Tuesday, 28 May 2013

For the Moment

I am finished the peony for now! I HAD thought I was finished earlier today and put everything away for the impending Invasion from the SOUTH, and then I sat looking at it - and certain little bits BUGGED me - so I HAD to change them . SO- everything came back upstairs and I have just had a cut and paste session and am happier now . I want to tone the stamens down a LOT later, but I am happy with the shapes and can easily do that after our family has returned to the Southland. Anyway, here is where I am now. I have finished the carpels and am pretty pleased with the outcome. Stitching all of this will make a huge difference but I am not near the stitching stage just yet.

The greens in this quilt are MUCH yellow-ier than they appear here . Not sure why the camera is not picking that up but it is not. It is rainy and gloomy today so hard to get good light . Anyway, you get the rough idea.
I plan to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com and to go there and see what is posted this week. Not sure how much I will post for the next couple of weeks- maybe some travel and garden and family pictures. We shall see . Prepare to be amazed ;-)

It is rainy and drippy, JUST what the Dr ordered for the garden. It sounds like a few hot days. Hope my massive peony crop holds off for a couple of weeks! It looks VERY green and lush out there today. Red squirrels, chipmunks and many many sorts of birds including our hummingbirds , seem not to even notice the wet. They are frolicking madly out there. We are cleaning and sorting madly in here. Cheerio for now!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Major progress

I have made some good headway today. I cut and placed the anthers a couple of days ago and today, I painted and placed the stamens to see how it all looked and IF it fit! It looked happy to me and it did fit so tonight , I have fused it all in place.
Here are the anthers set in place , ready to be fused.



Here are the stamens being painted. Easier and less wasteful of paint to do it this way.

Another layer of colour added


Tomorrow, I will work on the carpels. I will have to dye some velvet for that and then cut, turn  and place them properly. That will be a fiddly job but it will finally tell me what else needs doing. I KNOW I need some more contrast here and there and some detail work but I need to see all of the basic colour in place before I go further. This is a big, intense job but I am enjoying it. Our Peonies are absolutely BURSTING this year! They are enormous and I am HOPING they will hold off till our daughter and family arrive for a visit in early June. Fingers crossed!


This is where we stand just now. Not a great picture but the colour is closer to true in this one. The green in the top centre of the anthers is very garish though in the picture. It is subtler in real life!
Now I have to do the work on the centre piece. That may be tomorrow's job. I will see when I get up.Meanwhile, Happy Quilting!

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Very nice!

The Peony piece is coming along nicely but I have totally changed my thoughts on doing the stamens! Nothing special to show yet but I intend to paint the anthers today so they can be set in place and then the filaments made. My original plan was to use Reemay for them too but I cur them the other night and did not like them at all so I am going with a less formal, less organized look made from my hand dyed fabrics. Gotta find, or MAKE the right colours today. So, stay tuned!

And now, I am honoured and pleased to report that we attended the Artists' Tea at McDougall Cottage in Cambridge, ON where the Wee Quilt Challenge is underway and I received an Honourable Mention for Excellence for my entry, Tangy Wood Bluebells! In case you have not seen the piece, here it is!

Hah! I did what so many suggested and typed first , THEN added the picture. Seems to work well. I will be interested to see what happens if you want to add more than one picture. Thanks folks!

The show's theme this year was Memories of the Old Sod. Bluebells are one of my very favourite memories of Kintyre!

I am posting this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com thanks again for all of the suggestions to solve my picture problems!

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Frustration!

Has anyone else had the problem on Blogger where you post photos and then cannot get the cursor to go back where it should be so you can continue typing text? What a nuisance!! It kept making little blocks of text so I just posted and started a NEW post ! Lucky you. TWO posts by me in one day. Egad!!

Anyway, I worked some of the detail of light and shadow of this big ol' peony and it is beginning to make some sense.
These bits are just sitting on the top, not fused yet. LOVE my digital camera at this stage to let me see the what things look like. This is the WRONG colour entirely!



