Sunday, 31 May 2015

Time out for A Tinner's Quilt

A Tinner's quilt is similar to a Round Robin, but rather than adding a border/layer quilt, you make individual blocks using the colours provided, adding or subtracting a colour each time the "TIN" of material moves from person to person. The supplier of the original fabric doesn't see the results until all the block have been made.

I have to admit, I too much of a control freak to enjoy something like that!! LOL

It did result in an interesting quilt. My friend's original fabric choices had been the deep gold and the blue/green (used in the border as well.)

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Mama Bear

Mama Bear is almost done. This fake suede thread paints beautifully.

There are a few more leaves to add and some need more detail.
Not sure about how to finish the edge of this one.
Is it dark? Deliberately so.
Bears do hide in the woods.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Papa Bear - sold

This big guy didn't look right in the woods. It seemed more natural to have him where he could turn his back to you with lots of wild open exit routes.
I still had some of my original Sky tapestry. ( I am getting low.)

The addition of some distant mountains and a dry, grassy slope was all he needed.

Part of me REALLY likes him on the whole piece. The sky is dominate and even this huge beast is diminished.

 But that's not what this bear is about. Cropping the sky gives me one more piece to use in the future.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Dealing with Baby Bear

His design dictates him clinging to a branch. I thought I'd put him in the evergreens this time.
Some have interesting bark. ( Scot's pine has red showing through. )

Rather than a flat presentation I wanted some dimension to this. To make the branch, I started with a suitable piece of material twice as wide as I wanted the final branch to be.

I created a "tube" using a piece of stabilizer the final width I wanted. After they were sewn to each other I inserted a piece of batting the length of the branch.

A series of stitches down the length, folds and gathers the excess material into furrows. This was applied to the background on one side only coaxing it into  a curve.

To give the bear a bit of "plumpness" I placed a layer of batting behind his body. Then the whole thing was stitched in place using a blind hem stitch.


I think I'd like a little blue sky peeking through in a couple of places. Before I start applying fir branches, I need to cut holes through the background and insert a piece of sky.
That's for tomorrow..

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Bear - Other Options

The bear I put together yesterday is a repeat of one I've done 4? times before. I get bored when things get stale. I got thinking, last night about putting that particular bear in a background that wasn't forest, summer or autumn. Maybe rocks and sky?
So what to put on this background.

I had prepped and cut a second bear cub.

This background is different from the first, but the pose is rather limited.

I do have whole file of Bear pictures so I worked on this one today.

This is a black bear. The head shape is distinctive, as is the colour.

This one is not so pose-ready, perhaps a little more natural. Lots of thread work to do with this one. Most people might prefer the see the bear moving away from them!

But as a caution, I'm really not happy when the background starts dictating what should be on it.
I could still cut it up into...........TREES. LOL
In the meantime I have 3 bears prepped and ready to use. So not a waste of time...ever.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Birthing a Bear

So we already have our bear traced onto a fusible web product. I've made these guys from cotton fabric, and upholstery fabric. I decided to go with fake suede.

I had these 3 pieces, a nice gradation but I needed one more, a lighter gold. When you look at pictures of grizzly in N. Am. they seem to come in all shades of browns and golds.
I knew where there was the perfect finish for this trio. In our closet.
Not HIS shirt, but MY shirt.
I 'd had this soft shirt forever and alas it was now too tight to be worn as anything other than an over shirt, and it didn't work well that way, as it clung to everything and didn't hang. Time to take one for the team.
I cut off ONE cuff. That was all I needed......this time. 

And so this bear was birthed this afternoon. I fused all the pieces to a very light interfacing. This makes it easier to assemble and handle. Now I can think on how to finish this background.

Tidying up the Leftovers - Green Mosaic Background

After I finished the "unbaby" Quilt and shipped it off to my niece in Oman, I shoved everything into a basket so I could assemble my pieces for the show.
Sunday, I put a new Quilt on the machine and am nicely into that, but I like to take a break from standing at that machine.
I've been asked to produce some pieces with bears and Big Horn sheep, so that's my focus right now.

I decided to recycle the leftovers into a mosaic style background for "something " in the woods.

I had a lot of 3.5 inch pieces left over so I cut them in half and began "randomly" stitching them together.

