Friday, July 7, 2017

Sunny days

I wanted to set out the process I followed in doing my sunflower wall art. And especially the mistakes I made so someone else who does a similar one can avoid it. The photo that inspired it has been in my collection for about two years now. Who would have guessed that even in a climate like that of England one could grow large sunflowers.

It seemed a pretty simple flower to do and yet I procrastinated using other projects as excuses. Finally I pushed myself to do it a month back. To keep the challenge to a minimum I cropped the picture, editing out the wall and most of the leaves. In hindsight I feel it took away something from my finished work. The flower now looks too big and oversized. So note to self. Next time keep more background!


After tracing the printed picture on to a white background, (a mistake I realised later) I used reverse applique to sew. I started out with simple short straight stitches and switched to narrow satin stitch as I found that on trimming the foreground cloth there was a risk of the straight stitch coming off.
This was after I had trimmed the foreground cloth on all the pieces! There were a lot of loose threads that constantly kept coming out in spite of constant trimming. And the white showing through was also bothering me.So I used a matching colour pencil to shade the white and let it merge. The next step was to use machine embroidery to add the brown color. Looking back it seems that plain yellow looked better. Maybe I should redo this keeping it just yellow.
Since my yellow was a bit anemic I machine embroidered that too with some glowing yellow silk thread. That left the bits in between the bricks. To keep it realistic I had to color it gray. Machine embroidery or fmq seemed a bit daunting. Especially when I had stone gray paint. It was a touch dark but once I add some white it was just right. I would have been better off strating with that grey as foreground cloth.
Then all I needed to do was sandwich the piece and do some fmq on the bricks to give some texture and add some to the flower too.
Since the gray was painted fmq on that was ruled out. After debating on whether the white frame was necessary or not I decided to trim it rather than keep it. Binding and beadwork for the centre and some sleeves to hang it and there it was finished! 
Well not quite! I don't think I did justice to the photo and perhaps will revisit it. Fused raw edge and more background perhaps? Just plain yellow. Freezer paper applique. So many options to explore.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Starting a list again

Last year I decided to make a list of the books I read. Two reasons for that decision. One is simple. I forget names very quickly. That has been a game since the last twenty years. Someone told me it is called selective aphasia. Knowing the name does not make it better. The other reason was that my reading had become non- existent. I had very little access to books but more so hardly any time to read. Quilting occupied all my waking moments. So I though a list of books would give me a impetus to read a bit more.
 The list was started but I never got around to keeping it updated. But I did read a lot. Almost all Kindle of course.
My tablet is now in my hands most of the time. When I am not surfing I am reading. Let me see if I can this year get back to writing too. The list then is part of my writing exercise. I am reading the second volume of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. It is Red Riding Hood time.
Now to figure out how to add the new standalone page!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Bagged it

The bag bug has bitten me and I have given in to it. I have a sister who loves bags and has to buy one every time she takes a trip. I carry something I bought almost thirty years ago. So I thought I was not a bag person until I came across patterns sewn up by quilters. And I find I have the bug too except I need to make bags not buy them. Here are three that I made recently. The first was a pattern by Bagstock - the Everyday Tote and I made a matching clutch with a swoon pattern.


The second set of bags are from swatches given by a cousin to be made into bags. I like the way they turned out.
Linking them with the Elm street Quilts Bag it entry

Monday, November 7, 2016

Let's s face it.

Last month I never even attempted my OMG though it was meant for a certain special event. My machine came back from servicing a bit too late for me to sew anything. But I did prep a lot of work and this month have been working on them. Two are close to be finished - they will be the gifts for dh for his 60th birthday on saturday. I had intended to one more wall art for him - all birds as he is a avid birdwatcher but I think I may not get it done in the next few days.
Anyway finishing four wall arts that are in various stages is my November goal. First is to add a sleeve to this quilt that I just finished facing yesterday.


