This blog is a place to archive project processes and techniques from Painted Threads with descriptions of how work was produced. I am including comments that contain questions and answers pertaining to the work from many of the original blog posts.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stem Cells

I have stem cells on my mind. 60 Minutes had a story on some new stem cell research that is showing amazing results for regenerating spinal cord cells making formerly paralyzed mice able to walk. It is amazing that we are so close to so many medical breakthoughs. 60 Minutes went on to say that fertilization clinics dispose of unused eggs. Why is it more humane and Holy to throw away embryos than donate them to research that could potentially save lives? Throwing eggs away feels more like killing them than saving that live tissue and growing it into potential cells and organs to prolong life. Does the Bush admin perform little funerals for all of these eggs they insist should be thrown away?

Stem cells are like the fabric of life.

First I found an image from the internet of stem cells and printed it out the size I wanted to work. I taped the 8 1/2 x 11 pages together and laid a piece of tracing paper over the top and traced the outline of the stem cells.

I put my outline drawing on a light box and put the fabric I would use for the back of the piece on top and traced the lines with chalk. Next I put this fabric on a piece of white cotton batting and stitched with the sewing machine over all the chalked lines with a straight stitch.
I turned the layers over so the batting was now face up and began to paint the stem cells with textile paint on the batting having my sewn lines as a guide,
I built up the shading with Tsukineko inks. Their transparent color is perfect for that. Then I cut away all the white spaces in the batting around the stem cell painting.
Then I layered the lacy painted batting on a blood red colored piece of hand dyed fabric, a piece of wool batting and another piece of fabric for the back.
I satin stitched around the edges of the batting with gold thread and free motion quilted in the dark red spaces to flatten it and make it visually recede.
Finished stem cells.

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