Cut once more, I have inch pieces. I put this background together in a bout 2 hours. Nice mindless work

Should do very nicely for one of these guys!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Dogwood and Birches - Final


The last few days have been an endurance test. LOL

Every tree was either outlined in white and gray or thread painted with at least 3 shades of thread, greys, beige and white. I started to overstitch the black markings on the cloth but found on the smaller trees it was more of a hindrance than an addition. So most of the black marks that needed beefing up were done with paint.
What doesn't show in the photo is the major trees have all had a light touch of white pearl paint added to the "sun" or left side. Just another little "kick".
As for the 100+ trees and shrubs...... most are hidden now or partially concealed. I prefer to build from the back, foreword, and if things become buried they were not a waste of time. They helped me create a realistic scene. There are no holes.

I am particularly pleased with the final effect  in the foreground, of the brush thinning in density.
Just enough of the ground peaks through. Outlining every tree was a necessity too. It allows each to stand out from the background.

This is unbound as of now. Lately I have left all these large "tree" piece unframed or self framed. It will probably receive the same treatment.

I think this will be the last of this series using hooped netting to create texture. I know I will use it again. For now I have different sorts of requests and commissions waiting.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

D&B - Day 16 - The END of Shrubbery!

I started today by drawing a line in black marker on the canvas. The Dogwood only needed to reach that point. I sat down in front of my sewing machine and thought, "just a few more shrubs should do it!" 13 later, I still was not happy with the fill in the front so I left it all in a heap, and went for a the nearby woods. The Trilliums were in bloom and I had a chance to look guessed it.....shrubbery.

When I returned home, I decided to sew directly on the canvas. Though the brush is more open as it reaches the foreground it still needs to be full, even where there are gaps.
To get the mixed colour, I went back to a double thread through the needle. ( This had resulted in breaking my threading hook, but that had been fixed in the overhaul. So I went for it! )

I started with red and yellow, but decided it was too colourless. I switched to red and lime green. The red thread is a heavy cotton quilting weight, and the green was inexpensive serger thread. The weight of the quilting thread pulls the lighter thread along with it, so there is very seldom any breakage when it encounters areas that are already heavily stitched.

I filled the gaps with branches. Every once in a while I added in and overstitched one of the last round of netted bushes to add colour contrast. At the end, when all the spaces were filled with shrubs, I used the single straight red thread and overstitched again, some heavier branches. This toned down the green and brought some definition back to the jumble of branches.

It's done.
That part.
No more shrubbery.
I thought I would scream.

Monday, 18 May 2015

D&B - Day 15

13 more Shrubbery......count 'em.
The problem with photos now. is you can't always see the changes. Most are small or minor colour additions.

After adding black material to the second largest tree, I went over some of the smaller ones on the right side with black marker. I was leery of stitching on those smaller ones as I can't see very well when the piece is under the machine. In some spots, that may be enough, or at least it shows exactly where I need to beef it up with black thread.

Again on the right half, each tree has had a dark grey single stitch line, placed down the right side to sharply define the edge.. The last three I used pure White embroidery thread on the left side of the trunks.
Not sure that's enough....................

I did a lot of jumping around today. It was that kind of day.

 I may still need to add some pearl paint to give some sparkle to the left side, but that would be done at the very end.

Almost to the bottom. I cropped this pic so I could see if the "end t'was nigh" for the shrubs. LOL

Sunday, 17 May 2015

D&B - Day 14 The Addition of Black

I managed a little time on this piece today, after our return from Thornbury. While I was there and on the journey there and back, I spent a lot of time looking out the windows of the car at birch trees. It is easy to mistake Poplar for birch. Poplar have already leafed out. Their bark, though almost white, has a green tinge to it.
At 100Kph it's easy to mix them.
But my son in law has some beautiful specimens on his property and I have photographed them a few times.

This beautiful guy shows a lot of character, but in actuality is unsuitable as a model. This one is open grown, whereas my picture is a much dense situation. A younger tree is a better model.

This is your classic White or Paper Birch.
In forest situations it grows straight and sheds its lower branches  to make a long straight bole, prized, in the past by both our indigenous peoples and the settlers.

This picture best shows the black blotching on the older trunks. This is primarily where there had been a branch.

So I added some black material to the largest white trunk.

With the addition of some final shrubbery, I've reached the immediate foreground in this area.
When you look at the difference in the full scene, the black "spots" add that necessary punch.

