Friday, 26 May 2017

Seascape - Finishing the land

After scouring the internet for beach and grass scenes, I finished this in a minimal way, in shades of brown, gold and greens.
Nothing left but the sea itself and the sky.

Seascape - Decisions on the Fly

Things change constantly. Everyday brings a fresh view and decisions need to be made that do affect the whole piece.
I posted this picture yesterday.

Later in the day I trimmed away most of the netting that was impinging on the sky and in the subsequent photo the remainder created an unexpected shadow... of land.

Today I cut a piece of material and inserted it on trial.

They never stop.

Well I like it so.....
I gave parts of the fabric piece a light green stain/paint and fused it into position.
Further stitching to come.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Seascape - raw work

Time to green up those hills.
This is the result of an overlay of stained cheesecloth.
Lots of stitching yet to do.

( Hubby wants a LIGHTHOUSE........sigh.......Men!)

So here's the piece with initial stitching over netting with the batting and canvas backing in placeamd with initial cropping applied.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Down to the Sea......

Forgive my absence yesterday.
I couldn't focus.
It was the day I mailed my CQA entries.
It was like putting my young boys on the bus for summer camp.
No. Actually,..... it was worse.  😟
But I received notice today they were safely delivered. So I stopped holding my breath...and went back to work. 😌

To the Sea!
To the surf precisely.
I tried a couple of different yarns and fibres. In the end I went with a fringed poly that I stitched in place and then trimmed back.
Our old friend (and hard to use effectively) Angelina was valuable here to give some sparkle. It was fused and slipped under the yarn and stitched down.

Once again this is background work. It can stay a bit messy for that reason.
How I finish the hills and cliff edge will make things clear.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Seascape - a Breakthrough.........FINALLY

I had been so frustrated by this piece. It had been a month and still, every time I looked at it, the shoreline moved or didn't work. I figured out the blockage was caused by the white edge. Everyone had said they really liked it. But it didn't work for me.

What was it? Surf? Cliff? Shore edge? I just couldn't see it.

This piece was definitely NOT Dover but I felt like I was being pushed that way.

So after ignoring it for a long time.........I came home.. first to Lake Huron,

and then to PEI....

to cliffs I HAD experienced to and could readily revisit.
It was as simply as that.

Using burlap and cheesecloth, I got rid of the white edge and replaced it with red "sandstone".

Still a ways to go, but now I SEE it.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Added Value

In consultation with my sister out west, my primary sales locale, we decided to add some souvenir cards to her inventory. If her guests in her B&B (, couldn't take home a piece of my art, they could take home a selection of cards instead.
This upcoming event in Toronto seemed like a good place to test the "product".
So my ever supportive hubby has been printing some of my photos onto high gloss photo paper and today I trimmed and mounted a few on card stock.
A little labour intensive, but a nice change from sewing?

(no I haven't worked up the courage yet to tackle the seascape.........sigh....)

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tying up Loose Ends

Now that my initial panic re "the SHOW' has passed I can get back to what still needs to be done.

I'm still hoping to work the seascape in the next few days, but before that I wanted to finish the cardinal pair.

I trimmed most of the bulk of the green buds away, I went with a formal finish.
After micro quilting the entire piece ( that only took a day ) I decided to give it a formal finish, ie a "white mat and black frame" finish. It's the only piece in this current collection finished this way.

Different edge finishes are okay. You chose them according to what you think the piece needs. The white bands highlights the pastel nature of the cloth and the softness of the bird colour. Yes the red is RED, but the female colours mute the whole.
So this guy is ready to go.

I'll have to spend a day inspecting all as I realized I haven't signed most of them.
Or applied labels........

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Where has the Week Gone?

I tell you, most of my walking hours these last few weeks have been somehow or another fixed on this event.

This makes it real and now I'm starting to worry about the details, the mechanics of the day(s).
Hubby and I spent a few (funny) hours yesterday acquainting ourselves with the display tent I borrowed. Signage, furniture.....
Hmmmmm. More things to get in my head at night. I guess I should stop creating and start making a list.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

It's OK to change things

I made a lot of changes this week. Several pieces are being remounted on frames. One was too wobbly. It just wouldn't lie flat. The fix? Anchor it to a frame.
Another was under quilted and lacked physical substance. I know why it happened and its directly related to the fact I painted my own cloth. I fall in love with the cloth itself and the use is almost secondary. Some can be fixed by stitching after the fact and others can't.
So I've taken the binding off and with hubby's help I'll stretch remount them with stretcher bars. (Stay tuned for that comedy.)

