paper and this became my pattern.
Lay out your larger focal elements moving them around until you're satisfied with the layout. Remember balance is important for overall design appeal.
Once you're happy with the placement and color combinations you can sew the background into place and tact down the chair, arbor and woman. You don't want to completely fuse the chair etc. into place now because the design is a work in progress and you may want to tweak their positions as you work.
OK - the foundation is in place and now you can have fun designing your fantasy garden! I use the "snippet" technique for this part. I apply a fusible webbing to the wrong side of my fabric. I cut tiny pieces of colorful fabric (any shape you need) to use in the garden. Here are the only tools you'll need - the coffee is essential for me!
Since a picture is worth a thousand words I'll let this photo explain the placement process.
Once you're happy with the placement press with a hot dry iron. This will fuse the pieces in place.
You're now ready for free-motion quilting! The goal is to stitch over the majority of your snippet pieces. Because they are so tiny you'll need to secure them into place or eventually they'll come loose and fall off. Free-motion quilting is really fun... just remember to relax and stretch often!
Note the embroidered flowers... I felt the design needed more texture.
Here is a detail of the grape arbor. You can really take a soft element and give it a pop with your quilting.
The "Fruits of Our Labor" will be showing in the upcoming Fiber Harvest show at the Noah Webster Library in West Hartford, CT September 1st through October 15th.