The few larger trees need the black material to give the intensity of black. The smaller ones can be done with thread only. I'd expect to get the bulk of this finished tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Gallery - May 2015

All my work arrived safely in Golden BC.
I'm always torn between mailing it standard or priority. I have a price point I won't pass and this time the weight was just prohibitive. So it took 8 business days.
I haunt the Canada Post Tracking page until it arrives. With standard packages they update the web page as it passes each check point, but the mailing tubes go into limbo. They are handled by hand as they won't go thru the automated system. So they go in this end and out the other with no updates. It used to be really nerve wracking, but they haven't lost anything yet. LOL

My sister sent me a few pictures. ( I had to email her back she had hung one upside down! )

Friday, 15 May 2015

Back to D&B. Birches and Dogwood - Day 13?

I've found it really hard to switch back to this piece. I thought I had solved all the problems and answered all the questions about i'ts assembly.
The Show came and went. I tackled the chair to get it out of my space. But I found it really hard to pick up where I left off.
I think I used the knowledge I was working afternoon for two whole weeks to prevent myself from diving back in.
We're going away this weekend, so it's hard to start something the day before.
Gardening got in the way too. (Actually after the two days of REALLY hot, we're back to damp cool spring weather...I'm tired of being cold...but not ready to jump to 35C.

In my half days I've made a few shrubs, ( that's getting really old). and played with colour and shading on the boles of the trees. Still not finished.. the white down the left sides is not bright.

And I realized I've been avoiding the last large tree. It's almost 1.5 inches in width.

 I wasn't sure that thread painting alone would give the density of the black bark. So I played with bits of netting and black organza. That seems to be the solution to get solid colour contrast without messy thread work.
The remainder of this work is going to be slow and micro in nature.
But it's delayed again.
And that's where I'll leave this for now.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Chair - Day 5 - Finished

I dislike doing the backs of chairs. The top is anchored inside out, folded back and then the tacking strips worked into where you THINK they should go to provide a nice straight tension down the back.
But its done.
Have I done better? I think so, but only because the fabric was more malleable. This was very stiff and ridgid.
The few places where tucked curves should have been filled and smooth remain as tucks, the material just wouldn't give.
But it will WEAR WELL. It reminds me of that horrible rough material my grandparents had on their furniture, a pinky/beige nylon. It left marks on your bare legs. lol

I know the kids will be delighted.

It really is a lovely coloured material. And I even did the silly arm thingys........I'm sure there is a name for them other than nuisance.

And a nice smooth back.

The kids had purchased 7 yds at my request. There are almost two left over as I hadn't needed to match patterns and I ignored direction. So they have enough to do.....a Hassock!

Monday, 11 May 2015

Chair - Day 4

Pillow Time.
Always FUN.

Trial fit and the time to mark the second set of corners.

No major issues here. It's a bit looser than I like, but I think sitting on the foam will shift  it into place.

Nothing left really but the back......... Not my favourite part.
I had an issue reusing the metal side tacking pieces. I can't afford to have that on this section.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Chair - Day 3

Mother's Day...............I wonder where my children are...........................?

The back is the only section left to do on the chair.
Then the seat cushion.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Chair - Day 2

After I set the soaker hoses before the blistering heat of this weekend, and fit in a walk in the park, just to keep the hips moving, I retired to my workshop in the cool basement to work on the chair. I spent another hour removing staples and then began reconstructing this piece.
The kid's choice of fabric was not good, but no one went with them. But they got a great deal on
out-door fabric.
It will work but I don't think it will be terrible cozy. It will wear well though. LOL

I've had to line it with muslin as its a bit translucent and the yellow foam show through.

There is a definite order to this!

 Both my son's checked in. LOL

Friday, 8 May 2015

Switching Horses ..... Big Time..The CHAIR

I've been thinking of the amount of detail yet to add to this D&B piece. I went down to my space today to work on it and as I walked, again, around the ELEPHANT in my way, I decided the time had come to deal with said elephant. So I've put finishing the birches on the backburner, ( along with a growing list of things..sigh..) and will deal with THE CHAIR.

The children of my good neighbour found a large wing chair in good shape but in need of reupholstering, thanks to a cat. They got started removing the old material and quickly got bogged down.
Luckily for them, I backed into their car this winter, and finishing the chair for them is my penance.
(After the last chair I did, I swore I would NEVER do another. Its really hard on my hands.)

So here I go.......again.

I think I have another day of removing staples...... ALWAYS a fun job.