Friday, October 7, 2016

Cover up those walls

I think without OMG I might give in to my laziness and not blog at all. Not that I don't have anything to write about. It just never gets prioritised and before I know it the month goes by. I must admit that OMG has also increased the number of blogs I follow and I am constantly amazed by the talent on display. The upside of it is the desire to emulate or at least attempt to emulate. It feeds my desire to make some more art quilts. I was quite happy with these two that I made recently.

And so this month's s OMG will combine my desire to do some more art quilts with the need to make a gift for dh. He is celebrating his 60th this year and it is usually a big celebration in my part of the world. But since dh hates fusses of any sort we will not have the customary celebrations.
And so it seemed I should make an attempt and do something special for him. I am planning to try and make an art quilt out of a photograph of a kingfisher. Bobby was a special bird and one of our first feathered friends here at the farm. He used to follow us as we watered plants waiting for insects to be disturbed and swoop on them. I think we used him as a subject for many of our photographs. It is one such photograph that I hope to render into fabric.
Finding space on a wall will be a problem though! The living room walls are already taken with my framed cross stitches and also paintings by my step- daughter and well loved purchased art. Looks like we may need to build more walls in the house to hang stuff!
And that will be my October OMG! Did I forget to mention that I am hoping to send my machine to be set right next week? I might get a stand-in from a friend on condition I get it working. It should be something minor I think as it is a hardly used new machine!

Cover up those walls

I think without OMG I might give in to my laziness and not blog at all. Not that I don't have anything to write about. It just never gets prioritised and before I know it the month goes by. I must admit that OMG has also increased the number of blogs I follow and I am constantly amazed by the talent on display. The upside of it is the desire to emulate or at least attempt to emulate. It feeds my desire to make some more art quilts. I was quite happy with these two that I made recently.

And so this month's s OMG will combine my desire to do some more art quilts with the need to make a gift for dh. He is celebrating his 60th this year and it is usually a big celebration in my part of the world. But since dh hates fusses of any sort we will not have the customary celebrations.
And so it seemed I should make an attempt and do something special for him. I am planning to try and make an art quilt out of a photograph of a kingfisher. Bobby was a special bird and one of our first feathered friends here at the farm. He used to follow us as we watered plants waiting for insects to be disturbed and swoop on them. I think we used him as a subject for many of our photographs. It is one such photograph that I hope to render into fabric.
Finding space on a wall will be a problem though! The living room walls are already taken with my framed cross stitches and also paintings by my step- daughter and well loved purchased art. Looks like we may need to build more walls in the house to hang stuff!
And that will be my October OMG! Did I forget to mention that I am hoping to send my machine to be set right next week? I might get a stand-in from a friend on condition I get it working. It should be something minor I think as it is a hardly used new machine!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Never too late

It seems like there is some kind of jinx whenever I set a goal for the month. Last month I had no internet service and could neither blog or upload a photo. This month I completed the quilt top very early in the month and spent a week making gifts and stuff for family. I was going to my hometown and nowadays feel like nothing can compete with a handmade gift. Trip over and I was back to quilting the Old McDonald quilt top or flimsy as I believe it is called.
As you can see from the photo it is all applique and I had decided that I did not want to quilt it all over. It would interfere with the applique I felt and decided to tie the quilt using single stitches by machine.
That should have been a simple exercise except my machine started acting up. My needle was going beyond the slit in the needle plate and after breaking about half a dozen needles I am at a standstill. Straight stitch is no problem but for some reason when I thought I would fmq small flowers again a needle broke.
There is no sound more jarring than a needle breaking I feel. I have set aside that quilt for the day and am just catching up on my Splendid Sampler blocks. I often notice that when my machine has issues in fmq going back to regular sewing seems to make my machine sane. Tomorrow I will try the quilt again. I still think that I should be able to complete the quilting at least as this month's target though not the binding.
Linking with OMG
And the good news is that I managed to coax my machine into cooperating and the quilting is done. The quilt is still in need of cleaning and so I won't post a photo of it right now. Like I said it is Never too late to meet your goal. Just got to keep at it.