SAL Update: Prism Owls #5

March 29, 2020 at 7:16 am | Posted in Embroidery | 12 Comments
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Last time I had almost managed to fill in the green between the eyes:

Prism Owls -  2020-03-08

Just a little progress today, since I’m in the middle of a few other projects, but I finished the green (soo many colours in such a small area) and started with the red areas above the eyes. You can see some structure is starting to emerge:

Prism Owls - 2020-03-29

In other news, the roof has not quite fallen on top of my head yet, mostly because I have no problems keeping myself busy with the things that already live in my apartment. I’m also able to work from home full time, which is something I’m getting used to. Makes stitching breaks possible, though!

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, and Linda.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

SAL Update: Prism Owls #4

March 8, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Embroidery | 14 Comments
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Short update today, since there were other handsewing projects to take care of in addition to adding stitches to the owl. Here’s last time:

Prism Owls - 2020-02-16

I did add a few more colourful stitches mostly trying to get the area between the eyes filled in. But don’t ask just how many colours will be in that tiny area!

Prism Owls -  2020-03-08

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, and Linda.

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Green Woman #6 – Background Piecing!

February 25, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 3 Comments
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I said I’d be a while, but it turns out it took me just over a month to do the sewing, which is not too bad in terms of project speed.

Here’s what I started with:

Green Woman #5 - background fabrics

Sewing the pieces together was a highly technical exercise, since every single one of the seams is curved. I relearnt what works best with this kind of piecing. Note to self for next time: Tight curves are much easier if sewn in two halves, which means half as many pins to stick yourself with at one time. Additionally, it’s much less likely that the fabric on the bottom will bunch up and end up under the needle of the sewing machine when it shouldn’t have.

So, here’s the result of all that sewing and ironing:

Green Woman - pieced background

I think she looks pretty put together already. I’ll add the fine details and some shading with the quilting, I think, which will fit the original line drawing. But first, I need to get the white foreground and the various vines sorted out. This will take some experimenting, so I’ll probably show you the result of those experiments next time.

SAL Update: Prism Owls #3

February 16, 2020 at 8:06 am | Posted in Embroidery | 16 Comments
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Last time I was still working on the black background for the first owl:

Prism Owls - 2020-01-26

Even if it doesn’t look like it, there are other colours (mostly dark greens) now, and I’ve started to fill in the area between the eyes:

Prism Owls - 2020-02-16

This is making slow progress, and that’s probably going to stay this was, since I have other projects on the go that take priority. I’m currently hand-stitching the binding for a big quilt, so I’m rewarding myself with a thread on this one after every thread for the binding.

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, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ and Jenny!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

One Month of Daily Drawing

February 1, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Posted in Drawing | 1 Comment
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After last year’s experiment with Inktober I promptly stopped drawing again. I still want to get better at drawing, though, so as a New Year’s resolution I decided to start a new sketchbook and try to do a small drawing every day. One month in, I largely succeeded, only missing two days, and those days were very much full with other things so I knew in advance I wouldn’t be able to find the time. I’m keeping my materials simple, basically ink pens in black and white with different line widths, and white or natural paper.

Just to keep myself accountable, I’m tweeting the results. You can sneak a peak here. I didn’t make any plans on what to draw each day, just wanting to get into the habit for the moment. As the month went on, a minor theme of transparent objects and their shadows emerged.

Here’s my favourite from that category, a fancy latte glass that got repurposed as pen storage:

#2020VisualDiary - 01/16

And my favourite overall, which isn’t transparent, but a ceramic frog from a friend’s collection:

#2020VisualDiary 01/18

I’m currently trying to figure out where to take this, but for the moment, daily drawings it is, no matter how small or how bad. I hope with some more practice, I’ll start to figure out what I actually want to get better at and then practice that.

SAL Update: Prism Owls #2

January 26, 2020 at 10:33 am | Posted in Embroidery | 17 Comments
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Just a little bit of progress this time, still using only black. Here’s where I was:

Prism Owls - 2020-01-05

And this is where I am today:

Prism Owls - 2020-01-26

The eyes do make a difference, even just with the black outline! Going to take this project a bit slow, since I’m back in full swing realizing my own designs, which is great!

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, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie and AJ!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Green Woman #5 – Colouring the Background

January 19, 2020 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 3 Comments
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The next step is both the fun and the hard part in the category “Playing with fabrics”. Starting with the finished face on top of the pattern, I needed to choose the right fabric for every piece in the background, and make everything fit together somehow. Here’s the pattern again:

GreenWoman - first and second draft of background

The right version is approximately what I ended up with at full size. And this is what it looks like after colouring in the spaces:

Green Woman #5 - background fabrics

Just to make sure that nothing is jumping out too badly in terms of contrast, I converted the image to black and white:

Green Woman #5 - background black/white

The face sticks out clearly, and the hair on top of her head has the lightest colours, as intended. You will see a big difference if you compare with a black and white version of the original, though:

Green Woman #5 - original black/white

If you look just at the background, ignoring the white foreground, you see that there’s much less contrast in general between the different areas than in the fabric version. I think the main reason for that difference is the choice of medium: coloured pencils versus fabric. I started filling in the background with all those light greens at the top of her head, but soon realized that doing the background in all those relatively light colours wouldn’t work. For the rest of the background I went much bolder in my fabric choices, trying to keep to the general colour schema as well as ensuring local contrast similar to the original. Another thing is that lots of the dark fabrics at the edges will be covered by the white foreground, so there will be much less of the darks visible at the end.

