I thought that a background based on the 'Storm at Sea' patchwork block linked well with water. This was constructed from separate disperse dye painted papers printed onto polycotton. Accidentally, a piece of painted Lutradur fell on top and it seemed to integrate the design. Where would we be without serendipity? Unfortunately, I did not have enough so several attempts were made to reproduce it. Oh course, that never works! I settled in the end for the third attempt.
The swan was inspired by a design from Indian folk and was constructed from painted Lutradur bondawebbed onto the background and free machine embroidered. The background was also enhanced with embroidery and a scallop design for water.
The cover is pelmet vilene painted with inks and a broad brush. This was actually one experiment which worked first time! I made black and white copies of various dianthus and painted them onto cotton, backed it with felt and free machine embroidered the flowers. A diamond arrangement looked better that a square so I decided on this and finished it with crochet cords. The whole cover was edged with buttonhole stitch.
Now what would I cover the inside with? I needed to marry the two parts of the work - swan and dianthus, so I painted some card and used this as a background. The swan is intended to stand proud of the cover. I designed a title label which had to go on the back - a new fashion! Nearly there.
My last problem was the side panels for the swan design. I thoughts of swan facts from a Mediaeval bestiary and quotes from poems but decided that these would be too intrusive. I was playing with my Storm at Sea block one evening when the solution presented itself and I came up with subtly coloured variations on the block with a wavy background which, I hope, complements the main swan design.
I think that I have done it at last and learned a lot along the way!