Wednesday, April 01, 2015


In art, the term 'resist' -- or 'mask' -- generally refers to a substance that is used to cover an area of paper or that when one paints or dyes that paper or fabric, the covered area 'resists' the paint or dye.

Alas, that's not what I mean here.

Instead, I'm referring more properly to 'resistance' -- also known as 'procrastination'.


I've had an inspiration for weeks -- maybe even months -- for the 2015 SAQA Benefit Auction.  Inspired by a song on a CD I got for Christmas, I could close my eyes and envision it, whole and complete.

A few weeks ago, I made a sketch drawing:

I "sat on it" for a while...something wasn't quite right.  The tree...the banjo...

Finally I looked up "the tree in my head" and found this image (I'd already looked up the banjo...) :

Note: it's an oak, and I don't have much experience with oaks as they don't grow in these parts, generally...but there you have it!  (This is why I'm thankful for the Internet.)

Of course, the proportions meant I had to figure out the size of under the tree...(another Internet search):

Thank you,!

So...this afternoon I bit the bullet, took the bull by the horns, put my butt in gear (insert your favourite cliche here)...and began the lay-out of the piece.

First, I prepared the foundation fabric, using a 15" square piece of light-weight cotton recently acquired from my friend J (she's been cleaning house):

Prep = applying fusible web (in my case, Wonder Under) to one side.  The colour of the fabric doesn't matter because it's going to be covered.

Next I placed the background fabrics -- both auditioned beforehand -- for sky and foreground:

The sky is a self-dyed piece of muslin; the 'grass' is a commercial batik (but I bet you could figure that out!)

Once the edges were trimmed, I auditioned the positioning of the key elements:

NOTE: I use off-cuts of laminating plastic -- lovingly donated by my daughter from her office -- for my "patterns" or "templates".  In this case, I taped 2 pieces together and drew my general outline on them in a defined 12" square -- the size of a finished SAQA Benefit Auction piece.  You can see quite easily that I didn't stick with the over-sized banjo player!

Satisfied, I put pieces in place and fused them.  Here's the piece (thus far) on my design wall:

"Yellow Tree" (WIP) - 2015

Of course, I'm wondering if a) it's going to be 'good enough' for the auction; and b) whether or not I should have quilted the sky/foreground before adding the smaller details (too late now!)...

Then I remind myself that a) the quilting will make a difference; b) the quilting will include thread embellishment on tree and banjo, and create a hat for the banjo player; and c) there will be leaves added to the tree and hints of grass (in stitch) added to the foreground...and it will all be trimmed from 15" square to 12.5" square before binding/facing...

And so...I relax a bit and start something else...

First, the April "Zen" BOM (Block Of the Month), now cut and ready to assemble:

And...I've cast on my April "Socks from Stash" challenge socks -- in the Spirit Trail Fiberworks colour #414 (discontinued) as chosen by the group...using Anne Campbell's "Show-off Stranded Socks" pattern:

It's a simple pattern -- perfect for the weeks ahead -- and the colours in the yarn are so rich and lovely!  Ah....

Now to link up these Works In Progress with WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network...

Stay tuned for an EB Master Class posting before too long.

Blessings for Passover or Easter for those who celebrate...and to ALL of my Gentle Readers, Happy Spring!

Oh...and that inspirational song?  Pour a cuppa and enjoy...."Daddy Played the Banjo" - Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) and Gary Scruggs (yes, that Scruggs family)...

This one's for you, Steve!


elle said...

awe, that was great. You are doing a great job interpreting your sketch. Oak trees are over rated as the acorns are murder on bare feet! :( and my gal and I talked about resists in art today. Have a good evening. I've got a doozey of a cold!

Kathy said...

WOW! I have gotta make me a pair of these socks! ☺ Next project....

Kathy said...
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Kate said...

Love that sock yarn. I hope you post more pictures of the socks in progress.

Maggi said...

I do like the way that this is heading. That sock yarn is just gorgeous too.

I hadn't realised that Steve Martin did things like this.