Black Rock Beach – Completed

Just finished. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t do the piece justice – I’ve tried lightening the blue of the frame and can’t get close to the real colour without distorting the body of the  piece.

Black Rock Beach

I’m happy with the balance of the whole. The piping, which doesn’t show well in the photo at all, pulls out both the orange of the vest and the blues of the water.

Now to find a place to hang it in my apartment – there isn’t obvious wall space in any room. I’m going to have to walk around and decide what to take down so I can display this piece of art.

Black Rock Beach – IV

Day before yesterday I took apart the stitching of the water near the shore. Yesterday I stitched in new wave lines which run more parallel to the beach. I stitched in small wavelets as they reach the beach. I also stitched the rubble at the beach line and at the bricks at the bottom right.

Thread Painting Finished

Today, I stitched around the rocks and pebbles on the beach. I worked in the bits of vegetation and wood debris amid the rocks.

Finally I added David.

David Up Close

I very carefully stitched the shading of his clothing and around the edges of the fused appliqué.

The last thing I stitched was my signature in the bottom right.

Auditioning Fabric for Framing

I’ve stopped for today, but I’ve cut and laid out fabric for an inner border. I auditioned several fabrics for the piping including both bright and muted orange pieces but they pull the eye away from the vest. I think I’ve settled on a dark teal solid which will allow me to use a mottled grey print for the wide outer framing.

I’ll do the framing tomorrow.

Black Rock Beach – III

I spent several hours yesterday working on the thread painting on Black Rock Beach – the sky, the distant shore, the black rocks point, the water near the shore.

Black Rock Beach

I closely stitched the Black Rock Point

Black Rock Point

Then I worked my way toward the foreground

Black Rock Beach III

Standing back from it I can see the curvature of the waves is jarring. The piece would feel more calm were I to straighten out the water movement. That’s a challenge – because I’m not sure I won’t be left with stitch marks I won’t be able to eliminate once I’ve taken that stitching out.

However, I’m going to give it a try because I’m not happy with how the water near the rocky beach is flowing.

A Return To “Black Rocks Beach”

This “staying at home” has my brain befuddled. I was able to feel productive while engaged in face mask production but for the past week I have not been able to settle on a new quilting project or wall art project or any garment making. I’ve whiled away my time with puzzles and following news, a minimal amount of cooking, and an occasional walk but I’ve not been getting anything creative done.

Day before yesterday I put the “Black Rocks Beach” piece (started a year ago!) back on my cutting table. Last spring I concatenated three photos to create the one image. In December/January (I can’t remember when, exactly) I’d got as far as laying in the background sky, far shore, the black rocks, the near shore but stopped short of doing any thread painting.

Two days ago I fused small bits of fabric to indicate the movement of the water near the beach. I think today is the day I pull out my boxes of rayon embroidery thread and start working on water and sky.

Black Rocks Beach

David’s figure is fussy cut and ready to go but not fused to the scene yet – the water has to be thread painted before I can put him in place and thread paint his clothing. This is one of those moments where I have to take a deep breath and just start stitching – there will be no going back, no correcting what I’ve done. Here’s where the art form is unforgiving.

Ready – set – go.

Finishing Wall Art

I’ve finally got around to creating instructions for adding borders and piping to a textile wall art panel as well as instructions for hidden bindings.

It took some time because I had forgotten to take photos as I added the borders etc. to the Iris panel last week.

This morning I took a small panel I’d made quite some time ago, removed the backing, and added borders & piping and a hidden binding – and I took pictures along the way to illustrate the process! Finally. I did it because the panel wasn’t really finished and I needed something already assembled (instead of taking the time to construct something new) so I could take photographs as I did the work.

If you’re interested here are links to the PDFs

Iris

Yesterday, I enlarged and printed both the iris and its leaves on fabric then applied some Steam-a-Seam2 Lite (fusible web) to the back so the iris could be fused to the watercolour panel background. Last evening I fussy cut the iris, the bud, and the leaves.

Complete except for hidden binding

This morning I fused the appliqué elements to the panel, then thread painted them, taking care to edge stitch everything so the appliqué won’t lift  over time.