Better colours but that pesky wire got in the way. You can see I have done only a bit on three petals but it begins to make sense.
I got one final picture of the piece as it now stands. Everything you see is now fused and ready for the addition of more detail tomorrow. I have started the "experiment with the paints and Fibre Paste on the Reemay scraps. Stay tuned! Here is the quilt top as it is currently.

The colour is not accurate but you get the idea. The colour of the one above this is better.

OK, 'nuff for now. Moving right along! Enjoy the fireworks :-)

End of a long day

It is Victoria Day Weekend. We celebrated by getting two of our chairs down from the garage and sitting on the porch to eat our dinner and watch the WILDlife! Hilarious!!! I worked on the peony detail some today and dug out old, crowded, messy looking alliums at the front of the house. Himself seeded and patched the lawn and worked on a clock.It was a day well spent!

The view from my chair at dinner. Everything is young and small. Give it time! That lilac was wonderful :-)

One of our little red squirrels! VERY entertaining watching him try to hide a nut on the end of a spruce bough!

Silly little duffer! A cardinal found the nut and flew off with a smile on his face!






























Saturday, 18 May 2013

Base colours revealed

Well, the pattern has been removed and base colours revealed at last. I did change one patch because I did not like it. I will use it for some shadows so not a dead loss. This looks kind of funny at this point, but its Mummy knows where it is going :-)

OK, here ist is! LOTSA work to do yet, but I , at least, can see where I am going with it. Stick with me !


Friday, 17 May 2013

Progress is being made :-)

Yay! I am finally getting somewhere! I have about 1/4 of the bloom to finish and then the detail starts. So far, so good, I THINK! The Great Reveal will happen - likely tomorrow- when I remove all of the freezer paper. Wish me luck!
Most of the base fabric patches attached . LOTS more detail to come!
I am going to try an experiment! Remember, you heard it first here! I have cut and made my stamens fusible, as you know. I intend to paint them with a variety of yellows, golds and oranges depending on where they are in the picture. But THEN- I want texture ! I have bought a jar of Golden Fibre Paste . It dries to a flexible, textured surface so I HOPE I will fuse then sew the orangey patches down and then apply some of the Fibre Paste,work on the stamen texture , let it dry then paint it. I WILL try a "dry run" before I do it on the quilt, never fear. So, stay tuned and see what happens. This will be my very last procedure with this quilt, after quilting, binding, adding label and sleeve etc. THEN, the Fibre Paste- assuming the trial run works to my satisfaction.

I have been needing a VERY VERY pale pinkish fabric for the real highlights on this piece. Procion dyes are really really potent!!! I cannot describe to you how much water and how very little dye I used to make what I HOPED would be a very very pale pink. I now own some pale pink- quite a bit of pale pink - BUT NOT A LOT OF VERY VERY PALE PINK!!!!! I DO think it will work though. I can always intensify what meets the highlight so there is sufficient contrast.

Once I finish the petal patches, next job- the velvet centre, that starry shape that is blank in the middle. Keep watching! Take care and have a grand weekend. It is Victoria Day! 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A Cautionary Tale for Fusing!

I have not been doing any quilting for a long time and today, I got my comeuppance! When I teach fused appliqué , I ALWAYS tell students to make fusible fabric BEFORE cutting out shapes! You can surely see why?? When you are working with frilly, fanciful shapes , you DO NOT want to cut out your fabric shape and then stick the fusible on the back and have to cut ALL OVER AGAIN_ DO YOU????? You want to use a piece of your fabric large enough to cut your shape from , iron some fusible material to the wrong side using parchment paper so nothing sticks to the wrong place and THEN cut! Cut only ONCE! Easy peasy, eh? Well, guess who had to cut twice today? Guess whose trigger finger will be very stiff and sore tomorrow? Guess who is a total eejit?

Here is where I am headed. See the little squiggly patches which will represent the stamens? I cut those all out of Reemay last night with a soldering gun and a piece of plate glass on my light box.There are about 15 patches, some large, ALL intricate shapes!!!


This morning, I remembered the Steam a Seam ! Here is an 8.5"x11" photo of my peony with colours enhanced to help me see shapes and contrast. That long white thing is one of the patches- the largest one. You can see my problem!


