Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Last Day of 2014

OK it's the last day of 2014.... One of last year's New Year's resolutions was to spend more time on my blog, but that went by the wayside long ago. But here it is, the last day and not too much to do after the whirlwind of Christmas. We're heading off to friends for an early dinner tonight so nothing to do in the kitchen except carve up the last of the Christmas smoked turkey and pack for the freezer, so why not bring the blog up to date with what's on my design wall or under the machine right now.

2014 has a been the Year of the Swan - at least in my studio. This year Glen and I celebrated our 30th anniversary which brought back memories of our wedding at the Bel Air Hotel where swans swam in the rippling stream that ran next to the grassy area where our ceremony was held 1984.

So... the mute swans from the Bishops Palace at Wells Cathedral in "Mated for Life" debuted at Houston in October and are currently traveling in the Tactile Architecture exhibit. I used another photo of those swans for my 12inch SAQA Benefit Auction quilt which sold in October. Then a friend commissioned me to make another version as a wedding gift for relatives.

Obviously my favorite quilt at Houston Festival was David Taylor's wonderful "Beneath My Wing"

So my brain kept going back to swans again and again. Recently I started looking at swan photos yet again and started drawing my own compositions of a nesting pair. I finally came up with a sketch I liked, added some reeds, grasses and cattails.

My sketch was blown up on the computer and printed out as an appliqué pattern. I've used a subtle blue ombré cotton as the background and various whites, grays and an orange Hoffman batik for the swans themselves. the cattails are done in brown velveteen. This is raw edge appliqué using
Misty Fuse. I'll catch all the edges in the quilting.

I spent a day adding some subtle (I hope) shading with textile paints.

And now it's under my machine for a lot of very tight shaded quilting with silk thread. Sorry pretty out of focus, but maybe that's a good thing.

So a lot - and I mean a lot - of quilting to go..... BTW those half circle things on the quilt are cut from rubber shelf liner - the waffle kind- and really help to grab the quilt for free motion work. Don't need gloves or hoops or anything else! My tip of the day...

I'll post the final cleaned up finished version on my website ... Hopefully soon.