The lily construction

From the photos in the previous post, I traced the pattern of the lilies


I could create the fabric for the lilies in several ways.

  1. Use purchased fabric.
  2. Dye the fabric with pigment ink. In effect, I would be creating a painted image with dyes.
  3. Dye the fabric to match the colors in my photos and then to cut it into applique pieces.

I'm using a fine, tight woven cotton, in other words, it has a high thread count.
It is quite translucent and accepts the dye readily.

In the photo below, I have the illustration on the table, and the white cotton fabric over the top. It's not on a light box, and you can see through it quite clearly.
I'd use this method if I decided to "Paint" the lily on the fabric. Of course I would place a piece of clear plastic between the illustration and the cotton. Then i could paint directly on the fabric and the plastic prevents the illustration getting wet.


But for this exercise I chose to dye the fabric.


I'm using a inch wide sable brush which allows the ink to flow smoothly once the fabric is dampened.
I'm able to mix the colors in a similar fashion to water colors


The inks I'm using are Tsukineko all purpose ink


It's important to keep the brush clean and use fresh water for each color.


I'm working on a Teflon applique sheet.
I traced the lily image on to steam a seam lite (reversed of course), pressed the traced image on to the back of the white fabric, I cut out the image accurately and once the paper backing is peeled off, the glue remains on the back of the fabric. Then I ironed the applique piece to the Teflon mat.


The image is gradually taking shape using the fabric I've dyed.


To get the shading correct I'm using this expensive tool, I must admit, it doesn't photograph well…..!


Ok,the stem will go through her arms but I don't want to cut it just yet until I have all the borders on, and the light source is wrong, it needs to be standing more upright…. BUT, it looks pretty darn good.
I've been able to achieve the subtlety and softness that I wanted and it's all fabric, no illustration…….yet.  That will be done with the thread.


One Comment Add yours

  1. NicoleG says:

    Hi Pam,
    You are a Master with a capital M !! The lily is so lifelike. And your expensive tool is a great tip, I think I’m going to try that! I can’t imagine what it will look like with the illustrated borders, but I’m sure it’s going to be stunning.
    Nicole – Belgium

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