Then I prepared a piece inspired from a photo I took at Mud Lake with lots of trees, rocks, water, bushes and cattails. I sketched in some of the areas that I want to stitch with white pencil.
I have a couple of other pieces ready to work on (one of underwater rocks and another swamp piece) as well as my hand stitched colour challenge piece so I'll have lots to do this weekend (besides eat and drink wine).
Two observations - When I was reading about machine stitching, free motion and thread painting I got pretty scared about thread! Top thread, bobbin thread, fine thread, heavy thread, silk, metallics, cotton, poly, invisible.......tension...needles......how will I ever learn all this? So I said to myself, this is an experiment and I tried every thread that I could get my hands on, even metallics and fine silk.....and most of them worked!! Once I learned how to re set the tension and how to read my errors ie too tight or too loose, I was off to the races - literally. I learned why you need a finer needle with finer threads (to avoid big holes in fabric) and why you need to loosen tension (bobbin threads showing through on my pale beige fabric). So my advice to anyone starting out is to not be too afraid of it. Early on I had a few thread pile ups but soon learned how to control that. It was fun - but pretty intense.
The second thing - On several of these pieces I used Elaine Quehl's multi coloured hand dyed fabric and boy, does it make the scene pop, especially if you don't stick to blue for sky, green for grass, etc etc. I love colour and find that hand dyes and batiks can give a piece extra pizzazz. I am inspired by other art quilters' use of colour. One example is Gloria Loughman's luscious pieces (see her book 'Luminous Landscapes').
I'd better get packing. Maybe I'll have something to post on my return.