Thursday, 28 June 2018

Grizzly - Day 7

Almost there.

What's taking so long?
I'm mixing colours as I go and a lot of application is with small whispers of fibres. Layering takes time.
All that is left is the upper left ear and remaining ruff.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Grizzly - Day 6

Since we're forecast some brutal weather over the next week, I took advantage of the cool morning to do some maintenance baking. Granola for me and Oatmeal Raisin (breakfast) Cookies for hubby.
That took most of the morning. It included a lot of taste testing!
Hopefully we won't need to turn on the oven. Even thought we are air conditioned, my very diluted Scottish blood just hates the idea.

Yummy for me with yogurt  😁           

                                                     Yummy for hubby with coffee.

The finishing of the grizzly is slower now. I have to stop often and hang and photograph the bear so I can compare and see what I've done. I spent today working on the right side, polishing the muzzle and fur ruffs. It's only when you look at both today's and the early undercoat picture that you can see progress. I'm working with very small bits or wool specifically colour blended to massage contour and add detail.

under coat

 Detail in progress.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Grizzly - Day 5

If this seems to be going slower than usual it's because I'm fitting in a lot of other fun times with my quilting and knitting friends. It is summer, after all. But I find time for my bears.

But I finished all the undercoat today. With a little critique from a friend I tweaked the eyes so they are balanced.


I know in my head how I want this to look at the end, but working out the technique is going to be the trick. There is a fine line between having the wool securely anchored and not having it lie completely flat. Another day or so.....

Monday, 25 June 2018

Grizzly - Day 4

Now that most of the white is covered with the undercoat, the camera is giving a truer image.
I enlarged the pupil of the left eye and added brow ridges. I'm not sure the right eye doesn't look a little dozy. An easy fix.

Remember Sinchies?

Back in April of this year I showed some of the 11 Sinchie blocks I was challenged to make . They were all prescribed, 2 colour, 6 inch blocks.
Our Fibre Arts Group got together this morning for our first attempt at assembling them as a unit for our September Guild Quilt show.
I think we were all rather impressed with each other's efforts.
We'll mount them together later this summer. For now here's a sneak viewing.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Needled Grizzly - Day 3 - The face

I am pleased with this. The most defining part is done.

Reclaiming wool

Thought I have a lot of different colour rovings and the fleece offers a number of browns, I just didn't have the Ginger colour I wanted. I had, however bought this skein/ball a few months ago from Wellington Fibres

By Shredding the yarn and adding some of the different shades from the fleece I made new material to work with.

The really long strands are from the Alpaca.
This is rather time consuming and for my purposes the dog brushes do a fine job.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Needled Grizzly - Day 2

I really only work on this for a few hours in the morning. The repeated needling starts to get tiresome and if you get sloppy in the angles, you break the needles. The last project with the five bears, I broke 8 needles.
(Fortunately my Internet Hunter has found a cheap source and keeps me in needles.)

I'm working on colour blocking. This is the undercoat of the fur. The detail will come later, but for now its a fairly easy and fun job.

I'm using a combination of wool here. The piece of fleece I'm pulling from has several colours.

For the light and more orange/gold I'm supplementing the fur with Alpaca and Merino rovings. These are finished and for my purpose too straight. So that they don't appear different from the Shetland, I run them quickly through my combs with a piece of lighter Shetland.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Needled Grizzly - Day 1

I knew I would be back to the needle felting almost as soon as I mailed the other pieces.
Meet Boo.
A few years ago I had captured a larger image that included this Grizzly who lives at the Kickinghorse Mount Resort in a multi acre reserve half way up the mountain. He's kept because he became a pest in the area and now is used as a teaching tool.
After cropping the photo a while ago I waited until this technique cross my path and then another month or so 'til I had the confidence in the technique to try this baby.

I ran it through photoshop a few times until I came up with this colour definition

After tracing the outline with a few colour blocks to help keep me on track, I dove in.
I did try something different this time with the backing. I was unhappy with the tell tale line of stitching I used to attach the bears to the backing. This time I stitched the green backing, as little as there is, onto the stabilizer and am needling the edges right into the colour.

While it appears black, it's far from  it. The light contrast affected the camera.  

After I over corrected the colours, it shows the range of browns and blacks I'm working into this guy.
(The flecks are bits of straw.)
I do come away with my hands sooooo soft from the lanolin in the wool.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Canadian Women 150 Anniversary Quilt

I spent the last week working on this quilt. It's been awhile since I quilted a king size quilt.
This quilt was designed and offered by Next Step Quilt Design to help celebrate Canada's 150th year, last year.
It was offered on line and each quilt block came with a biography of a Canadian woman of note.

This quilt is only a year late but it was lovingly sewn by a dear friend.
My photos don't do it justice. I didn't photograph this outside on my lawn because a) the backing is white and b) there are too many birds! So enjoy what I managed to photograph.
It's a brilliant sampler quilt.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

5 Wooly Bears - Final

All these panels measure approx. 9 x 12. The bears are all the same size 5 x 6.

Somethings are easier to do when you're working much larger. This size was no problem for thread painting. but maybe not the easiest for needle felting.
But they're done and bound and off to BC tomorrow.
Here they are in their LANDSCAPE sequence.

Teddy Bear's Picnic

I finished these 5 Bears yesterday but decided last night some needed a bit of tweaking.
It was as simply as moving the eyes or balancing the colour.
They are all different.
This is the truth about doing multiples. Even if  you start with the same outline, the same materials and use the same techniques...they will be different.
Some I like better than others. You will too.

Today I'll give them a traditional binding. They are small enough they don't need a full sleeve.

Friday, 8 June 2018

Wooly Bear Series - Day 2

Today is background day.
After placing the mountains and hills, it's time to add some colour.

We buy a lot of fabric but I don't think many buy fabrics just to fussy cut.
These two fall into that category. While they would add some interest to a bed quilt that was not their purpose when I brought them home.
A layer of evergreens and then some autumn colour.

I started leaving a gap for the bear. Why waste the material?
I soon gave that up.

After measuring, I sliced the strip into five 9.5 inch pieces.
I'll finish each piece now before I place the bear.while.

I've left the bottom of each as I haven't decided whether to bury the feet of the bears in water or grass.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Wooly Bears in Series

While my Cave Bear is finished, I'm going to hang on to him for a while.
I need some smaller versions to send to my sister, so I went back to a template I used for the thread painted bears and traced it onto black cotton.

I decided to dispense with the stabilizer as these are much smaller.

A hour's work with the simplicity machine gave me the base and I then I needled the edges roughly in place before I cut them apart.

They will be finished when I personalize each bear.

I'm making 5

I've learned that making multiples gets very tiresome and mind numbing so I took a page from a Art teacher whose wedding I attended almost 30 yrs ago.
She wanted to give a piece of her art to all her guests as a Wedding Favour. Rather than painting 50, she painted one long panorama and sliced it up.
That's what I decided to do.

So here's the background. It's about half done. Each piece will end up being approximately 9"x12" Working it once is going to be much easier than working it 5 times.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Felted Bear - Final

Here's Cave Bear.
The wool tags were needle felted into place after the body was filled out. I quilt finished the entire background and then machine stitched the bear 'onto the cave wall'. This order was necessary as it's no longer possible to needle felt. At this point the density simply breaks needles.  30"x25"