Sunday, 27 April 2014

Singing In The Rain - Final

This was an easy finish.
 I doubled the number of leaves, added three flowers with bead centers.
The white matting and black border makes this a classic finish, but then, after all.. he Is the original harbinger.
Today is a sunny day and I imagine he is singing just as hard.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Singing In The Rain

I felt badly side lining the faithful Robin, in the last piece and denying him his role in announcing Spring's arrival, so I gave him a piece all his own. I had collected a few photos of singing birds and wanted to place this guy on a branch with young bursting buds.I found  3 different cords and twisted them together. This gave me  an interesting surface to perch the Robin.

It was attached to the backing in a lazy pattern using a zigzag stitch with invisible thread. I wasn't sure how the materials would lie but when one of the threads is the slippery nylon, it is really easy to remove. And in fact after all the materials were in place I did remove it at the end.

As with most of my birds I started with a cartoon and matched up as many different thread colours as I thought I might use. The more you can use the better the blends.
I fused the pieces to a piece of the eventual background material. This allowed me work the piece with a stabilizer and then, cut away the excess and not have to worry about the edges being a different colour.

All this guy needs are some legs but it is easier to add them once he is attached to the background.
I wanted the branch to have some "cute "buds so I cut small pieces of a pale spring green ribbon, twisted them into a tight loop and anchored them with glue. Pinned them to a box to dry.
After the robin was in place, the rain stitched on, I released the twisted cording from the invisible zigzag and using glue inserted the leaf pieces, and glued them in place.

The piece is a little empty still. I will make and add another dozen or so "leaves" and probably a few flower buds to brighten the day.


Friday, 25 April 2014

Harbingers of Spring Final - Sold

One of the reasons I stopped yesterday was I was unhappy with the three crocus that were meant to be the feature in the piece. They simply were not the feature. Overnight I decided to replace them with machine applique in 3 different batik. To cover the thread painting, they needed to be a little larger so I sketched them onto freezer paper as a trial.

I assembled them off the piece, gluing down the edges as I turned them and gluing the pieces to each other so they would cover the original. I machine quilted them with a blanket stitch, one that I like to use with applique, using a higher contrast thread in some areas and matching the batik colour in others.

I was a little surprised I didn't reduce the size much, but instead added a flange of pale spring green and finished it in charcoal.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Harbingers of Spring.

Apologies for the ten days absence. Not my idea. I was busy having frustrating discussions with a bully, the medical machine. I had started this project and had left it unfinished. That in it self is frustrating. But I had plenty of time on my back to visit and plan in my head. I do this anyways but usually in the wee small hours.

I can look out the window NOW, and things are greening, but it was a long haul through this winter. One of the first real signs of relief were the crocus that began poking up in sheltered areas. I don't count the robins as they run on sun time. That's not always in sync with the weather.

This is a beautiful sight after 150+ days of snow. The fresh green in the snow and the colour of the flower, so brilliant, it reflects, shadowing the crystals. There are many sources in the web for simple sketches. Six petals and a thick pollen covered stigma.
I had stashed away some brilliant purple jelly roll strips, perfect for this one. As I had really liked the previous use of tiling, I modified the method a bit to create interesting pockets of shadow.
Strips of pale mauve and bits of deep purples were arrange and fused to form the base.
A double overlay of two purple organza and then some white organza formed the base/background. Over that, some lozenge shapes for crocus buds were fused and then given a suggestion of stems and leaves.
Now I referred to several photos on line to cut and shape 3 flowers. These were given darker and more complex foliage The petals had been cut from two different batiks, so highlights and filling were used to round them out and define petals on each flower.
Finally, two shade of yellow were used for the stigmas and as a final salute to winter some shiny white highlights were added with metallic thread.
This is not finished. It will not remain this size but I need to live with it for a few days to decide how much I will cut it down, and how I will finish it. Stay tuned.

Monday, 14 April 2014

PPM2 Assembled

I had to take a little time off this weekend and get into the garden before the next April Snowstorm. It was just heaven sitting on my porch this morning with a cup of coffee, in my PJs.

On the home stretch with this one.
After reassembling the blocks with charcoal instead of white, all the blocks received one more piece of sashing and then a finally full length piece joined them together.
So now this quilt sits at 74 x 68.

If I add a 5 or 6 inch border piece it will take up into queen size dimensions. It also give some real scope for how to do some exciting quilting, This is now a very dramatic quilt and the quilting should match.
I ordered some wide backing last week for this quilt. The material was a batik that incorporated blues and greens, as in the charm square used here. I will wait till I get that material before I start the final process of quilting.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

PPM day 2

I really hate it when reality sticks its nose into my creativity and sends me off to work. It was 2 days before I could get back to this. Bummer.

