I turned to science and history and read the book Spirals in Time: The Secret Life and Curious Afterlife of Seashells, by Helen Scales. I learned so much, and I wrote about some artistic inspirations from that book here, but I still didn't have a good idea.
Finally I got an idea I really liked, and it was going to involve some thread painting. But then my sewing machine decided to have problems with timing, and threads and needles kept breaking.
I pulled out a spare machine, and while looking for its auxiliary parts, I found a big bag of industrial zippers my brother gave me when he down-sized. It reminded me that I have always wanted to try using zippers as trim, as does the Zipper Queen, Jamie Fingal.
And since I couldn't find the parts to the back-up sewing machine anyway, I decided to postpone finishing my great idea, and switch to a small, hand-stitched piece. So here it is:
|The Sewist's Universe|
|Hook and Eye Galaxy|
Now I don't know why trying this zipper technique spoke to me. I didn't want to do any of the other techniques I had seen in Quilting Arts, because they had "already been done". But this technique, which is highly associated with one particular person, seemed like a fun one to try. Maybe because I had this giant bag of zippers and I just wanted to either use them up or pass them on. And I could add on all the odds and ends of notions that were taking up space in that drawer as well.
The background is fabric I dyed two years ago. The spirals consist of grommets, eyelets, beads, snaps, hooks and eyes, and metallic threads that have been handed down to me. I added a string of inexpensive battery-powered LED lights. (I would never leave these lights on unattended, I just wanted to see how they would look.)
I don't think of this as a finished piece. I think of it as a practice piece that would answer questions for a planned show entry. Where do the difficulties lie? Should I tweak the composition? How much beading should I add? Should I use multiple colors of metallic thread? Would complementary colors spice things up? Or distract from the image?
|Maybe I would settle on a simpler composition for a finished piece.|
But I had fun making it, and I am happy that I tried out the new-to-me materials of the zippers and the light string.