My little pin box for scale and that same piece of cut Reemay . GRRRR!!!

You can see my problem and I decided to bare my soul and bear my shame for YOUR benefit. DO NOT FORGET TO PUT THE FUSIBLE ON THE BACK OF WHATEVER FABRIC YOU ARE GOING TO USE BEFORE YOU CUT! I am going to post this on the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com I can almost guarantee that there will NOT be any more silly persons posting this week but check it out, just in case! Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Baby Steps

We are still painting, gardening , dusting and generally working VERY hard. Some days seem to make no appreciable difference. However, I DO see progress and that is great. I always think day to day is not the way to go in redecorating and especially in healing from illness. You have to compare one week to the week before. THEN , hopefully, you see positive change. We have and we do :-)

The baby steps refers to the fact that I HAVE made a tiny start on a new project !!! YAY! I did a wee bit of dyeing, much to the amusement of CERTAIN people who do multi tens of metres at a time. However, I only NEEDED small amounts - mainly of various pinks. I now have a little collection of fabrics, my pattern drawn and enlarged and printed. Next , I have to do my freezer paper pattern . All in good time . This is a busy time right now- company on the weekend, Mum to the Dr, and our daughter coming for a nice visit in early June( cannot wait!) so I will be making slow progress with this , but progress, nonetheless.

Here is where I am headed- largish, for me anyway. This is the photo I used to do the foot square centre piece.

The photo and the fabrics

Here you can see most of the pattern I will work from. I will eventually dye some silk velvet for the seed pods in the centre but not yet.
So, I am underway again, at long last. I am hoping to post this to the needleandthreadnetwork.blogspot.com . I have missed posting here because we have been otherwise occupied! Feels good to be getting back into the swing. DO check the site out. Always something interesting to see.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

More Garden- a very special night

There is a day or two every spring which is my FAVOURITE day or two in the year. It is that magical time when the tiny leaf and flower buds on the trees burst just enough to show colour. At sunset, the world is draped in gold, chartreuse and bronze lace , all backlit by the setting sun. Our friend, elle, in Manitoba, craving spring asked me to try to get a picture of this if I could. It is almost too late tonight , but I did go out and get a shot across the back yards north of us with the sun shining through that lace. As well, I got a couple more hellebore pictures that show the colour of my two favourites, even though it was hard to get good focus. Bear with my , for the sake of elle and maybe Margaret in AB who likely  has little spring too.
Better colour for red hellebore

Better colour for black hellebore



Not the best picture but I shall try to remember to do it again tomorrow night at a better time

Still no creativity, but something nice to enjoy

We are still soldiering on with our cleanup, redecorating etc so the creativity normal in this house has been put on the back burner. I am VERY frustrated but am VERY happy to be getting some of these things done. As today was such a gorgeous day and as DH had indoor work to do- one man work, no wifey required, I went out into the garden to work . It is a HUGE job every spring, cleaning up after the winter. It seems to get harder every year. The garden is no bigger. Wonder what the problem is ? ;-) Surely I am not the problem!! Anyway, there are lots of nice things coming in the garden so in lieu of art, here is garden. Enjoy! (Especially elle in MB because I suspect she has very little spring yet!)
A little renegade anemone blanda in the lawn!!!

My prized "black hellebore"- looking very blue. It is blue black.

Daffies above and below 

The squirrels still bite the tops off even though the daffy are SUPPOSED to be poisonous. Someone should tell the squirrels!

Forsythia. It is on our neighbour's side of the fence but we get the benefit

Magnolia Soulangeana HAS to be THE hardest flower to photograph- especially in a stiff breeze!


A spotted pink hellebore

Nice deeper spotted pink one

This plant is magnificent, VERY hard to get the colour right though. It is silly to take garden pics in the brilliant sun.

Tarda tulips and Muscari and Scilla- perfect spring picture, too bad it is not better focussed :-(

I went out again to try to get a better shot of the Tardas but they were closed for the evening as they were out of the sunshine. I will try to get a good pic of them tomorrow. There are millions in a huge swathe!