Saturday, 26 November 2016

Holly Quilt ...... for Holly

A friend from my working past tracked me down to finish a quilt she had made for her daughter, Holly.
What to put on the quilt? Holly of course.
16 Squares about 12 inches in size, should be a straightforward job? But this is custom work and the planning takes time. So I spent today constructing a panto for the border and for the centre.

The quilt is made of large and colourful log cabin blocks  The quilting really won't show on the front. However the back is a different story. So I've really designed it with that in mind.

Using this one simple motif I found on line I constructed the border and the centre medallion.

The medallion is composed of four repeats of three of the units, 12 in all, about 16 inches in diameter. I'll stitch this work tomorrow.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Hmmm - Thinking about Buying a NEW Sewing Machine.

My Janome is getting tired and unfortunately too untrustworthy to take away. Regular maintenance trips are getting costly, so I think it's time to look for that "ice flow". (trade in)

Hubby and I have talked and we went out today "JUST LOOKING" and I'm glad to report I came home with...nothing, BUT..........................

Triangle has this one on hold for me. Last year's model and used, but really intriguing.
I said we'd decide by Friday.

Who else but a sewer would spend two hours on line READING THE MANUAL.

Friday...........SHE'S MINE..ALL MINE........................................(.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$)
Guess that's my Christmas present taken care of..................😌

Monday, 21 November 2016

Picking up pieces

Transitioning between projects is sometimes difficult. I don't realize how tired I am until it's over. You realize you've been riding on adrenaline...and then you crash for a few days.
I used that brain dead time to finish tidying the garage and we got the car snugged away just before the snow.
And the mess in the basement ( I drop everything on the floor) is swept, AND I did a quick job on a comfort quilt.

Between yesterday and today I made some Meyer Lemon marmalade, 4 pints. Now it can snow.
Christmas cake, marmalade, what says Winter better.

Here's the recipe if anyone wants to try. This took 8 lemons.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Birch Trees - Final

This is yet unbound.
I opted to put no additional stitches in the trunks of the trees in order to keep the dimension. When this is illuminated from an angle they stand out very nicely.
I did add some ink to the trunks, I may add a little more but for today? it's finished.
( and I really don't care that I cut the birch fabric the wrong way!....)

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 8

Today was leaf day.
I tried one idea and didn't like it so I dismantled it.
I was trying to avoid stitching each leaf. I thought if I sandwiched them between two layers of netting I could apply them en masse. I didn't like it, they were too flat. So I took it all apart to salvage the leaves.

Then I went back to stitching one by one.
This is actually better in that I can monitor what needs more or less.

So now I'm having a cookie and coffee break (Today was make more oatmeal cookies for hubby morning).
I've started the leaves so I can see the end of this one.

Hummmmmmm time to think of the next? HA!
Not yet.

4:00 PM Sometimes you just can't leave things alone! Few more leaves in the afternoon.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 7

It took a week to decide how I wanted the leaves to look.
Though I WANT to do a piece with chiffon leaves as a feature, this was not the one.
I needed the yellow leaves to carry weight with light so I opted for my own material.

This FQ is heavy with paint. Deciding how to mount the leaves now that I joined the two halves was the second issue.  Manipulating the whole piece in order to stitch a single leaf is what I was trying to avoid.

So I've decided to sew them into a mat or layer and apply them as a applique.
But first the trees.
I padded the cloth with a thin layer of batting to ensure some dimension after everything is stitched down. There are also a series of branches that need to go in.
But I'm ready to go on now and finish this.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 6 - Background Complete

So here are the two pieces, stitched and joined together. Right now, the dimensions are 28x40.

I will leave this sit for a few days as there are still some important decisions to be made.

One is how many trees boles will be placed?
The ascetics of numbers plays a big role: does the weight of two small ones equal a large one? and though the original photo has the right side completely clean, save for the branch I may change that.

Second is the composition of the leaves?
I have several options here. I can go with raw applique, 3D-dimensional leaves, Chiffon leaves, a combination of both chiffon and cloth, Thread painted.... the list goes on. It's beginning to rob me of sleep so at this point I'll walk away.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 5

Though the clock says its still early in the day, my Daylight Savings shift has me ready to quit. I guess I put in about 6 hours on this today, so that not too shabby.

For what ever reason, I'm not happy with the photos colours from my Power Shot today. Things seem too orange. When I finish this, I'll take some photos with out door exposure.

In the meantime........I did leaves, and more leaves. As these are mid-ground I wanted "perfect" leaves as opposed to colour blocks so they are smaller and for the most part individually placed
I added more shades of orange to the lower foreground and them decided I needed kick, a splash of red. I used a shade, probably a magenta. reflecting dogwood, or viburnum.

These "leaves" went right over the "wood."  Just enough to relieve the dull green/grey. I sprinkled a bit into the crown as well.
Then I started to pin the netting. I had been thinking of using a white Tulle to keep things light but it wasn't playing well with all the colours. So I changed to grey, pinning about every inch.