But here are the blocks, this time edged in black. Sorry they don't show as well on the wall as they did on the floor.
Quite a different look. And it doesn't help they're half falling off the wall.

Now I will start doubling the sashing to expand its size.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Time to Finish the PPM Quilt

I guess quilting is my down time occupation. There isn't the intense focus required , as when I Thread paint. Only enough to keep your fingers out of the way of the rotary cutter and the needle on the sewing machine. (Touch wood, I've avoided both so far.)
I used my spare time at work, the last few weeks, to take apart the blocks form the original PPM. They were white with blue and green charm squares and when it was assembled it did nothing for me.

So I patiently un-picked the blocks. (Feels like I've been here before).

The white material won't be wasted. It will simply have to wait its turn anon.

I had played with the design in my EQ and decided I wanted to enlarge it all around with sashing.

That was all well and good but still boring, so I changed colours and eventually end up with black.

This was much more exciting. (Can you tell all my children were boys?)

So I spent today re-sewing the blocks using a dark charcoal. Now the charm squares are important in their framing. I'll trim and press the rest tomorrow. And start arranging them into their final design, ready for two rows of sashing.



Saturday, 5 April 2014

MY Scaredy Squrriel

This little guy has been haunting me ever since I saw the photo back in early winter.
I finally got my head around the how and finished him up today. The process is similar to most of my animal renditions so I'll simply give you the photos of the journey.

Cheeky little fellow


So follow along as I assemble this cute little devil.

Paper pattern

Cloth cartoon
 At this point the Red highlights were added to the basic cartoon.

Body stitching with bobbin colours showing to add depth and multi colour

Placed on the background
 After a lot of the background, or body stitching was complete, the cartoon was placed on the background. It was necessary at this point to be able to have the edge stitching  (fur) pass onto the background. At this point too most of the possible distortion had been tamed.

14 different colours
All that as left to do at this point was to stitch the background for dimension, add a suggestion of trees and add a little additional shading to the rump of the squirrel. What did I use? Crayon.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

BFF No Matter What The Weather - Sold

It rained overnight.
My only question was how much.
That was something  that could be done incrementally.
After carefully smoothing and anchoring the organza, I started with foreground rain, spaced 2 inches apart. I lay down strips of painter's tape to keep my lines parallel. It was removed to do the rest.

Using a slightly different shades of gray I scattered the mid ground rain ( striking the sidewalk and the girls) and the background rain ( behind the girls).

I considered doing a pillowcase binding, but the canvas underlay is too bulky to fold. So I went with a 1/4 black edge.

No Matter What the Weather.. Best Friends for Ever

(Who'd have thought a piece of whimsy could turn so philosophical?) LOL

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Best Friends Forever

I just can't sit idle and I can't get into the garden. (I'm not desperate enough to spring clean though.)
Snow is almost gone and rain is in the forecast. I saw some school children the other day in their new rain gear. They were cute!
I don't usually do cute but all I could think of was Sun Bonnet Sue in rain gear. So here she is!
But she looked kind of lonely so I gave her a Best Friend. Who better to splash in the puddles with.

I couldn't help but grin when I looked at this.

Their position on the cloth needed to be defined so the puddles at their feet were on the sidewalk, so an edging of grass was required.

But the whole thing is too bright. I auditioned several colours of organza as an over lay. But they were shiney rather than deepening the colours. Black was great if I was doing a serious piece, but this is whimsy.

I have had a piece of organza in my collection whose colour I can't define ( red? purple? brown?)

It deepened the red and tamed the yellow slicker and there is a complex colour play where it ripples.
This could be the one.

But first, I decided to continue on with the idea of spring flowers. I had no suitable material to add discrete flowers at the right scale so I fell back on one of my favourite method. Fabric Chips
I went thru my scraps and pulled out the pinks, yellows, purple and greens associated with spring flowers.
Where they fell is where they are. After covering the whole piece with a fine netting, and placing a million pins to anchor all the bits, I micro meandered in invisible thread, over all the areas with chips, making sure each piece had a line of stitching holding it in place.

Tomorrow I'll deal with the rain.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Chickadee on the Queen - Final - sold

This little guy finished out at 8 x 10 with the flange and binding. The flange was maybe a step I didn't need but I hadn't decided what colour to bind the piece with. In the end I stayed with the classic black.

I echo quilted the chickadee and the flower and picked out all the stamped batik florets with invisible thread. I almost rotated the bird as it would have looked just as natural. I guess that's still an option, though the hanging sleeve is for the horizontal aspect.