Foggy Morning – Completed

Done!

Just finished the hidden binding (with a sleeve for a rod to hang the art piece. I darkened the uprights on the fence a bit with permanent marker after I’d put on the dark piping – now the two are more balanced. The border fabric has the texture of old barnboard which brings out the colours in the scene in a way I’m happy with. That fabric was a lucky find yesterday – a fabric by Moda: grunge! And the distant fog obscures the trees and buildings in the distance but when you look more closely you can just make them out (as you would with fog).

Foggy Morning – Completed

That’s it for now. That gives me eight wall art pieces to take to Parrsboro beginning of September.

Foggy Morning – II

Here is the piece after working on it for a large part of the day.

First, I placed the fabrics for the distant background and middle ground, covered them with silk organza (which I fused to the fabrics below – I didn’t want to stitch over the organza (which would have destroyed the “fog” effect I was trying to achieve), instead, I did quite a bit of stitching to suggest the texture of the fields in the distance before fusing the organza in place.

Next, I laid in the foreground, including the fence (which I had very carefully cut out using very sharp scissors from the photograph printed on fabric – did that weeks ago). Then, I began edge stitching all those elements. I have maybe about 1/3 of the edge stitching done – some on the brush in the foreground and on the fence to hold them in place. I was beginning to feel the strain in my back so I stopped working to discover I’d just put in close to 5 hours on the project! Time slips away when I’m working on something like this – “I’ll just to this one more bit…” and before I know it, the day has disappeared.

Foggy Morning – In Progress I

Here is the original photo for comparison – it’s getting there. The colours are somewhat different, but when the thread work is done it should be closer to the photo – that’s what I’m aiming for, anyway!

Foggy Morning – Photo

Foggy Morning – I

I was on a photo-taking adventure near Canning NS, on a foggy October morning in 2006, with David Lacey, a NS landscape artist. Near the beginning of our backroad trip we spotted an old fence at the edge of a field. The sun was still low and the ground fog hadn’t yet completely burned off. Standing where I was, the sunlight on the fence created a sharp contrast to the morning fog hovering over the farm buildings in the distance.

Foggy Morning – Photo

This was one of the photos I’d set aside as a possible subject for a textile art piece. The challenge is creating the “fog” – it seemed to me I could capture the faded texture of the foggy distance with a layer of silk organza over an underlying image  of the farm buildings and trees printed on fabric.

First, I enlarged and printed the top half of the photo on fabric and added a fusible backing. Next I’ve added layers of printed fabric to the middle ground which is still somewhat obscured by the fog. I will do quite a bit of thread painting in this middle ground to increase the detail although it will be covered with organza.

The foreground, consists of pieces cut from the photo printed on fabric which will be thread painted to bring out the detail. The shadow of the ditch is created using an underlay of black batik. Now that I compare the photo and my pieces of fabric (not yet fused in place, thank goodness) I can see I’ve missed the cow path which is integral to the image. So I will have to go back to my fabric stash to find a dark grey something to set that up….

Foggy Morning – In Progress I

Here is the fence, the focal point of the piece, tentatively in place –  I can see I will need to do a lot of thread work where the fabric meets the organza in order to marry the foreground and the middle ground better.

Foggy Morning – In Progress II

However, I’m happy with the start – I’m beginning to see how to construct this piece.

First Swim – Revisited

It turns out my efforts to represent the shading of the child’s body with layers of differently colored fabric was misconstrued and interpreted as “clothes” by the majority of people who viewed the piece. Very few spontaneously saw him as naked. This was because the contrast between the lights and darks was too great – an artifact of the limited pallet of flesh-toned shades of fabric I was able to assemble.

Original Piece

So I darkened the ligher elements with crayon and wax pastels and stabilized the shading using a hot iron which melts the applied surface wax into the fabric. Now the child is seen as naked.

Child Darkened

I’m much happier with how people are responding.

Portrait

Another demonstration: a pieced portrait.

I started with an image of a face, printed it in black and white, outlined the colour boundaries, pulled all the beige tone fabrics from the stash I could find (large pieces and scraps), created templates for the large areas using baking parchment paper, cut them out, then created templates for the smaller areas, and cut those out.

What I didn’t do here, but should have, was to apply fusible web to the fabric before cutting it – instead, I’ll use a glue stick to adhere the cut out pieces to the background.

