Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Urban Jungle

This started with a piece of fabric I bought at Long Beach this year.  

it reminded of a city landscape, with the buildings all grey and windows

I have always loved this certain poem about cats
I read it in my first 'Big Book of Poetry' 
when I was 9

Good poetry stays with you and I knew that if I could just sketch some cat faces 
I could overlay some of the 'windows' with different colored tulle and it would give subtle shading. 
I simply hand wrote the verse & used a white gel pen for the highlights. 

I also wanted to do something relatively small and use a lot of hand embroidery that I was playing with. 

Here is the result. 
18" L x 16" W
The background fabric is everything you see minus the tulle rectangles, hand stitching, words & cat faces.  
Cool huh?  I thought so too, I bought two yards!   

I will bind it in black so it will have a nice black frame to bring the eye back in.

 This poem first appeared in 1916 written by Don Marquis

But truly I only ever remembered by heart this stanza
it echos to me Invictus with it's proud defiance
and firm resolve.





I enjoyed very much working on the embroidery, it's very relaxing.  

 I found some sketches of cats online and tried to imitate them.  After stitching the light green long vertical lines (single strand floss) over the tulle I realized it made it appear as rain.  I must remember that discovery.

 I am particularly drawn to this one, his mournful look.  The model I used wasn't quite this beat up looking, I had fun taking nips our of the ears and putting more lines in to make him appear dirty.


and French Knots.  My favorite, in any work. 

Let me know what you think?  
Thanks for looking.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Almost There


Just three more of those buggers to to! 

Meantime, 
A Finished Kitty Prayer Flag
It's so much fun to do hand embroidery
 
"Kitty Prayers for Tuna"
Especially with hand dyed varigated Pearle cotton.  Just yummy! 




this counts as beading right? 

The hangars are made from small dowels.  They come about 3ft. longI color them in gold metallic painty markers,  cover them in glue, then put the glitter on. Once dry, I cut them about a foot long, wrap some of the fabric (about an inch and one half wide) around one end, it's held by copper wire that I wrap (inserting beads as I go) and twist.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

We interrupt this bed quilt...

So as I was happily sewing along this weekend I came across this tiny scrap, about 2" big. 

Isn't it just darling? 

And I thought, 

 Hey, I have some fabric that is kinda stripey somewhere...

Oh!  here it is!
it was right next to this piece of fabric (how fortuitous!)

And I thought, HEY!  I could draw a 

And since I don't have any prayer flags for hand stitching 
(while I watch 'The Avengers' tonight) 

I wondered (for like half a second) what do cats pray for? 

Well duh! 


Then I was all...  HEY, I have some cute bug fabric!  

and then this happened...

The one on the left is like me, head in the clouds.  This kit will  be covered in screening as he is safely indoors but dreaming of being outside.
And outside there are wonders untold!

we all know that kitties dream of birds in the their mouths and in their tummies! 

Butterflies are good in a pinch,  but probably kinda dry I should think.  And NEVER Monarchs as those are poisonous.  (really!) 

And of course Alley Cat dreams of Cheeseburgers but sadly he only gets scraps of junk food.  But he is a proper Alley Cat in that he's been TNR'd (Trapped, Neutered, Released) as you can tell by his 'nipped' ear. 
the piece of candy that is his collar is a "moonlight madness mint"  good thing he's fixed!  No more unwanted kittens! 

This is all Trish's fault that I've been totally sidetracked off her quilt to get several of these ready for some evening downtime handwork.   She has only herself to blame... *wink*

I'll post pictures as they get completed. 
These are all about 8" x 10". 

I have a ton more fabrics that would be perfect for kitty dreams so this may be the start of something, 

er.


obsessive. 

Oh dear
good thing I have an etsy page.  




Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Day by Day


 Better photos of the quilt in progress.   This is one of those sort of tedious pieces where you stitch a few inches, iron, place, stitch, iron, place, etc...  
I have set out to do at least one entire 2ft square a day
It takes me roughly an hour and 45 minutes. 


 Sometimes I wish I didn't have a full time job and I could sit and do this all day.  That would be wonderful indeed. 

At least doing some art each day let's me chip off little bits of the project and makes me feel like I've accomplished something fun so my insurance brain can take a break. 

