Monday, December 1, 2014

Bonsai Foliage

The foliage on this fiber art piece was a lot of fun to make. I used a technique similar to "thread play", as described by Nancy Prince in her book.

To make the foliage I unraveled yarns and strip sliced nubby fabric. I added this to other fuzzy yarn pieces and threads.

foliage beginnings

unraveled yarn

I arranged the masses of threads, yarn parts and fabric into light, medium and dark value piles. Then I arranged the piles so they had a similar value arrangement to the painting. I created a few different clumps to represent the dominant leafy areas in the tree.

foliage clump

Once I had the masses the way I liked them, I placed them between two layers of Solvy water soluble stabilizer and pinned it. I call this a Solvy sandwich. I stitched all over this sandwich to secure the masses. After stitching I placed the sandwich into a water bath to dissolve the stabilizer.  I rinsed it well and let it dry.

Solvy sandwich

After drying I laid the foliage masses on the tree trunk and stitched them in place lightly. I held off on more stitching because I plan to use machine quilting stitching to secure it more. I didn't want to stitch too much at this stage for fear of compressing the mass. I wanted to keep the three dimensional appearance of the foliage. Here is a close up of the foliage. I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Next I'll describe the machine quilting. Thanks for visiting my blog!


  1. This is a great post about how to optimize bits and pieces of yarns and fabrics by using a water soluble sandwich. The result you arrived at really gives a feel of foliage.

  2. Thank you Linda and Mary Beth for your nice comments.