The other thorn in my side has been the piece I started at our group workshop, the seascape.

I'm often the first to finish things but not this time.
It has great bones. The cloth representing the ground offered a lot of possibilities but I just could settle on a path.
When I looked at a photo on the computer screen, I could almost see the line of cliffs and beaches I wanted to dress. When I went to the piece itself, I'd get about a third of the way up the coast and then....... the line was invisible. Even sketching from the computer screen onto a photo and then trying to transfer those line to the quilt.......? It just wouldn't come together.


Today I found a path.
I eliminated the sea at the bottom and extended the cliff edge in the foreground.

Now it makes sense to me artistically and I know I can move forward. ( Well it's about time.. It's been over 3 weeks!)

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Cardinals - Final

This piece will be hard mounted on a frame.
If I don't have to ship them......they can have the royal treatment.
One day to paint them and one day to finish them. I wish everything I did was so straight forward.

Birdie, Birdie in a Tree

I decided last night to tackle some of the birds and get them off my to-do list.
The Cardinals are the only ones in a pair.

After trimming them carefully, I auditioned them on a few backgrounds. In the end, I knew I wanted them against the sky, but not a plain blue sky, and not a cheater sky with clouds. Two minutes of staring at my shelf of hand dyed/painted FQ, one caught my eye.

(It hasn't been there that long but it was the devil to iron all the creases out. Perhaps the paint increases the sharpness of the fold?)

After making a "branch" from twisted wool, I auditioned several positions for these two. As silly as it seems the concept of dominance crept into my head. Is the position on the branch purposeful? or chance? ( Too much time reading about political correctness.)

Male Cardinal's head is obscured

Too much space between them

Too crowded


In the end I'm going with the one I like..... this last one!

1:30 pm

Couching the branch was quick. I straighten it a bit as the "corkscrew hazel" look was too unnatural looking.

I decided to go with a Spring theme, the buds just bursting. It took me a while to decide how to add that touch of red that most trees show when they are first coming alive. A little piece of maroon cheesecloth did the trick.

Small triangles of green fabric rolled and tucked into the stem gave me bursting buds.

A small piece of batting behind each bird, rounds their bellies a bit. Stitching them down will be the last thing I do today.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Birch Trees - Version 2 - Final

Version 2
This came together much faster than I expected, always a bonus.

I included a closeup of the lower area, the finish for the ground. I tried something a little different, I used shrub stems instead of grasses and a much more liberal application of cheese cloth.

Why does finishing this style, a confetti or crumb method, takes so much effort? The stitching is tiny. Here's a shot of the reverse. Those are inch markings on the base fabric. And this piece is 28x40. It may have been faster to use a tiny meander but the leaf pattern is in keeping with the theme.

This version is a little bigger than the original. I will bind it in a similar fashion.
It's always interesting to see the difference, even though you start and work with the exact the same image. 

Version 1

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Birch Trees - Day 7, 8 and 9

Well it's about a month until the show in TO and I still have 3 pieces in my head plus the 6 birds I thread painted last month.
Enough of this " Oh's Spring"  nonsense.

There wasn't a reason to post the last few days of hours of sewing because I slowly worked down the length of the piece inch by inch removing pins as I went.

Doing a quilt and taking a few days off up north was a nice break, but.......

I am now about 10 inches from the bottom.
So it's time to address the bottom.

Using wool as shrub stems, a darker batik for dead leaves and coloured cheesecloth, I'm ready to finish this.
Again, it will be at least two more days of stitching. Fortunately it's going to rain tomorrow.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Finished Quilt - Flowers and Tendrils

It was raining all day, so it was a good day to work on my customer's Quilt,

The majority of the slow work with the custom flowers was completed last week so this was a straight forward job. I did have to redo a small section when the backing didn't lie as flat as I wished, but that's corrected to my satisfaction.

It's a bright quilt. The pattern hides a lot of the work but it shows very well in the darker borders. The pattern in that brown batik was the "go to" for the flower motif in the border and the fill in body of the quilt.