Monday, March 2, 2009

Making Fabric Grass

One of my projects requires a background of grass. There are probably a gazillion ways to depict it... in this case it needs to be whimsical, not particularly realistic. It’s not really a lawn, more of a cut field.

An idea (as shown in the sketch below) was to use one piece of fabric and FMQ some grass on it using variegated thread. That idea seemed too plain for this project, so I didn’t even bother to make a sample.
The next sketch seemed more interesting, to have rows of pieced patches alternating with bigger chunks.The photo below only shows a section of the sample because much of it got covered up with later experiments, but the main problem was that it was too busy. Also, the fabrics on the left actually are subdued greens, but at least on my monitor they look almost neutral. This project needs more intense color.The sketch below is a mix of the two. The notation about smaller vs. bigger is to remind me to reduce the size of the patches to give sense of distance. The sample below works much better. The lime green foundation fabric unifies the grass while the patches keep it interesting. The right side has more contrasty patches, not sure which values will work the best, but it’s on the right track.An additional idea is to fringe the top of the patches for a grassy effect. But even in this close-up, the threads barely show. May have to add some embroidery. So what do you think? Other possible techniques are to paint some blades, use tulle over small pieces, hand embroidery... If you have suggestions and/or links to another way to say “grass” in fabric, please leave a comment. TIA!

7 comments:

Janice m said...

I think you are certainly on the right track, the last two photos look good. If you really want whimsical, you might add bits of a bright kelly green cut almost like a crown, flat on bottom with spikes, make them different sizes, meaning 2 spikes, 4, 3 and just scatter them in a few places. I'd stitch the bottom flat side down and maybe FMQ up each spike once.(up then down) These could also be frayed if you chose. If that is too whimiscal, I'd do the blades in FMQ instead of the zigzag which it appears you used, to get a more free form effect for the grass blades. Have fun!!

margaret said...

My vote is for hand embroidery - a few clumps of straight stitches here and there - one or two perhaps not in green, for that whimsical effect (orange, red ...)?

Loreen Leedy said...

All good approaches... will try them. Thanks for your suggestions, Janice and Margaret! The orange grass sounds especially intriguing. And hey, what about pink?

Delta said...

Depending on the size of the patches, maybe trim them with pinking shears? A couple of layers with the pinked top edges staggered?

---nan said...

Eyelash yarn??

Karen Newman Fridy said...

I like where you're going with it...another thing you might try is using fusible on the back of various "grassy" fabrics and then cutting out shapes like the grass stitching sketch near the top of your post - all jaggy on top - and then place and overlap them to get some whimsical grass?? Depending on how you place values you could really get some fun dimensionality going.

I'm a big fan of letting the fabric do the work

Diane J. Evans said...

You've given me a whole new way to look at grass, Loreen! What a creative eye you have!

Diane