SAL Update – Prism Owls #12

September 13, 2020 at 7:32 am | Posted in Embroidery | 18 Comments
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I’ve made actual progress this time! Here’s last time (6 weeks ago in this case):

In-progress picture of a cross stitch showing a colourful owl.

And now she looks like this:

Counted Cross-stitch picture of a colourful owl in progress

Not much colour yet, but I did get the black in the interior mostly done, and you can now see the structure of the feathers on her belly.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda and Helen.

SAL Update: Prism Owls #11 – again

August 23, 2020 at 6:57 am | Posted in Embroidery | 12 Comments
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Sorry, not a single stitch done since last time, I was busy doing other things. I do hope to have something for next time. So, my owl is still looking the same:

In-progress picture of a cross stitch showing a colourful owl.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda and Helen.

Green Woman #11 – Quilting

August 16, 2020 at 9:27 am | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 2 Comments
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I was pretting busy during the last weeks, what with a virtual Worldcon and all that. I can’t believe it’s been a year since Dublin 2019, where this project was conceived. When we saw this last, I was trying to figure out how to do the quilting, and right now, this part is finished!

Free machine quilting is one of my favourite parts of making a quilt, even though it tends to be a struggle to maneuver the quilt through my very normal-sized sewing machine. I have seriously been eyeing some of the dedicated quilting machines at times, but then, who has that much space to spare?

So, here’s some progress shots I took:

You can see that I followed the line drawing pretty closely in the coloured areas, which makes the quilting do double duty – adding detail to the image as well as securing the layers together. For the white areas, I knew I had to come up with something different, since those are totally unstructured in the original image. I already had experimented with leaves on the postcards, and my thoughts went to something like a wild rose hedge for the foreground. So I did some doodling:

black ink drawing showing different variants for rose hedge continuous quilting design.

These are not quite what I finally used, but having them on the page helped me visualize how I wanted the border to look. To stay with the clean look of the original, I was going to quilt with white thread on white fabric, so this will be one of those nice things you only see when you look at the quilt close-up, but shouldn’t make a huge impression on the overall look. Here’s a detail, so you can see how it came out in the end:

Lower left corner of quilt, showing the white-on-white quilting of a rose hedge in the foreground.

The big flower is actually the outline of a flower that was woven into the fabric of the damask table cloth I used. It’s pretty much invisible unless you look very closely, but it’s there and it makes me happy.

After removing the basting stitches and squaring up the edges, here’s the pretty much finished quilt:

That’s most of the creative work done! Next I will be attaching the invisible binding, and then do the small bits of hand embroidery and beading I have planned for the sundews and flower. It might still be a while, since currently it’s way too hot to sit under a quilt and sew!

SAL Update: Prism Owls #11

August 2, 2020 at 10:52 am | Posted in Embroidery | 12 Comments
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All black this time as well, but I’ve finished outlining the body of the owl, so I can start stitching it in.

Last time:

In progress cross-stitch project showing an owl with just the head stitched out.

Today:

In-progress picture of a cross stitch showing a colourful owl.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda and Helen.

 

SAL Update: Prism Owls #10

July 12, 2020 at 8:22 am | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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No new colours today while I work on the background around the owl. Also very busy with other projects I’ll probably post about later.

Last time:

Prism Owls - 20200621

Today:

In progress cross-stitch project showing an owl with just the head stitched out.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda and Helen.

 

SAL Update: Prism Owls #9

June 21, 2020 at 8:28 am | Posted in Embroidery | 13 Comments
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He’s got eyes! Those were a lot of fun to stitch – still confetti, but stitches of the same colour generally so close together that I could go round both eyes in one go.

Last time:

Prism Owls - 2020-05-31

Today:

Prism Owls - 20200621

The eyes are mostly finished except for some stray stitches, and I’m now extending the black background downwards before tackling the body.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie and Helen.

 

Green Woman #10 – More Samples

June 4, 2020 at 5:55 pm | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 2 Comments
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So, last time I ended with a finished top. The next steps were making a quilt sandwich and basting it, thus preparing for quilting, and actually figuring out how to quilt the thing, which would involve more sampling.

Basting happened, here she is spread out on the table all stitched up:

Green Woman 10-08

For the sampling part, I decided to try something different and make some fabric postcards with the interesting features I wanted to get a handle on before embarking on the real thing. Here’s the motifs I choose:

Green Woman 10-01

As with the real quilt, I ironed on the pieces using Bondaweb. The choice of background fabric is not quite optimal for the green pitcher plant, but the background will be rather more brownish for the real thing.

