Thinking of all of the detailed beadwork embellishment and intricate embroidery in these gowns, made me remember these "petites cigales" (hidden somewhere in my stash), that I started in 2006, the first full summer we spent in Montpellier. That summer, I did not have a sewing machine there, and I had not as yet taken up "Boutis". So armed only with my basic sewing kit, but with easy access to a marvellously seductive bead and yarn store in town, I began these cicadas, while the days were gloriously warm and sunny and "les cigales" were singing their song, from morning until night.
This project started out as a simple applique wall hanging using only regular quilting cottons. With the discovery of the "all things glitz and glam embellishment boutique", the cicadas soon developed a life of their own. (Quite beyond my control)!
So, the simply appliqued cicada got seriously "glammed up" with beads and baubles and all manner of embroidery fun.
|Before appliquing the body of this little guy, organza wings were stitched onto the fabric. Outlining the wings with a gold metallic thread soon became a project of gold lace embroidery.|
There are 9 cigales in total, all in various stages of completion. When doing this type of work, there's always a danger of going seriously overboard with the "glitz and glam", but oh my, what fun!
All of "les cigales" are hand appliqued, hand embroidered, (including the gold lace on the wings) and hand beaded. The background was done several years later, after I had purchased a sewing machine.
|Before the cicada was appliqued onto the silk background, the branches were machine embroidered and the flowers were hand appliqued. I liked the crinkled effect that the machine embroidery created between the branches, so I left it in place.|
|Here, leaves and branches are machine embroidered with some hand embroidery used to add detail. I'm not quite happy with the way the leaves look, so "more" of "something" is needed here!|
|After I had completed the background, I decided that the trapunto branches needed to be extended. Although stitched, they still need to be corded. (Maybe some more beading somewhere as well?)|
|As you can see, before I decided to "enhance" these guys with "bling", I had already appliqued them onto a previous quilt block and added embroidery, like the legs and antennas.|
|The wings are made from some Edwardian lace that I found in an antique market at the Portobello market in London. I fussy cut around the different patterns in the lace and appliqued many little sections to the wing separately.|
Always hopeful that one day, all (or at least some) of my almost finished projects will meet their destiny. Sigh!