Winter Solstice

Leslie Ehrlich © 2010

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I recently completed a small wall hanging for a special friend for Christmas. This is called, for the moment, Winter Solstice. Its new owner may choose to change it!

The beautiful image was created by Alphonse Mucha,* and it immediately snagged my attention for a special project! I printed the picture on silk and then proceeded to complete a small block, approximately 7" x 9". As it is a wintery scene, I decided to keep it in a cool, monotone palette of ivory and cream. I primarily piece all of my work by hand, so I am able to spontaneously add curves into the work. All of my patches are hand appliquéd. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to handle the silk print differently and not create a border around it that would set it apart from the block. I wanted it to flow into the patches as well as being the primary focal point. The careful shading of the patches from light to dark around the central figure adds perspective and depth.

The winter scene began as I stitched some snowy branches and snowflakes in several places. To continue the theme I stitched a tree from DMC variegated thread in Stem Stitch. The branches happened to flow into one of the patches, blending with the snowy trees. The curve of the tree also directs the view to the mysterious figure rather nicely, I thought.

To conclude my stitching, I elected to add a full moon. Of course! What wintery scene is complete without a frosty moon? I used a Stem Stitch in DMC Rayon in white and silver, which adds a nice shimmer to the surface, blending the silver into the bottom quarter to create some depth in the moon. Final embellishments included a pewter bird in the tree, a small pebble, and some gold embossed Czech glass beads gathered in a small bouquet at the bottom of the wall hanging.

To offset the cool colors and frame the block, I choose a lovely tan velveteen that echoed some of the tones in a couple of the patches. I used silver lined clear glass Czech seed beads in a feather stitch around the block to carry over the frosty, chilly theme and to perceptually focus the eye on the block, not the border.

Here is a photo of the completed small wall hanging now residing happily in its new owner's home. See my blog for information regarding the cherry wood quilt hangers hand made by my husband Paul:

* Mucha image from WikiMedia Commons

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