You may have found your way here through Facebook where a video of my personal fabric sketchbook Into the Woods has had an amazing response – far beyond my modest expectations! I’m overjoyed of course that so many people love it but I know that the video doesn’t show the pages in detail, so I’m going to try and show you some of the parts close up.
If you want to see some still images of the single pages, you can find those here.
If you want to see some images of wonderful artwork from other artists that have inspired this work, you can see those here.
I’ve had a lot of questions about how I’ve achieved certain parts and the techniques I’ve used, so in this post I’m going to try and explain some of them here using close up and in progress photos.
The Front Cover
My favourite page is probably the front cover and I love the texture of all the fabric. It’s quite a simple technique – folding tiny squares of fabric into triangles and sewing them in place. I wasn’t sure about the raw edges at first but I put the whole lot into the washing machine and it softened them out a bit.
One of the simplest pages to make was the constellations; I dyed spots onto a white background then used free-hand machine embroidery to quilt around them. The constellations themselves are tiny white seed beads and embroidery thread. The lettering is stamped which is a technique I use in all of my projects. (More about that here).
The mushroom page was made completely by hand. The mushroom shapes were made with appliqued fabric with painted stalks, each was then hand embroidered (or decorated with sequins – we can see you, that little one in the middle!).
Some close ups:
There are two pages that use machine embroidery as a main feature, the ghost trees (made from 5 layers of transparent fabric each embroidered) and the tree bark one, which I used with thread on top of a double gauze fabric to create the texture of a silver birch.
On a separate note the writing you see on the tree bark page is created with fabric transfer paper . I wrote out the quote on a typewriter then scanned it into the computer and used the transfer paper to add it to the background fabric.
This tree was the most time-consuming of all of the pages. I was inspired by the many different ways artists have depicted the patterns of multiple leaves. Each section of the branches has been decorated with a different technique or pattern, and all of it by hand. The background tree was painted using masking tape to keep sections of the white fabric blank. I am pleased with it though!Some close ups:
So, that’s it for now. If you have any questions about any of the pages or techniques that I haven’t covered here, please let me know and i’ll make another post!