I then quilted the whole piece, trying to figure out what would work:

Green Woman 10-02

I decided to completely ignore any shading and mostly go for recreating the black lines from the line drawing, and I think this mostly works and fits the medium. For the white, I tried fairly dense quilting on the rightmost piece, and then just did a few smaller leaves on the other two. This looks much better to me, and I’ll do a variant of that (suited to the larger spaces I’ll have there) on the quilt.

After aquiring more of the material used for backing those – a very thin but stiff sheet which I think is normally used when sewing bags – I cut them apart and finished them. I figured out a process that works pretty painlessly, so I may do more cards in the future. Here’s the whole row, with added bling for the sundew:

Green Woman 10-03

I was planning to try out different ways to do the sundews, but found the perfect beads, which together with the dark red embroidery thread convinced me on the first try.

Here are the cards close-up for your viewing pleasure (click to enlarge).

I’ve already started quilting, but of course this gets harder when there’s a whole quilt attached to the small piece you’re working on, so I’ll probably be a while.

SAL Update: Prism Owls #8

May 31, 2020 at 7:41 am | Posted in Embroidery | 12 Comments
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My craft table was still fully occupied by my current quilt for most of the last three weeks, but I finally have it ready for quilting, which leaves more table space for other things! I got the owls out yesterday and managed to make a tiny bit of progress, mostly invisible.

Here’s last time:

Prism Owls  - 2020-05-10

And this is today’s picture:

Prism Owls - 2020-05-31

I have managed to fill in the pupils with black and greys and colours indistinguishable from white, and will now be able to dive into the colourful irises!

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie and Helen.

 

Green Woman #9 – I’ve got a top!

May 21, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 3 Comments
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Last time I was preparing to attach all the tiny bits to the quilt top. I’ve already talked a bit about choosing the right fabric, so here’s an example. The spiral in the middle of this section gave me a bit of a headache:

The primary colour of the fabic on the left is a sand tone, with some browns and a red mixed in, resembling a marbled paper. A good fit in theory, but I couldn’t find a position to put my shape on that really convinced me. Here it is somewhat getting lost against the lighter fabric in the background. So I made a second try, this time with a brown fabric that is much less structured. Admittedly, in the picture it now looks like it’s getting lost against the darker browns on the right side of the background, but the spiral part itself is now more visible. I thought about that one for quite a while, but ultimately went with the right version.

That done, more cutting and tracing ensued, and I kept finding bits and pieces in the picture I had missed. But finally, all the coloured pieces were there:

Green Woman - all the coloured bits added

To get the final positioning right, I definitely needed the white foreground as well, so I proceeded to cut and trace that. Here she is with everything cut out and pinned down in its hopefully final position:

Green Woman - foreground in position

The bondaweb needs to be ironed on using a damp cloth, and of course the pins need to be removed first, so the ironing part was going to be a delicate operation. I had started to make a detailed plan for the order in which the ironing needed to be done, but somewhere midway I realized that it was actually easier to keep everything where it belongs if I did it all in one go. It doesn’t help that mistakes on that step are very hard to fix. I know why I usually prefer thread to glue! In the end, the only visible mistake is in a place where I did the step-by-step method and didn’t take the existing pieces properly into account when adding the new one. It’s not very visible, though, at least with a bit of distance. So, here she is, looking much closer to done now:

Green Woman - finished top

At the moment, she’s still hanging there, while I’m back to sampling. I need to figure out how to get the lady quilted! The quilting needs to do two jobs – first, all those raw edges need to be secured in some way, second, quilting gives me the opportunity to draw on top of the picture with needle and thread and add some structure. But more on that next time.

 

SAL Update: Prism Owls #7

May 10, 2020 at 6:58 am | Posted in Embroidery | 11 Comments
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Today it’s a game of “Spot the Difference”, since I put this project away for a bit shortly after the last update. I needed the space on my craft table for my Green Woman quilt, so the owl had to go into hiding for the moment.

So, here’s last time:

Prism Owls - 2020-04-19

And today:

Prism Owls  - 2020-05-10

I did get a few stitches in on the eyes, but am concentrating on the pupils for now, so it’s not very visible.

Here are the other members of the SAL who are posting today. Make sure to check out their work, it’s amazing: Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ, Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda, Sherrie and Helen.

 

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