Back to work today on my March Take It Further Challenge with a slightly clearer idea of how to proceed. I played around with paper, sketching some lines, comparing to my background cloth, cutting out some basic shapes, checking them against the fabric again to see if the proportions were correct. Then it was the long stare of contemplation while I considered the ramifications of my various options.
I'm going to be thread painting the tree trunks, and the method I experimented with on this here called for fusing the applique to the background using WonderUnder. I hesitated to use that here, because of the stiffness it will create compared to the rest of the quilt. I could use Misty Fuse instead to match the fusing of the sheer fabric, or no fusing at all. This would require more stabilizing than if I used the stiffer WonderUnder.
I could use Decor Bond which I've had great success with as a permanent stabilizer. But then I'd have to know right now what kind of borders might be added so I don't get caught out like I did on Flow. I could use a removable stabilizer like Sulky Solvy, but then I'd have to be willing to dunk the whole thing in water afterwards. That would be ok for this piece, but I've already trimmed up the edges of the background; soaking would distort and fray those edges. And there might be more distortion than could be pressed out. Ah heck. Just use the WonderUnder...or the Misty Fuse...I was having a hard time deciding. Time to use one of my default methods of making choices - see how big a piece of WonderUnder I actually have. If not big enough, then I'll use the Misty Fuse. Providence decreed WonderUnder, as the piece I had left almost fit the fabric it would be fused to exactly.
So I fused it to the back of my trunk fabric, pinned my patterns to the right side and loosely followed their shapes to cut out the trunks. I moved them around on the background until I felt they were in the right place. I'm dealing with my old nemesis of balance, and translating a picture in my head into a very different reality. My sense is that I'll be changing the dimensions of the background once everything is in place. At the moment it is an awkward 22 or 23 inches wide by 20 high. I think it needs to be shorter. But better to go big and trim than cut all too short and wish I could add on. After more staring, I decided the offset placement of the trunks was ok and I may as well fuse them to the background. No turning back now, I thought to myself as the iron did its work.
Here's the excess trunk I trimmed prior to fusing now fused to a scrap of background; I'll be using this to try out the different threads I think might work. It also shows how the background is shadowing through the lighter batik. I was aware of this problem before I ever started cutting and fusing. It nearly derailed me to a different method of attaching the trunk, one where the background could be cut away. But in truth, I think this shadowing is working for, not against me, adding some much needed shading.
It looks very odd to me now, but I have to remind myself those tree trunks are going to look much different, much toned down by the thread painting to come. The black sheer is not fused down at this point and will be trimmed some. The overall shape may be adjusted. And the addition of a border, possibly those strips laid next to it in the picture above, will also change and transform what I am looking at right now. Fingers crossed.