Iris – Thread Painting

Because the appliqué elements are rather small they didn’t want a great deal of stitching but I did want to work in a bit of shading on the leaves and on the flower – not so much that I obscured the shading within the appliqué.

I added a signature along the right side, then applied three border sections – first a narrow inner binding of natural raw silk, then small dotted green piping, last a 3″ purple grunge outer border.

All that’s left to do is add the hidden binding (I do have a small amount of purple grunge left but I’ll see if I can pick up 1/2m more because it’s a very useful colour to have on hand). Once the bindings are attached, I’ll insert a muslin backing and hand stitch the bindings in place on the back.

I will leave the piece as it is – while I can still lift the border to reveal the inner border construction. That will allow me to show the gals how I align the narrow border, and piping as I explain how I do it.

Another Watercolour Quilt Experiment

I’m signed up to teach a class in two weeks on colourwash/watercolour quilting. After finishing “Nine Shades Of Grey” two days ago, I opened my box with the gazillion 2″ squares of fabric all nicely colour sorted in ziploc bags and started laying them out.

The other day I bough a couple of metres of fusible grid interfacing to see if that simplified the process of setting up a colourwash panel. I began by cutting a 24″ x 20″ panel of interfacing, then glue side up (which is the back of the interfacing, so it’s kind of hard actually to see the grid), started laying out squares attempting to bring some kind of colour order to what I was doing.

Blue Garden With Butterfly

I wanted my light focal point to be off-centre which took some moving of squares as I laid them out. I felt hampered by an insufficiency of both light and predominantly dark squares (I need to go fabric shopping this weekend to see if I can add to my stash of suitable fabrics both light and dark so I have enough contrasting fabrics for me and the workshop participants to work with).

After placing squares, walking away, coming back, moving them around, I was ready to fuse the squares to the grid. That was when the process became hairy! I had a difficult time moving the grid panel from my cutting table where I worked, to the ironing board – without having squares flying all over the place. In the end I slid one of my smaller cutting mats underneath the grid interfacing so I could support it as I moved it from table to ironing board.

Now I really ran into trouble – I couldn’t press directly on the cutting mat (the heat from the iron would make it buckle). I tried sliding the grid interfacing (with loose squares laid out) onto the ironing board but my board wasn’t wide enough to support the whole piece. Fortunately I had taken photos of the layout so when the bottom half of my squares landed on the floor, I was able to reposition them (more or less) as I’d had them so I could systematically press them all in place. This is clearly a problem I have to solve before the class because I can’t have people struggling to retain the positioning of the squares as they press them onto the grid interfacing!

I used straight pins on my previous colourwash piece (because the grid cloth I used wasn’t backed with fusible glue) – I think pinning may be in order here as well. I plan on making another test piece before the class to see if that will work better.

I chain stitched the squares in my original watercolour piece which worked nicely – however, I had to stack my pieces carefully and mark the placement of each stack with post-it notes so I got the assembly the way I’d originally laid it out. Using the fusible grid cloth has definite advantages but you can’t fuse as you go along since, at least for me, I need to be able to reposition blocks until I’m happy with the colour flow.

I will continue working to solve this problem so it will be easy for the class participants to concentrate on colour flow and not get hung up on the technical aspects of securing the small fabric pieces.

Postscript: I’ve just had a thought! What if I cut my grid interfacing into 8″ strips, laid the strips together on my cutting board, placed my squares, then carefully carried the narrow strips to my ironing board to press the squares in place – these narrow strips would fit on the board. Ultimately, I have to sew 1/4″ seams along the edges of the squares – all I need to do is juxtapose the narrow fused strips where they are to be joined and sew a 1/4″ seam along that join. That would work quite nicely. Have to give it a try as soon as I have some more dark and light fabrics from which to cut more squares!

A Second Postscript: I appliquéd a small purple/orange butterfly in the lower left of the light area to provide some kind of focus to the piece. I wish I had more butterfly fabric to choose from – this one is a wee bit on the small side but it was the only size I could find in what I had.