Thursday, 30 July 2015

Cat Quilt Flimsy

After I finished enlarging all the blocks, I cut a template the size of the smallest block. Their sizes varied because the remnants I used to make and edge the blocks, were all different sizes.
Each one was cut to 15"x12".

Then the Folly of custom work raised it's funny little head when I realized I would need a Key Stone block in the center of the four off set blocks. Two colours? black or red. Red won. Had they all been the same shape this wouldn't have been necessary. Nothing like some inset seams to make your day.

After beefing up the edges of the narrower blocks, I gave it a border of 6 inches all around. This may be reduced a bit but the extra is great for mounting it on the quilting frame.

There is just enough "crookedness" to reduce the formality of the layout. This now goes into the quilting "Q".
It might be a bit before I can finish this one.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Enlarging the Cat Blocks

My material arrived today.
I knew I was making the blocks a little bigger but hadn't really decided how until I sat down at the machine.
I added a red border using material different than the background and then applied two black bars in each direction, just a smidge off square.
Only 7 more.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Cat Details - Giving Them " 'tude "

The detail is minimal, and more can be added.
I prefer to gradually give them life!
Gotta love those eyes!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Twiddling My Thumbs.

While I work on the cats in my head I keep busy.
There was this piece of cloth I had dyed a year ago.

And there was this image I found on the internet.

I thought they might look nice together.

(It's much better up close and in person. LOL )

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Cats on a Hot Red Roof? LOL

This is where I am.
Still undecided how formal to finish this. I could put the body/facial detail in, but, as I'm enlarging the blocks, I thought they might be easier to handle, ie. hoop, when they were bigger.
The holdup right now is my mail order for black fabric. I want to use only one of that colour and didn't have enough of any one fabric.

Hmmm..might just have to start something else.........

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Siamese Cat Quilt

I've been intending to make this quilt for awhile. An acquaintance, who was a breeder of Siamese, had to give them up a while ago. I'm sure she misses them.
I owned one of her cats about 20 years ago, and I thought I'd like to give her this token.

I was hesitant about recording this, here, as I would like it to be a surprise. I'm not sure how often she checks in. So I'm hoping I can get the quilt complete and posted without her realizing it's destined for her.

So a few days efforts are rolled into today's post.

I found, on line of course, lots of sketches of cats as well as many cat quilt, so I'm rolling several ideas into one. Size? This will probably be a lap quilt in it's finished form.

I took 11 printouts and pinned them to my wall for about a week, the whole time I was working on the birds! LOL

Some of the shapes are definite Siamese, and some are generic cats.
It took a while for me to decide how to portray their colour. I tried dying a brown/tan cloth........I have 2 yards of dirty grey.

So I chose to use a variety of brown prints, geometric and curves, from my stash. I would "colour" the "points" on each to imply Siamese.

I decided to trace them onto freezer paper, as I was concerned whether the fusible web materials would stand up to wetting and then Heat setting. It made for extra work, but in the end I think it was a good decision.

 Using transparent paint, I bloched the areas that were iconic for Siamese markings, the head, the tail and the four feet.

I know there are many shades of Siamese so I included some darker brown material in the mix.

After they were painted and heat set, I transfered the rough shapes or material AND the original cartoons to the fusible web.
Careful cutting through both sheets of paper and cloth, gave me my finished cats.

I was undecided for a long time whether to fuse the figures or use turned applique. In the end I went for the web. Then I pinned them to 8x11 paper sheets, on the wall.

I started with 11 pictures, and have come down to 9. I'm now leaning toward this "regular" look.

Now it so happens this person's favourite colours are black and red/burgundy. I need to decide whether to fuse these cats to red or black. That will result in very different looks.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Quartette of Birds - Final- sold

I added a thin dark green satin stitch border to each of these, and to two, I added a few leaves to fill or balance or finish the scene.

A nice cheery group?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Thread Painted Chick a dee

This fellow is the last of four.
Each of these needs to be finished and I need to prep more background, but I think it's time to move onto something else.
In the mean time...

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Thread painted Nuthatch

This was quick work; white, light and dark grey and blue, on a cartoon of white and grey.
The distortion is not as bad as with the Finch from yesterday, but again, quilting will smooth it out.

As I  start to have a grouping of these on their backgrounds, I'm thinking I need to add a few leaves or some other feature. They're a bit empty.
That will keep 'til they're all done.

Thread Painting Alternatives

Sometimes the heavy thread work isn't necessary.
With the careful choice of mottled or Batiks, you can do away with the need to get those smooth blends.
Your topic of choice also plays a role.
Where the theme is whimsical, careful anchoring and minimum highlighting might be all that's necessary.

