My sort of daily walks take me across the Cuyahoga River on a footbridge. Lately the river has been low as we haven’t had rain, but the curtain of green I see from the bridge never fails to cool me off. This photo seems so summery I want to break out the voile fabric and sew gauzy layers. And to think it will be September next week.
From years of riding public transit I know that buses are happiest when traveling in packs. Often three on the same route arrive nose to tail after a long wait. It seems my quilt finishes are the same way.
After months of not quite getting there, I have three finishes, plus one quilt that just needs a facing.
First, A Grand Day Out (24 x 36 inches) got its hot air balloons sorted out, and minor repairs made.
Winter Fields (26.5 x 47 inches), the third in a series of a Nova Scotia salt marsh, got painterly finishing touches with a paintstick and watercolor pencils. I still need to make the summer version, though so far all I have towards it is a lot of green fabrics.
I needed a break from landscapes, so Rick Rack (36 by 46 inches) got yanked from the back of the closet and wrestled into a quilting design inspired by Jacquie Gering’s walking foot quilting book. It began as practice for sewing half circles. Then, I joined the halves with ribbon, and added another round of fabric every so often. The colorful fabrics were done by Marcia Derse and Valori Wells.
A few months ago I wrote about Wen Redmond’s book “Digital Fiber Art” and my confusion about how to proceed with her techniques. So I was glad to see steps to follow in her article in the latest Quilting Arts about how to transfer a photo to cloth. Of course I had to try out the technique.
I made my base fabric collage with scraps that included an old tee shirt mop up rag that had turned lovely pastel shades.
Once that dried I moistened it and rubbed away the paper to (hopefully) leave the transfer print behind. At this point my results diverged from the instructions. Either too little or too much of the paper came off, so some of the edges were jaggedy. Maybe I didn’t apply enough gel medium. More important, the photo looked really dark.
After three colors of perle cotton I decided it was still too dark, so I moved on to machine stitching. Then I got the bright idea to highlight the light areas with metallic paint.
That turned out way too garish, so I tried sanding the painted areas to tone them down. I found that gel medium stands up well to sanding with fine sandpaper. Unfortunately, it didn’t remove as much of the paint as I had hoped.
Right now my experiment resides in the drawer of shame. Lessons learned:
-choose a photo with a lot more light areas and just a few dark lines
-do a practice photo transfer before the one that counts
-remember that subtlety isn’t my strong point, and there’s a fine, but definite, line between subtle and dreary.
Last week we stopped by a local orchard and bought a peck of peaches. Yes, peaches grow in northeast Ohio. To let them ripen before we cut them up and freeze them, we set them out on our dining room table to ripen a bit more. I don’t know about you, but our dining room is used mainly for non-dining purposes, such as laundry folding.
I couldn’t resist photographing the voluptuous peaches on the blue check tablecloth. Such a fabulous, classic color combination. Wouldn’t you like a bite?