Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Spring Greens!

Today's the First Day of Spring -- so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o long awaited -- and Mother Nature has obliged us here with a clear blue sky, lots of sunshine and temps so warm I had to switch up to a lighter jacket, remove a sweatshirt and change from a toque to a cap for my afternoon jog-walk.  Whoa!  Who'd'a thunk it?!

I'm feeling so chipper and cheerful (after a couple of tough weeks) that I'm even posting on a Wednesday -- and will be linking up to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network for the first time in ages. Wonder if anyone there will remember me?!  😉

While I write, my bread maker is cheerfully churning up a loaf of multi-grain bread for me to take to church Sunday for the weekly Lenten Lunch.  It's soup (usually 3 varieties), bread and/or buns, and the usual coffee, tea or juice...all for a free-will donation.  Tired of trying to figure out the best way to schlep soup 43 km. over a country highway into town, I've opted to contribute bread the past few years and it works a treat. 😊

Meanwhile...what's been under the needle?

The plan for today was to stitch down the background for a small art piece and photograph and enter an up-coming art show -- Canada's "Grand National".

But first...

There was a call out from Helen at Angels in Gumboots in New Zealand quilters for quilt blocks -- with the goal of making (at least) 50 quilts to honour those who died as a result of the mosque massacres there last weekend. 

There are two types of 6 1/2" unfinished blocks -- hearts on white backgrounds -- being requested.  One features green hearts on white; the other, hearts in other colours on white.  I made 1/2 dozen green-on-white and put them in the mail this morning...

Heart blocks started, prepped

Heart blocks - 6 1/2" unfinished and ready to mail!

From there I went into "show entry mode". This was the planned "destination" for that beach-with-picnic table I've been working on.

It took me some time (over an hour!) to get just the right photos I wanted for this Grand National entry.  The piece isn't huge but it took quite a bit of work -- dyeing and then over-layering the sky to get the right blue, and hand-stitching the grass in the foreground.  In the end I sent in these two photos, with hopes that they'll be just right:

Before the Crowds (c) 2019
27" W x 16.5" L
Materials: self-dyed and painted synthetic fabric,
commercial cottons, hand-dyed cotton embroidery floss
Techniques: fused layers, machine quilting, hand-stitching

Before the Crowds - Detail

I had trouble getting my photo program to save the photos in the size the entry required (max 2500 pixels on the longest side) and still come up with a file size between 2 and 4 MB. Mine ended up with the right pixels but a smaller file size, so I advised the curator of that and told her if she wanted the originals she could have those too -- but that they were larger as to number of pixels. 

All this trouble was caused by a recent Windows update such that my favourite -- ancient -- Canon photo program ("ZoomBrowser EX", not supported by Canon for years) has finally stopped being compatible with my PC and had to be retired.  The "newer" program ("ImageBrowser EX") that came with my camera -- a program I've never liked -- isn't as user-friendly, and now...well, I'm coping!

It will be what it will be.  If it's not accepted and I find out about that before the Lacombe Art Show and Sale, well -- I'll just have one more piece to hang in the show!'s time to relax a bit with some knitting and a touch of my new favourite YouTube video-cast, Last Homely House East of the Sea with Kate Jackson.  She's funny, prolific with knitting, spinning, quilting, gardening, preserving and enjoying her hens, goose and cats...and she shares her life online, which delights me no end.

Linking up, as I said, with WIP Wednesday...and see you later.

Have a wonderful rest of the week!


Judy Martin said...

lovely piece you entered in the grand national - best of luck.

don't forget to enter the "Colour with a U" exhibition coming up in March 2020 for the SAQA conference in Toronto. Go look at the saqa site to see the full call for entry Marg. The show is just for Canadian SAQA members, so you probably know all about it - but just thought I'd say it anyway for some of your blog readers.

love you xo

elle said...

New improved makes me cringe so I do hear you. Your header could be my own back yard. Up and blogging, Margaret and hoping for more green stuff!

Sha said...

You sound happier, brighter , lighter. The magic of spring is not just for birds and trees. Glad that mother nature's spring wand has touched you as you jog by. Success with the entry- that piece is subtle and very skilled. Looking forward to see what other 'flowers' might grow in the sewdio this spring. Have fun.