The next step will be sewing all this together, so I end up with a single piece of fabric for the background. I think I’ll be a while, I’ll let you know when I’m there.

Green Woman #4 – She’s got eyes!

January 6, 2020 at 10:56 am | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 2 Comments
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Last time I ended up with a face that had an important feature missing: the eyes.

GreenWoman - Pieced Face

I was going to fix that next. The plan was to reverse-appliqué some bits of white fabric into the eye-sockets, but first I had to deal with the irises. Initially I was thinking of hand-embroidering them, but then I decided to try playing around with free machine embroidery. It’s something I always wanted to explore more, and might use again in different parts of this quilt.

Here’s my first try:

Green Woman - sample for eye

I layered the white fabric with a bit of water-soluble embroidery stabilizer, which I also drew the pattern on. I choose a dark red and an even darker reddish-brown embroidery thread, which fits the original colours well. I was quite happy with the first try, but did manage to turn the design the wrong way round when adding the second colour. So two more eyes it was.

I’ve made a little slide show to show you the steps for putting one of the eyes in:

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And here she is, and I think I got her likeness pretty well:

Green Woman - Finished Face

That’s as far as I can take the face right now, onto the background next. There’s lots of hair to add!

 

SAL Update: Green Iguana #39 and Prism Owls #1

January 5, 2020 at 8:44 am | Posted in Embroidery | 23 Comments
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I did it! Mr. Iguana is finished, and here he is in all his glory:

Green Iguana - Finished!

There was so little left before I left for the holidays that I took the new project with me and got a head start. It’s another kit from Gecko Rouge, which I just had to grab when they retired that pattern about a year ago:

Prism Owls - Pattern

It’s called “Prism Owls”, and I couldn’t resist all those whimsical and colourful birds. It’s also considerably bigger than Mr. Iguana, so expect me to be at it for a while. Here’s my current progress, quite a bit of a change from all confetti all the time:

Prism Owls - 2020-01-05

I also aquired a bigger qsnap frame and had to make another grime guard. It’s a bit too small to hold all the extra fabric, so I might have to make another one at one point. But for the moment I just wanted to get started!

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, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne and Connie. We also welcome a new member, AJ!

If you would like to join in please contact Avis, who will give you full details.

Green Woman #3 – Sewing the Face

December 31, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Posted in Fiber Art, Patchwork | 1 Comment
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Last time I decided to sew the face first, because the colours there will definitely influence whatever I’m doing for the hair. So, here’s what I did:

Step 1: copy the lines of the face to the shiny side of some freezer paper. The shiny side because it will be ironed onto the back of the pieces of fabric, and I don’t want to end up with a mirror image. You’ll need a permanent marker that writes and stays on plastics for that.

Green Woman - copying the face onto freezer paper

The letters are short for the different colours, and the tick marks will be used to pin the pieces precisely for sewing – particularly important for curves.

Step 2: Cut the pieces apart and iron them onto the fabric. The shiny side will stick onto the fabric when heat is applied, but not very strongly so it can be easily removed later.

Green Woman - pieces of the face

Step 3: Trace around the pieces and add the tick marks. Here’s a detail shot on how that looks like:

Green Woman - tracing around the freezer paper

Step 4: Cut all the pieces out, adding a seam allowance. Arrange in correct order for sewing:

Green Woman - pieces for face

You can see in the light green that the freezer paper is still attached to the back of the pieces at this point. Since my lines are curvy, I do need to remove it before starting to sew.

Step 5: Sew. I’m leaving you with a link to Ruth B. McDowell’s “Piecing – Expanding the Basics” for detailed instructions and lots of inspirational pictures. Here’s what I ended up with after quite a bit of cursing (some of the curves are almost too tight for sewing):

GreenWoman - Pieced Face

The light green fabric is thinner and more tightly woven than standard quilting fabric, and it also doesn’t iron as well. This led to quite a few wrinkles in her face. I’m fine with this, since what’s a few wrinkles between friends? Also, I will be quilting things quite heavily and probably most of it will not be that obvious once I’m done.

This is a pretty flat image for the moment. Obviously the shading is missing, and I’ll need to add at least some of it, probably while quilting. But I did make heavy use of the one way I have to directly add some dimensionality, which is by controlling which way I ironed the seam allowances. I’ll strengthen that effect later with some strategic quilting.

By the way, did you notice that she’s looking ever so slightly to the left? I didn’t until I traced the face a couple of times and noted the differences. I love how this project makes me look closer at the original artwork!

The next step should be pretty obvious: Giving her some eyes. I have some ideas on how to do them, but there’ll probably some experimenting first.

 

 

 

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