Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Door of Yore" - Nellie

"Door of Yore" - 13" x 17"
fabric, tulle, oil stick pastels,
water color pencils, pastels,
and yarns

It took a while for me to narrow my focus to just the door in Kim's beautiful photo.  The patina of the aged wood very much appealed to me.
To get layers and depth of texture and color for my door I began with a piece of marbleized fabric.  A silver metallic oil stick pastel used to make a rubbing over a course wood grain made a good start.
My next decision was to select a suitable fabric for the grout between the bricks.  Surprisingly, the back side of a metallic printed fabric in my stash had the gradations that would work.  Pieces were cut and laid in place directly on top of the batting.
The prepared door fabric was cut and placed in the opening along with the timber frame.  Then bricks were cut from the same marbled fabric the door is cut from.  That, too, surprised (and delighted) me in how wonderfully well it played its roll to portray those old bricks seen in the photo.  The bricks were held in place with a temporary spray adhesive.
A triangular shaped piece of dark purple tulle laid over the top left corner of the door created a base shadow.  I then overlaid another layer of a lighter lavender tulle over the whole piece.

Then the quilting began.  First, I free-motion quilted around all the bricks.  Then a variegated yarn that had a strand of metallic thread was couched to define the boards within the door and it's frame.  I used a thin irregular black cotton yarn along the top and bottom of the door frame.

Water color pencils were used to add more texture as well as deep shadows to the door.  More shading was done with oil stick pastels.  Water color pencils were also used to deepened the orange color in the section of bricks next to the door.  That stronger color balanced the block of green on the opposite side.

The greenery was created by cutting up many different green pieces from my scrap bags.  Each section was composed and quilted separately.  Each has a different color of green tulle overlay, as well as different greens for the "crumbs" to help differentiate the plants.  Different quilting patterns also helps to define each kind of plant.  The potted plant in the photo below is ready to be quilted.  The excess tulle will be trimmed away afterward.
There's a bit of oil stick pastel work to punch up highlights and shadows in the various plants, as well.  Note the terracotta pot in the above photo is cut from that same marbleized fabric used for the door and bricks.

To create a focal point as well as to personalize the composition, I referenced my own front door for the placement of the stone face...

... and used a photo of one of the stone faces that hangs on our patio wall.

It was a struggle for me to get started with this one.  The photo features an idyllic setting that is almost too perfect and too pretty.  Narrowing my focus to feature just the door let me get "into it" ... let me enjoy the journey of interpretation.


  1. Another winnter, Nellie. The detail is amazing, the door weatherbeaten but inviting. You've never disappointed, and this is no exception.

  2. Wow, this is amazing. I love seeing the process. The brick and wood textures are fantastic!

  3. This is probably my favorite of the ones you have done. So many techniques and layers in one little piece.

  4. Too cool! Thanks for sharing the techniques that resulted in such rich textures. Beautiful work.
    (p.s. - love that stone head w/frog!)

  5. This one has a lot of dimension to it. All of those efforts really paid off!

  6. I love the way you used the marbled fabric. Very inspiring!

  7. I was amazed at how you transformed that fabric. I would never have considered that for the door and bricks but you made them work spectacularly. That was a great tutorial for me.

    Like others have said, another great success!

  8. As usual, you win the prize for a realistic, pictorial effect, achieved with such a mastery of your techniques. Brava, Nellie. I have to add my voice to the inspired choice of fabrics. Who would have thought it?

  9. Wow! There is so much here. The door is a wonderful weathered beauty and the crowning touch of the ornamental face is perfect! Again a well done work!

  10. Your varied techniques (and finished product) just keep getting more and more interesting! You really know how to "layer" it on!


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