Monday, September 21, 2015

Edging into Autumn

September is slipping through my fingers.  It's almost Autumn...which this year officially begins on Wednesday. of my favourite times of year despite the shortening days.  The air is crisp and fresh and some of the best trail runs take place because of the cooler weather.

My tomatoes are all in -- green ones in a newsprint-lined container for ripening.  My roses continue to astound me, as do the cosmos, so I'm leaving them alone for the time being.  And I still have to mow the grass at least one more time.  On the shopping list: spring bulbs, which I'll plant now with high hopes they will grace my south flower bed eight months (or so) from now.

It's a bit too cool to sit outside stitching so I'm back in the sewdio, working first on my "Lost Edges" piece.  I blocked it out on Friday using my usual technique of a foundation fabric (unbleached muslin) and lots of pins!  I wasn't about to risk fusing anything in place till I heard from EB!

While I like the piece, I was concerned it lacked a certain "spark"...

Materials: sky - indigo-dyed silk;
hills/"shrubs": assorted synthetic sheers;
background grass: "Fossil Fern", a classic
commercial cotton; foreground
grass: acid-dyed silk;
tree trunks: eco-printed fabric by arlee barr.

Detail 1

Detail 2

And here was EB's response:

I think you've done a very good job of contrasting the edges...and great fabric choices...I don't think you lack very much actually.  Perhaps some debris around the base of the trunks to "tie" them to the ground so they don't look as if they're superimposed...go back out to the area ...or ck your photo to see how the bases of trees  dovetail beautifully into the ground.  You want it to look as if these trees are just growing right up.  You might want to move the LH hand group a little to the left...allowing a view point through the gap...

I think the piece has plenty of pizzaz with that perfect mould (or whatever it was!) dyed fabric... and I love the way you have it going soft and it goes back.
don't think you need leaves...but maybe a couple of branches to tie the sides of the image to the frame....looks like a great place to go for a walk!
I grinned when I read "Perhaps some debris around the base of the trunks", because of course that will come with the stitching.  And arlee's fabric is printed with leaves...not mould! (grin) but yes, she still makes the best tree trunk fabric I've found!

So this morning I sandwiched the background, as I need to quilt it down (especially the sky) before I apply those trees...It will likely finish around 18" W by 14" L.

And what of the wrapped trees?  Just over two months in, this is how they looked on September 13:

Tree 1 - stains beginning

Tree 2 - staining too

Tree 3 - I'm wondering if'
these stains will last.

Tree 4 - least stained of all,
and I thought it was muslin!

The Christmas knitting is about to is the production of new minis for two shops, and one for a Christmas commission.

Speaking of commissions...My DD reported that her friends like the Maritime Memories pair...and this morning I picked up the medallion quilt from Sylvia Sawyer, long-arm quilter extraordinaire... Here's just a glimpse of some of the work she did...

Part of centre medallion, zinger, piano key border
Section of outer-most border (untrimmed backing on the right)
Part of inner border, zinger, piano key border

DD will select the binding fabric in a couple of weeks (Thanksgiving) and I'll bring it home to bind and wash before it goes back to her to wrap and give away.

I'm finding this balance of bed quilts and artwork healthy.  I find it satisfying to always have some of each on the go.  The bed quilt construction is rhythmic and methodical (for the most part); the artwork stretches my brain till it groans with that mix of pleasure and pain that is, I think, common to most artists.

This afternoon, I'm piecing the border for the Magic Tiles quilt I began a couple of weeks ago:

Pin carefully because this is sashed at an angle

You want the edges to be even in the end...

Linking this up belatedly to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...hoping you have a creative week and a happy change of seasons.

Till next time...


elle said...

I think this tree one will be my favourite. Very nicely done so far! I'll be curious to see the tree cloth. I'm sure we'll be bringing more of our harvest in but right now we are unusually warm! :O

Jo Ferguson said...

You've been busy. I think your stitching will provide just the spark you're looking for. I'm interested to see how your wrapping trees, continues to progress.

Judy Warner said...

Love reading about your projects, Margaret. Fascinated to learn more about Arlee's tree fabric.
Missing you and my art.

arlee said...

"Mould"??? Ha, if it weren't so un-informed and funny, i'd be hurt :) But/and thank you :)You make the best trees too!

I never had luck with the tree "staining"--left mine out by the railyards for 6 months and barely a mark at all--i think our climate is too dry.

Kathie Briggs said...

Really like the composition of the new piece. I love trees and really like the way you've spaced them and arranged the angles. Debris can be a lot of fun. You have so many stitch options. I did one piece where I stitched over some hand dyed cheesecloth to add texture. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to do.

rtquilter said...

Looking really great, Margaret. My students giggle at me when I call it "leaf litter". You know what I like? I really like the look of the closeup where the tree trunks go right off the front edge of the work. I do like that sort of peekaboo through the trees. Anyway, I think you are doing a splendid job here. Can't wait to see how it finishes!!