Archive for July, 2011

Elk Progress

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

The air conditioner is fixed and it’s a good thing! Outside temps are triple digit again and the rain hardly made a dent. I hope the rain predicted in the next few days actually happens because the last didn’t amount to much; only a quarter of an inch! Even the weeds are drying up.

I changed out the foreground weeds in the elk picture to some darker fabrics, but I’m not very happy with that either.

There are two different batik prints but they are just about the same color and that is boooooring!! They will have to go!

I went through all of my green fabrics again and found a couple of more interesting batiks to try:Better, but we aren’t there yet!

Too Darn Hot!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The last few days have been spent refining the background choices and sewing things together. I re-did the chest area as I was not liking that at all. The photo shows light weeds to the front but I’m thinking it’s starting to look too busy, maybe because I have more yellow in the background than the photo does, but I like that. Perhaps a darker foreground would ground it better.

It has been SO hot! Yesterday was the 10th consecutive day of temps over 100 and everything is looking stressed. We put out 10 five gallon buckets of water with a little hole in the bottoms to give a nice soaking to the newest trees and roses that were planted this spring. Thankfully we got a nice rain last night which should give relief to the rest. Temps today should only get to the high 90’s! I guess that’s good news since this morning our air conditioner quit! Someone is supposed to come out to check on it later today, but it’s already getting hot in here and it’s only 9 o’clock. Time to get out the fan!

Backgrounds

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Tuesday I took some time off and went to the Kaw Valley Quilt Guild meeting to turn in the Butterfly piece.¬† It was well received and it was fun to see all of the other offerings which were all very different! It will be fun to see them all laid out together at the silent auction in the fall. After, I shopped at Sarah’s for some large scale grass for the foreground of the elk – found three possibilities, but nothing really better than what I already had.

Yesterday I worked at filling in some background and sewing together some of the sections. I’m liking how the yellow areas of the green hand dye bring in some light and life to the background. Also cut and laid in some of the dark body areas, but they are not ready yet for sewing. As the background areas come closer to the viewer they need to have more detail and yet still work with the more abstract distant background. It’s also important to keep contrast between the elk’s body and the background to overcome nature’s desire to have the animal disappear!

Butterfly Finished!

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Just finished the butterfly!

Butterfly 18 X 23″

I had a huge scale flower fabric that I had thought would make a nice background but it seemed too busy. Nothing that I tried really worked and there wasn’t time to shop, but these from my stash set it off nicely…. One of the background fabrics worked well for the binding. I only use beads if the piece calls for it and this one did – only two for the antennae; they are matte black square beads. Perfect!

Butterfly

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I found my fabric’s inner butterfly and by the time I cut the best parts with their quarter inch seam allowances, there wasn’t much usable left. I had to fill in with other fabrics – quite a challenge!

Not quite what I envisioned, but it will do!

Today I will quilt it and then it will get hand embroidered antennae. At this point it is about 18 x 24″.

Elk And More

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

So yesterday I was going to post an update, but when I went to download the photos my camera batteries were dead.

I had mentioned that I thought that the elk’s butt might need to be lighter

but I decided that the original was light enough.

Notice that I did tweak the antlers a bit! They are smoother now.

Filling in some background, I will use some lighter yellow areas of the hand dyed green. I think this dark shoulder is a little too much, it needs to be lighter.

This one is too light, though.


I think this one will work. But that highlight is too light and will need fixing.

This morning I was reminded that a challenge I had committed to was due soon – like next week I think!!

This is the fat quarter that I have to use:

Funny how the background, which is light blue with yellow spots reads about the same as my gray design wall. My piece has no info on it as to the designer or the fabric company, but it is certainly an interesting bit of fabric that must have piqued my interest at the time.

Accepting the free fat quarter meant that I accepted the challenge to make a small wall hanging¬† no larger than 18 x 24″ to donate to the guild’s charity silent auction.¬† I decided that I could get a butterfly out of it so yesterday I did a sketch and made a pattern for a fantasy butterfly that I hope to start today. The elk will have to take a back seat for the time being!


Antlers

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Most of the past week’s work was for naught as it has been done and redone. I started out being true to the photo, but the thing is, nature likes camouflage and she does it so well! The antlers were just blending in – too much work for too little impact! In nature most everything is medium tones. I had to go really light to get the contrast that the piece needed. But it does bring in some needed lights. We are also overwhelmed with green and I liked the subtle addition of blue even though it was not in the original photo, you know there is sky up there somewhere!

I will probably still tweak the antlers and I am thinking about lightening the rump.

Yesterday the temperature was over 100 with a record breaking heat index for here of 118 and today promises more of the same so I will be staying inside to sew!

Progress

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Del’s comment: Nostril? Eye? Any progress is better than none — makes me think perhaps in progress shots are not the best idea. Nothing is ever set in stone and I am not opposed to taking out a section – even when quilting is in progress if I am not happy with it! In this case the eye is there. The nostril is not there yet. I have not been terribly motivated to work on this; I am finding it a challenge to work without much contrast and I am hoping that getting the antlers in place will pull in the needed lights.

Over a period of a few days working in the morning while it is still cool, I re-did these steps from the deck to the shade garden. The steps at the top were too shallow and not well spaced and I thought, dangerous.

Also the planting spaces at the top were full of big day lilies reaching for the sun with long spindly leaves threatening to trip you. So I dug out a big wheelbarrow load and replaced them with some tiny euonymus, coleus and fuchias.