Travel Log Quilt #4

The next quilt in my “Travel Log Quilt” series is one that was made from a trip that my daughter, Jenny, took back in 2006.   Now I know that this isn’t MY travel quilt, but I had been to the same area LONG before digital cameras were a thing, so I claim it anyway.

She was a Freshman at University of Georgia and decided to do “May-mester” (a short 2 week term) in Australia.  Since she had been born in Australia this seemed to be the most natural thing for her to do!! She had a wonderful time there, studying the flora and fauna of such an amazing continent.

Probably her favorite part of the trip was time spent on the ocean in the North-eastern state of Queensland.  She enjoyed snorkeling, sky-diving (NOT part of the course) and watching the sea turtles as they made their way from the nest to their home in the ocean.

When she returned with photos from the trip, I was enamored with this picture of a gorgeous sea turtle floating along in the ocean………

….and also these photos of other undersea creatures……

At the time I was doing a lot of work with photos in quilts and wanted to do something that mixed the photos and fabric.   I started out by setting up a “new” photo that placed the turtle slightly off-center with lots of ocean surrounding……

Each of the lines in the photo represents a small portion of the ocean that I “grabbed” from somewhere else in the photo. It looks choppy here, but the final printing looked great. I printed this photo on fabric using “Printed Treasures” fabric and then started adding”stuff to it.

The three yellow and black fish are all the same photo but just printed in different sizes. They are appliqued to the ocean…..

The reef picture was also printed but I placed it over some fabrics that had a similar look…..

Back then I didn’t have the confidence to free-hand the thread corals but drew them on a wash-out stabilizer, sewed them in place, and then washed the stabilizer away.

The other small fish were simply cut out and appliqued in place without any detail added. I really wanted to give the impression of a school of fish swimming along……

Finally, I added a fabric “coral” and then thread painted over it…..

I was SO pleased with the final quilt…..

“No Barriers”

I loved mixing the photo prints, fabrics and thread work, and I loved the way the quilt spilled out into the border!!

But mostly, I love that it is a fun reminder of Jenny’s trip to Australia……

Meadow Play

Don’t you just love it when you finish a project, and especially when you feel like you did a good job!!!

This past weekend I spent several hours doing the last of the hand embroidery and yesterday I called the Meadow Art piece complete!!!

The final thing to do was to put it in a frame. I had bought a reclaimed wood frame from Amazon a few days back and was so excited to see it ready to hang……

This has been a fun project and one that has opened my eyes to ways of adding texture and depth. There is another design in this book that uses architectural designs and I can see lots of possibilities in it as well.

So what’s next??? Today I start quilting on the Brown Stripe quilt and then I need to look back on my “Inspiration Day” to see where I want to head next!!

Too many ideas

Do you ever feel like you have so many ideas at one time, that you just want to do all of them…..at the same time?

That was me on Friday evening.

I knew that Saturday was completely free for me to be creative and it was almost overwhelming to try to figure out what I wanted to do…….

  • I needed to make a new mask (since I apparently dropped mine in the Kohl’s Parking lot).
  • I have two quilts that are ready for quilting and “FINALLY” I have an idea AND am excited about doing them.
  • I want to finish the next step on my Mystery Quilt but want to video one of the processes as I do it
  • Since I spent Friday playing with thread painting flowers, I am now ready to move forward on my Meadow Art
  • And, to add another level of creative tension, I just found a video series on operating our new camera and, when I watched for 10 minutes, I learned 4 new things!!!

The first thing that I did on Saturday morning was to go for an early 2 mile walk….in the dark!! As I walked, I listened to a podcast entitled “Calming an Overwhelmed Brain”…..it just popped up on my suggestion list which is a little bit eerie!!

The first thing that the host said was that FOCUS stood for…….

Okay….what can I take away from this??

As I entered my studio, I decided that to maintain any focus, I needed to tidy up a bit…..

Once I had things neater, I decided to pull the batting and backing for my two quilts and at least get them ready to baste.

Next was to make the replacement mask…..that didn’t take long.

With a couple of the “tasks” off of my list, it was time to get interested in the Meadow Art project again!! I had purchased this book…..

….and on Friday I had spent some time playing with the flowers designs……

As you can see, they did improve as I went along!!!

Her suggestion in the book was to work without a presser foot…..

…. but the stitches often wouldn’t catch the bobbin thread so I ended up with a free-motion foot instead. The daisies are supposed to be done in a series of long stitches, quickly moving the fabric back and forth as you take SUPER slow stitches…..

