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Exploring the landscape one stitch at a time

In this post, I would like to share the process of how I created these landscape pieces. They are based on the hand-drawn maps of Lewis and Clark. As you can see in the picture below, I was looking to break up the landscapes to make interesting, individual compositions.

I first dyed white perle cotton thread. Here, I have begun the hand stitching. Sometimes I quilted the entire quilt by machine before stitching by hand, because otherwise I had to quilt around all of the individual stitches, which was more challenging. But sometimes the effect was worth the effort, as it caused the hand stitching to pop out even more from the surface. You'll see this effect in a following close-up.

Now I have most of the hand-stitching completed. The extra fabric on the sides of the silk cloth were basted (loosely stitched) onto the silk in order to make it more convenient for the embroidery hoop. The yellow strip at the bottom was there for such a purpose, but in the end I decided that in fact it was a great design element and kept it. That was one of those accidental results which can happen in art making and which can be very fun and exciting.

The piece has now been machine quilted. If you look closely, you can see how there are no machine stitches crossing the embroidery, they go around and among it.

Below is a view of the finished piece. You can see the variations in color from hand-dying the silk fabric and cotton threads. I personally really like this effect, as it's more interesting and adds overall depth.

If you'd like to purchase this work, visit Roberta and Bob Rogers Gallery.

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