Wednesday, August 19, 2015

EB, Interrupted...

In my last post, I'd just done my "depth" sketches and sent them off to EB.   She observed that I had a tendency to raise the horizon line from it's original position in my photos.  Hmm... Still, she liked what I did with overlapping, and making things smaller the farther away they were...

I knew I had some work to do, but I had another visitor from out of town -- my friend-from-university-days and former bridesmaid, P -- so with the exception of a bit of working in glue resist on fabric, I did nothing in my studio for almost a week.  Instead, we toured the hamlet, took in the Innisfail Quilt Show at the Heritage Village there, enjoyed delicious food and wine, celebrated my 40th anniversary with another couple at church, visited my sis at her cottage, slept in, read, took naps...and simply enjoyed each other's company.

That left me pushing the deadline for blocking my piece, as well as working on commissions that also have deadlines.

First, I finished the medallion quilt top.  I had to spread it out on my back lawn to get a full photo, as it's 116" W x 98" L:

The backing has arrived and been washed, so all is ready to go.  My daughter, who commissioned it, and I will visit the long-arm quilter later this month to discuss the quilting design and thread selection, and then leave it in her capable hands!

Next, another commission...for a selection of small Maritime pieces, based on photos provided.
I decided to try out a couple of techniques that -- serendipitously! -- were written up in the latest issue of Quilting Arts.

I wanted to make 6" square pieces I could mount on stretched canvas, and I wanted them to look like pen-and-ink-and-watercolour.  The long weekend (Aug. 1-3) when my Calgary friends were playing with me (we did indigo dyeing of silk, cotton and wool batting/roving), I made some samples.

First I tried "A Wholecloth Quilt With Color and Stitch", which had the look I was seeking.  Desiree Habicht gave very good instructions in her article, but it was clear I didn't have the variety of water-colour and InkTense (R) pencils on which to draw, because I couldn't get the colours blended the way I wanted:

I liked the look of the black stitched outlines...but it was tough to work on the quilted fabric, and the depth of colour just isn't there.  Pretty, but a bit stiff.

So...I tried "Drawing With Glue", using Elmer's blue School Glue Gel and SetaColor paints. Again, another great set of instructions, this time from Enid Gjelten Weichselbaum. 

The first time I made the sample, the paint was too dilute, but I loved the clear colours.  I also discovered that I should drawn in lines to define the clouds and trees, rather than trying to 'wing it'...

The second sample worked so well that it's turned into the first finished piece of the triptych.  I combined the glue gel resist technique with the black outline stitching and just love the whimsical. colourful interpretation of this Maritime Canada city (sorry, no further details lest the intended recipients read this blog!)

Here's the piece finished, faced and affixed to the stretched canvas:

The other two pieces have been painted, and will be finished after they're washed -- yes, in the regular laundry!

Triptcyh Piece #2, with source photo

Triptych Piece #3, with source photo
As an aside, while we were dyeing with indigo (the natural type, from MAIWA in Vancouver), my friend Sha suggested I try a glue resist design quickly dipped in the indigo vat.  I did a free-hand drawing of cone flowers, imitating one of the examples provided in Ms. Weichselbaum's article.  The results were a delightful surprise, and I'm going to do it up as a small stand-alone piece.  Here it is drying on the line:

And now back to our regularly-scheduled program...

The Master Class assignment for August!  Based on EB's comments about my rising horizons, I decided to do another set of sketches, focusing on only one of the landscapes I'd submitted originally.  My choice: "Driving East On Hwy 12"

Much better, but how to do this in fabric?!  Perhaps if I made it more 'geometric'?

Re: the vertical lines: I toyed with the idea of another triptych...but in the end, I blocked it out as one large piece.  There are some details to add (more highway lines) but for now...

When I finished, I realized that for me,
"It's Still About the Sky"
Materials: snow-dyed fabric, commercial cottons & batiks
Size: 30" W x 26" L (unfinished)
And I hafta confess... I love it!

Linking this to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network...and waiting for EB's feedback...

All for now!


els said...

Wow Margaret. I love all you did. The colourful pieces with glue resist are wonderful. I must try it one of these days. The indigo piece is very lovely and your EB landscape is great. Keep up the great work!

Kathie Briggs said...

Wow, Margaret, you have accomplished much even with a week-long break with your dear friend. I think "It's Still bout the Sky" is very successful. Of course you love it. I love it too. EB was right about the horizon and lowering it as you did makes all the difference. Your painting experiments are cool. Each one of them is good in its own way even if it is not what you intended. All are worth finishing. And the quilt for your daughter is magnificent. You've inspired me to make some studio time today.

Wil said...

I like your Sky piece a lot.

Lesley Turner said...

It is such a pleasure to watch the development of your work - the trials to the most successful finished works.

elle said...

What marvelous and productive times you are having this summer. Luv the sketches especially! And the sky!!!

Judy Warner said...

I so enjoy reading about your experiments. The glue gel resist pieces are wonderful. And, I really love your It's Still About The Sky - beautiful piece of fabric for the sky!

rtquilter said...

Wow! You've been a busy girl!! I like what you've done with the "it's still about the sky" one! Nice work, Margaret!

Sha said...

hey - I know that road! Not raising the horizon changes the tone and story of the piece in interesting ways - just as the different Maritime experiments all offer a slightly different flavor. Who would guess that such simple changes in line or similar techniques could be use to such advantage - It's all about more tools in your ever expanding tool kit.

Susan J Barker said...

this is last weeks post, right! I am so behind! the experiments with the resist is quite fascinating -- I would talk myself into similar but I am really trying to keep a focus right now on something else all together! But I know where to come back to for ideas!