I was mainly playing around to see if what I ended up with resembled a face in any way and it does. Once I’ve glued the pieces down, I’ll probably do a bit of edge stitching to hold the thing together.

The Canadian 2017 Quilt Bee

The Canadian Quilters’ Association has invited quilters across Canada to be part of The Canadian 2017 Quilt Bee to commemorate Canada 150. The quilting bee will actually take place in Toronto June 14-17, but those of us who can’t get there can participate by making 12 1/2″ slab blocks (even quilt tops). The goal is 1000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada. The requirements: 1 small piece of Canada fabric inserted into each quilt slab. No specified quilt block design, just include a piece of Canada cloth and make the slab 12 1/2″.

Local fabric shops are participating in the event – holding slab making days. The Friday afternoon women, here in my building are joining in, too. A week tomorrow we’re planning on spending the day making 12 1/2″ slabs.

I stopped off at my local shop this afternoon and picked up a half-dozen pieces of Canada fabric and came home and quickly turned out 3 slabs!

Improvised Slab #1

Improvised Slab #2

Improvised Slab #3

As you can see my slabs are improvised – started with a bit of Canada fabric, surrounded it with something colourful, and continued to build out the slab until I had enough to trim to 12 1/2″. They’re wild! Nothing subdued about them. I’m sure they’ll coordinate with slabs sewn by other women. I figure 1000 quilts will require close to 25,000 slabs! That’s a lot of piecing but with many willing hands I bet the Association will meet its goal.

There was one horrendous mess on my cutting table by the time I’d finished these three  – I’ve just tidied up. I have three more pieces of Canada fabric so over the next week I’ll probably build another three slabs. I’ll do another couple when the women get together next week.

12 X 12 Quilt

I mused about the teal/indigo fabrics I had for a couple of days and decided in the end to limit the quilt to just the set of twelve fat quarters (I put the rest away). To use my set of twelve indigo fat quarters, I decided to make a 12 x 12 quilt based on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Low Volume Tiles” quilt from her Craftsy Class: “Inspired Modern Quilts“).

I based my quilt on Hartman’s design but had to adjust the sizes of my small blocks because once I cut the first 13″ square I knew I had to fiddle to cut a second set of 12 blocks – there wasn’t enough fabric for a second 13″ square. So the dimensions of my small blocks are a bit different than hers in order to be able to use the fabric I had – there was just enough with a 5″ x   8″ leftover piece of each fabric which I used in my side borders.

The idea behind this quilt is to take 12 fabrics, cut 13” (or whatever large size) blocks you want by stacking and cutting them into the same 12 sections. Next you sort them shifting fabric #1 to the back of the stack for the second small block, fabrics #1,2 to the back of the stack for the third small block, fabrics #1,2,3 to the back of the stack for the fourth small bloc…. You get the idea:

12 Blocks – Stack ‘n Whack – Sorted

When you’ve done the setup, each stack has 12 fabrics, arranged so that a different one of the 12 fabrics is at the top of a stack before you begin laying out the large blocks and the fabrics in each stack are in the same sequence, just shifted by one so when you sew the blocks, each block has all 12 fabrics with no repetitions!

I intended to end up with 10 1/2″ blocks (having started with a 13″ square) – I trimmed my stitched sections to 11″) and assembled them into a 3 x 4 array:

12 X 12 Stitched Together

That’s a small quilt, however. I had cut a second set of 12 small blocks from the residual fabric from my indigo fat quarters – so I stitched together the second set of twelve blocks. It turns out that I was lucky to have chosen 13″ as my starting size because I wouldn’t have had enough fabric to create the second set of 12 blocks had I started with 14″!

One other thing – I removed one of the light fabrics from the collection before I began cutting, substituting a bright green for block #12. I wanted one colour to pull the other fabrics together.

My Finished Double 12 x 12 Quilt With 4″ Borders Added to the Sides

My finished quilt top is a 4 x 6 array with added 4″ side borders to give me a final width more in proportion to the length. Finished quilt: width 50″; length 64″. I lost a tiny amount from both width and length with the trimming I did in order to able to fit the blocks together. But in a design like this you can’t tell where the trimming occurred. You really aren’t able to see the “blocks” or where the main joins are.

Now to come up with an idea for the back. Yesterday I bought some backing fabric and 1/4 m of four teal/indigo batiks to add to some others I have but didn’t use in the quilt top. I had to do that because I didn’t have a single scrap left from the original fat quarters I started out with.