It generally begins with a photo. Here's the inspiration for my latest miniature, trimmed to eliminate some of the superfluous detail. (I have a bad habit of getting caught up in the details, so if I can cut some out at the very beginning, that's a Good Thing.)
This tree is on the eastern edge of my back yard. It's some sort of flowering fruit tree (not crab-apples; the fruit is too small), and in the spring it's chock-a-block full of pale pink blossoms.
Then I audition fabric. In this case it was pretty simple: blue, white, and a brown-on-black print for the tree trunk:
I have trouble with proportion. The great thing about these miniatures is that they're to be matted so that only 5" x 7" shows...so I print off my photo as a 5" x 7", and am able to trace from there and get the size pretty well right. And yes, for this piece, I'm leaving out the clutter of the house on the other street and extraneous trees, etc. :-)
Here's how it might fit inside a mat:
Next, I fuse everything down to a foundation fabric. For the background, I apply fusible web to the foundation (light-weight muslin), and then iron down the sky and snow (in this case). The tree had its own fusible web.
In addition to the tree, there are a couple of bird houses to add -- a bit finicky, even for my small hands, but I persisted! Oh... and I wanted to put in some shadow at the base of the tree.
The bird houses have roofs, and one of the roofs has snow:
Once that was done, I moved to quilting. Sometimes I have thread painting to do first but in this case, I did it as part of the quilting. Sorry -- I forgot to take a photo of the quilting before I matted the piece!
Here's the finished piece: "Pristine II: For the Birds" -- quilted, including an impression of dear tracks off on the left-hand side, shaded with a bit of InkTense (C) pencil. A bit of snow was added to the shaded side of the tree trunk, and a few branches quilted on using a combination of very narrow satin stitch and simple straight stitch -- by machine. Bird house details were added with Pitt (C) pen.
In addition to this piece, I started on my 12" square for the SAQA Benefit Auction. Having left behind the idea of doing "Can You Hear Me Now?" in a larger size, I got the idea to do a nearly white-on-white piece, based on the hoarefrost we've had here the past few mornings. I took a photo of the ornamental crab in my front yard and trimmed it down to capture what I wanted:
Next, I printed it on ExtravOrganza (C),which I then fused with Misty Fuse to a white-on-white cotton print. That's where I left it for now...on my design wall. I have to do some sampling with a couple of different metallic threads that I want to use to free-motion quilt some of the branches -- and I'll do that tomorrow morning when I'm fresh!
Taking a break, I spent about 90 minutes with Quilting Arts on a free webinar about social media as an art business tool. The presenter was Jane Davila. I'm pretty comfortable using just Facebook and my blog. However, I figure I'd see if there were some new ideas and information, and I learned a few things. I may just re-visit my Linked-In profile and spice it up a bit. I also learned how to go on Pinterest to find out what bits of my work have been 'stolen' or pinned without credit...and to get the code to put on my blog, should I decide I want to stop it. That was worth the time, right there!
While I was listening -- and taking a few notes -- I finished off the front of that sleeveless pullover I've been knitting. All that's left is to join the shoulders, pick up stitches for the neck -- I think I'm going to do a mock turtle rather than a full one -- and then finish the sleeves and sew the side seams and ends. Maybe it'll be ready for my trip to Santa Fe, eh?
Here's what the front looked like just before I finished it off:
The sun is high, it's close to 7 C out there, and I'm off for a jog. Linking to WIP Wednesday before I go...so take a break yourself and see what everyone is up to over at The Needle and Thread Network!