I was NOT good at this technique!!!

Then I started drawing the petals with short stitches (#1 and #2) but those didn’t look great either.

For #3, I pulled out embroidery floss and did it by hand. It looked better but still fairly sparse.

Then I got the idea for #4….. machine sew the stitches and then over-sew them by hand with floss. Ding….ding…..ding…..ding…..we have a winner!!!

So, back to Saturday……

I now decided that I wanted my “focus” for the rest of the day to be on the Meadow Art…..adding the “buttercups”.

These were done by taking a small piece of yellow organza and sewing over it using a “whip” stitch. This stitch is made by tightening the top tension to it’s highest level and loosening the bobbin tension, which allows the bobbin thread to pull thru to the top……

Many of these were stitched over a small piece of yellow organza……

After I was happy with the number of these flowers, I went back in and added a few more “grass” lines over some of the flowers so they would recede to the background.

At this point in the day, my creative brain was fried!!! But I have to say that I am thrilled with the look so far……

Oh, I did spend another 20 minutes with the Camera video but there is SO much to learn and I realized that I need to take it in VERY small bites!!!

So “Creative Saturday” is now in the books and, all in all, it was a good one!!!

Wheatley

As a present for my Son and Daughter-In-Law’s first anniversary, they adopted a cute, cute kitten named Wheatley. A couple of months later Amber sent this photo of little Wheatley looking at himself in a mirror……

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I immediately fell in love with this photo and decided to play with it and a bit of thread painting!!!

After blowing the photo up to the needed size, I drew a line drawing , cut out the basic kitty fabrics and let the fun begin…..

DSC00524 I was SO encouraged with how the reflection kitty looked!!! It amazes me that I have never been able to draw anything, but I found it amazingly easy to “draw” with my needle!!

I love the expression on the reflection kitty….

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I am very pleased with the final result and cant wait to give the finished product to the happy couple!!!

This is my entry into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Fall 2011. Click here to view all of the entries.

One Hump or Two

Today (Friday), I decided that I needed a break from work…..after all it is past “Tax Day”, so I planned to hit my studio around Noon.  The plan was to work on the Camel thread painting, but I just couldn’t motivate myself in there to work.

I finally realized why….I was scared to work on it because I was afraid that I would mess it up!!!!   I was reminded of a post that I had read from Leah Day where she was talking about this exact thing, and her comment was that “it was only a fat quarter of fabric”, so why worry about it.     I realized that the same thing applied to me, so with that in mind, I headed AWAY from my desk and TOWARD the machine.

I decided that I would give myself one hour and then re-evaluate.  At the end of the hour, I LOVED what I was doing and definitely wanted to keep on going.

Here are some photos of the progress…..

When you last saw it, it looked like this……

_3272070 My first step was to finish filling in the highlight areas and remove the blue lines.  Then I filled the other spaces with simple lines, trying to be careful to get the line directions correct……

 _4222321 I then sketched  over the larger areas with a slightly lighter color of thread, and then again with an even lighter shade.…..

_4222322 The next step was to work on the “basket” in the background.  I decided early on that I wasn’t going to worry if it looked like a basket, but just wanted to include a little more texture……_4222323

I then added some crossed lines…….

_4222324 Final step was a bit of shading and also some darker threads around the camel to make him stand out a bit from the background.

_4222325 I picked two fabrics for the borders, and, voila…..the top is finished…..

Camel Quilt TopIt has been a fun piece and I really enjoyed the thread painting.  Maybe I will try more of it in the future!!!!

Thank you Michael Palin….

 

I am always amazed at where inspiration can come from.   This past week, my husband and I were watching the Michael Palin documentary about the  Sahara Dessert, and up came this wonderful shot of a great camel.   My sweet husband immediately paused the show so that I could use my phone to take a photo of the TV screen….

photoI opened the photo in Photoshop and applied the “posterize”  function and came up with this…..

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Next, I covered the photo with a piece of “overhead projector” paper and traced this out with a sharpie……

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I picked out some fabrics and fused these three pieces together, traced the basic lines with a blue washable pen…..

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I added a piece of interfacing to the back of the fabric and started stitching….._3272070

At this point, my work life has taken over and I haven’t had time to get back to him, but I cant wait for a few minutes to add a bit more personality to him.

It is a bit daunting to work on because I know that I can so easily ruin the picture by simply using the wrong thread or shading the wrong area!!  Having said that I am doing the most important thing……

 

…….HAVING FUN!!!!!

 

Hope you are having fun too!!