Rain 3 One day, when I was casting about for something to create, I cut up some white cotton, boiled the tea kettle, steeped some tea, and threw the cotton into the teapot. It came out with a subtle tea-stained, tie-dyed look.

Without a goal in mind, I attached the large tea-stained fabric to a backing sheet sandwiched with cotton batten. Then I sewed – miles and miles of irregular lines through the fabric using multi-colored rayon thread. It was a Zen-like experience I highly recommend. Just free your mind of unnecessary thoughts and push through a repetitive process. Total relaxation!

When I finished, I was left with a large machine-stitched chunk of fabric waiting for inspiration. And wait it did. Several months, in fact. To give the inspiration a little kick start, I cut the fabric up into smaller, manageable chunks then started designing. These two photos show my first results.

The piece above is about 25″ x 10″ and it’s called “…a little rain must fall”. And I mean that as a positive statement. The stitched lines remind me of falling rain. the rain successfully helps give growth to an oversized life.

The flower was painted on raw canvas with a large round brush and Mars Black acrylic. I roughly cut out the flower shape from the canvas and sewed it to the fabric panel. The background is painted and stamped to create landforms and there’s lots of hand stitched design to add texture. Some squiggly things are trapped into the water at the bottom with the help of some cheesecloth.

Sunshine 2 The more colorful panel at left is called “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows”. It’s 17 and a half by 8″. Inspiration came from an ear worm – you know, those songs that go round and round in your mind endlessly. It was a song from the 60s that just popped into my head one day and stayed there. I needed to turn the positive, whimsical words and melody into a visual statement. Using some of the tea-dyed fabric, I over-dyed the background for a warmer look then added extra fabric at the bottom where I attached beads, a stenciled image and lots of hand stitched texture.