If this isn't pure whimsey, I don't know what is.

Cut from a single piece, the only additions were: 
the eyes - a piece of grey material slipped behind before fusing,
the chest feathers - a piece of batting,
the mouths - a sliver of yellow fabric.
The eyes and a small amount of brown, 3 colours, are the only serious thread work.

These "babies" were fused directly to the background and with the minimal thread work, quilting the background isn't necessary as there was no distortion.
However, as these piece will probably all be displayed together, having micro quilted one, conformity means doing them all. Its a quick do.

Monday, 13 July 2015

It's All About The Bird

It's been awhile since I posted a thread painted bird. So here's the whole process, step by step.

I ALWAYS start with a cartoon, of sorts.
This Finch was cut and fused to the background. I approximate the colour, but it seldom stays the same. Using an "almost" colour, saves thread.

I usually start with the brightest colour. In this case it's the orange/pink.

The direction the stitches are laid down, and the length of the stitches, give the look of feathers/fur.

The breast receives a pale pink over the center to help establish shape as well as highlight. Tucked under the wing, is a cinnamon brown as shadow. The rump is almost white.

A touch of blue under the grey layers, helps to define the larger flight feathers. There is always a circle around the bird eye but it's colour changes with the specie.

At the end, a branch (twisted cording in this case) is added and the legs and feet stitched. The eye is also darkened.

This bird was done entirely in situ. I wanted to see how my choice of stabilizer would hold up. Not well. Though I hadn't intended to micro quilt the interior of the scene, I ended up doing so to rid the wowing from the thread painting. Most of the time you can rid any distortion by quilting it .

As received an envelope finish. At 9 x 11, there is no need for a hanging sleeve. A simple ring will do the trick to display this piece.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Background Frames

I did run a few errands today and played a bit with some dye colours. But as the heat drove me back indoors, I retreated to my sewing room and completed 4 of the background for birds.

Each follows the suggested outlines from the block prints I made first and each is either picked out or accented with one of 5 colours.  I think that will be enough, but who knows. I can add more when I finish each piece.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

A Day Without Sewing.......Never!

So I'm between major pieces again, but my mind has already begun working on another item. In the mean time, I started finishing up the small backgrounds for Birds, I had started in June ( Batch Painting).

These will probably all be envelope finishes but on each I've begun picking out the stamped and painted leaves.
When the time comes to add the bird, I'll determine a suitable perch for it depending on the pose.

It really doesn't take much to add some punch to these. Only 15 to go. But they're quick work. It's also a great way to use up scraps of batting and stabilizer.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

5 Birch - Final

This will only be 2  days late for our anniversary. I finished quilting the whole piece, everything but the leaves and the boles of the the birch trees. That took two days.
I'll finish the edges of this tomorrow, with a facing, and hang in it my dining room for Hubby.

Gee what a Lucky guy!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

5 Birch - When Enough is Enough

I spent most of yesterday putting on leaves. There are four different materials here. I had cut the same volume from each and "randomly" applied them.

 2 colours, bronze and purple

  4 colours, bronze. purple, pink and red.

It wasn't enough. I used all but the "pink" There were sections of that material that were too colourless.

In the end I added more red. I can still add more, but I don't' think I need to.

After a break while I watched the finish of the "Tour de France", I bit the bullet and started in on the main trees. They were a bit plain in comparison to the three small ones. After I edged the left hand side with a dull beige, I got out the ink pencils and added more snudge, and interest. As a last touch, I increased the "Shadow" areas where the shrubs would be blocking the light.

This is really touchy work, and as edge areas becomes dampened to spread the ink, it increases the length of time I have to wait to finish this.
The remainder needs to be over quilted.
I had hoped to have this complete for today as I intended it a gift ...for our anniversary.
Maybe tomorrow.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

5 Birch - Openning Pandora's Box

This type of piece could have been left as pure applique, and I considered that. I stalled yesterday and spent some time cutting out leaves.
After a night where I finally decided how finished I was going to make this piece, I dove in the AM.

I started with the smaller trees on the left. They had very clear marking that I could enhance with thread.The idea is to intensifiy their appearance and not draw attention to any one spot.

I eventually used three different shades of grey and then feeling confident, I jumped to the other side of the tree and the piece and added some beige/cream. You have to go very slow with this to maintain balance. If you add too much in one place, then it means more work on the whole piece. I then jumped to the bigger less dramatic colored trees and only worked as far as was necessary to start adding leaves.
(Actually I needed a break form the trunks).

This really start to bring this piece to life.