 The mess in the room is getting larger and all the neat piles of measured strips are turning into a giant pile that I have to pick through.  I think tomorrow night I will spend the hour resorting the strips by size and maybe cutting more in a size I've run out of.


I am looking forward to it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

New Project A BED quilt!

So I saw this book and had to have it because I am a sucker for all things 'scrap user friendly' and well, just look at that quilt!  Yum! 


A while back a dear friend gave me a bag of fabric she had collected for herself.  It is all cat related.  When I looked through this book I found the pattern I thought was wonderful for this type of quilt.  She loved the pattern also so off I went! 

The book is quite specific that you shouldn't be 'cutting' any fabrics  using your scraps.  Well, I did pull quite a bit of scrap fabric from my CatNip quilt collection to supplement what my friend had. 

Here is the first quarter of one block. 


                  one partially completed quarter,                    
the completed quarter will be 12 1/2 " x 12 1/2 "
There will be 36 of the quarter blocks to total one of these

This is 2ft square.  There will be 9 of these.  Total size should be 80" x 80". 
sorry about the icky resolution.  Camera phone... Will post better as I progress.

Since this is not a true Log Cabin I didn't have to worry about being confused by the directions (I swear, I have tried it several times & end up sewing it backwards every.single.time).   I'm so NOT a traditional quilter!   I do love the more formal patterns but the quilts in this book are exactly what they are called 'Modern Quilts' and they use modern color combos that are wonderful!  I urge you to take a look at the book on amazon where it shows more pages.   

What is really compelling to me about using scraps is that for every odd scrap I pick out, I remember the quilt I used it for originally!   Nearly all of those early quilts went to their owners as gifts prior to me documenting them with photos.  Which in retrospect may have been a good thing LOL.   I am happy to visit the memories of past quilts while constructing a new one.  I am not happy about the mess in my sewing room with strips all over the place. 

The book is very clever in that it tell you to sort your colors in bins (or darling cloth vessels you can create using...your scraps!).  I had my bins all ready and then realized the pattern I chose didn't call for colors to be separate but of the same value which is different entirely.  So away the bins went and hello strip mania all over the table, floor, chairs.   Ugh. 

It's still fun though. 
I'll post photos when it's more complete. 

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Super Secret Project complete

A very dear online friend  lost her beloved cat Ms. Admiral a while back.  I wanted to do something special for her so I 'stole' many shots off her blog & printed them off on silk.  I then set them in lovely, rich florals.   

Here is a shot of Ms. Admiral enjoying her CatNip quilt from 'Her Hero' Ms. Stella O'Houligan. 
 



Here is the quilt I made & sent to Carole.


 The photo below is my favorite of Ms. Admiral. 
She was so lovely
 the solids are the Japanese fabrics I talked about in the previous post.
Ms. Admirals photo below is the largest one.  It is the full 8 1/2" x 11" size.
 I stitched Mo Chroi (which is My Heart in Irish).  I had fun free motion quilting in all the flowers and lillies of the valley (remembrance)

I had fun placing the bird pieces. 

And the back:


 This was her blog header.  Isn't it just darling!
 It was challenging to piece it all together but ultimately fun and I think all the images worked well. 
* the silk sheets were backed with fusible interfacing prior to piecing with the cottons.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Prayer Flag #7

Also a birthday gift.  

 8"W x 17"L (approx)
I learn something from every single thing I attempt.  In this piece I learned that I should have added one more smallish branch under the tail as the overall weight of tail & branch creates too much of a solid shape and stops the eye. 

 my favorite part of this bird was doing the neck.  Those tiny French knots in with the solid green single strand stitching really popped.  The yellow/orange/pink gave a lovely scattering effect.
Likewise the ruff of the chest, there French knots there were created using a orange/fuschia/light pink varigated.  I want to make another of these birds just to use the super fun colors!  

It's been so nice to take a break from my Black & White pieces (of which there are now 7!) 

The glorious hand dyed Pearle cotton of Laura Wasilowski
Variegated thread is my favorite to work with.  I find that it is so much more flexible and gives me outstanding results!

I have loved using this background fabric.  It's called Quilters Linen (it is not proper linen btw, that is just the name of it) from Japan.  I have it in several solids and it's a dream to work with. 

This prayer flag went to Peggy Calvert, a friend & fellow artquilter in our group First Friday Artists