By the time I finished I used the whole box of pins. I knew I would stitch only one side today.

Then after I had it all pinned and it lay on the table beside the other side... one without any netting, I decided the netting had to go.
It was dulling the colours. But in order to stitch these millions of pieces it had to stay as a stabilizer.

I started at one edge and unpinned one inch and stitched across, removing pins as I went, until I reached the other side. Yes, some of the leaves moved and bounced but for the most part slow stitching kept everything under control. And then another inch. Where there were no additional leaves the "wood" was tacked down.

So here is the Background, left side, finished.
And here is the right side, finished but un-stitched. That will be for tomorrow.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 4

Another two hours finished the stitching on the second side. My plans are I will only need to do this once more. Then the piece will be joined and given batting.

I added 10+ yds of twine and 2 full skeins of embroidery thread. these were cut into branches of varying sizes. Some were separated into single ply. This is the jumble of branch work under the trees.

Three different fabrics, shades of orange were added. I can't say these were applied in a totally random manner. They were sprinkled, but clumped to give the impression of individual trees or branches.
The photo order reflects each side, the first with the thread/branch work and then the overlay of "leaves".
First the left side..
And the right side.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 3 - Sort of

I didn't accomplish much today. I spent most of it running around. Hubby decided today he would make my PERMANENT Rabbit fences. (PERMANENT meaning winter use) After we argued about the "how", I decided the easiest thing was to go with him. The lumber store turned out to be the last "official" stop on the trip.
After visiting two far eastern meat markets for chicken feet ( I kid you not.... but he does make the best chicken stock) we then hit the nearby thrift stores to scope out material etc. We came home with ANOTHER clay baker, virgin I think. (He uses them for bread) and $4 Gollum mask (for his daughter ( 35) who does ALL the high profile Toronto Halloween parties), a felted wool blanket, (for me) and last stop was along the side of the road where the builders had a "free" sign next to some brick sized cut stone. (think foundation for the rabbit gate)...................... plus a stop at the grocery store and the mail box.

I had to lie down.

But I stitched for a few hours this afternoon and got one panel done.
Tomorrow?...........( I'll probably have a lot of time as that will be chicken stock day.)

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 2

I started today by cutting away all the excess netting.
3 different "branch" materials were place as a random as possible.

I played with un-ravelling ( and ironing) to half the ply and then to single ply.

The black is not my favourite here but I know it will disappear into the background.

Deep rust and a multiple orange batik were the first addition.

More rust and batik with a splash of green and bright orange.

While the colour seems more intense in these last two photos, the background has been broken up and is fading into just that, the back ground colour.
At this point I over laud the whole with netting. I will stitch it tomorrow. In the meantime I need a trip to the "store" I used up the last of my grey netting. Both black netting and white dull the colours too much whereas the grey allows the vibrancy to show through even after several layers.

And as the final act of today, the paper is re positioned. There is no point in trying to avoid the areas that will be covered with white. Gaps are left. The amount of material lost behind is negligible.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Birch Trees - Day 1

As a is the internet photo image.

This one emphasizes the mature boles. I hoping for some interesting work here. I made some fresh "birch" material a few days ago.

As a trial, first thing the morning, it was folded to the size of an actual tree trunk and placed on the auditioning background material.

This is a good time to use those "mistake" materials. The colour is all that is important here.
And with that decided i pulled out all the possible foliage choices.

I had been thinking I might have to quick dye some suitable yellow, but these selections seem to be giving me what I far.

So beginning with the lower foreground/background I sliced two different colours of foliage. These are much larger than usual but I wanted to fill the bottom/front with shadow. Each piece was placed individually, anchored with a light tacking spray.

To dampen the orange, a little colour interest was added with this scrap of material and then most of it was covered. Twigs are embroidery floss. There will be much more of that detail.

All the bits were stitched under netting.
Yes this is in two pieces. That decision I made last night. It will be easier to handle, and when the trees trunks (paper stand-ins) are added near the end, the two pieces will come back together.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Last of my Commitments

Too many things to clear off my table, particularly when I've got a project churning in my head.
We've been stripping the garage of my painting and dying materials. (We insist on having the car in for the winter. It's not getting any younger..........but then neither am I !!!.)
The holdup in the garage now is the last batch of beer. As hubby makes it from scratch he needs to cook and I won't have that in the house. ( Bad enough the wine fermenters bubble in the corners most of the winter,)
My stuff has to live under my worktable all winter. I will paint indoors but not dye. Too messy and unsafe.

These things will be sorted and "refiled" in their proper storage containers with the hope I'll be able to find what I want, when I want it next Spring.

And these two crib quilts are finished for the guild. I kept them simple. Babies like puffy?
So maybe I can finally begin?