Monday, February 14, 2011

Progress on Wolf

Just some quick pics before I go to work. Above, the stitching within the wolf is done.
I cut two layers of thin poly batting in the shape of the wolf.
Now I have to roll the muslin edges, iron them and pin the wolf to the background to sew it down. Some areas are impossible to roll the muslin, so I will cut it away before stitching, like the nostril area above. Wednesday I have a full day in the studio and I will be continuing this. Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Stitching Wolfie

New lithium batteries made such a difference in the speed of the shutter today. Not quite so much blur. Above is a shot of the wolf's face before I started stitching.
I decided on a palate of golds, rusts, reds and teals for the thread colors. I used a gold to outline the snout/eye socket. Some of the other colors are laying on top of the wolf.
I pulled a real good one with the inner parts of the ears today. Apparently the wool in this area is a wool/silk blend and it did not like the setting of my iron. I burnt the left ear; had to take the piece out (of course, after it had been stitched in by the rust thread) and replace it with another, restitching the rust line and making it fatter to catch the ear fabric. Every quilt just seems to have some kind of issue. It's never totally smooth sailing!
I got a lot done today. There are only a few areas left to stitch. Then I'll be cutting some batting to fit under it and working the edges to hide the 1/4" of muslin. In some areas I will have to cut it, others I can fold it under, iron and satin stitch over it. This will help to give the edge some substance making for a thick satin seam.

I might be able to work a few stitches in the next three days as I am working day shifts and home between 5:30 and 6:30pm. But I don't have another whole day until Sunday. I'm really feeling energetic and full of creative juices with this quilt. Wish I had more time to work on it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There is a Wolf

With the sample wolf cut, I felt OK about setting out to cut the full sized wolf. Every quilt I do has it's similarities in how I put it all together, but there are always a few problems to solve in how to get from point A to point B. I want the wolf to have some extra padding, to give him a little 3D, jump right out of the quilt, feel. Stitching each piece to the backing would not allow me to do this. So I decided to stitch the wolf to a piece of muslin first so that I could cut some padding to go under the whole wolf. I will then stitch around the edges to sew the wolf to the backing. Hand or machine quilting will then define areas of the wolf.
I started yesterday before going to work with the navy wool. I drew patterns as I usually do from tissue to cut the three pieces out. Fusing large blocks of fabric with Wonder Under makes cutting easier to control with the paper backing still on. I was pleased with the accuracy of the cut pieces. Yesterday I also got the muslin cut and the pattern pieces all drawn on the tissue.
OK, these aren't the best photos I have ever taken. My little digital camera uses lithium batteries. They don't last long and obviously I need some new ones. All the pieces for the wolf got cut today and I fused them to the muslin. Once the inner stitching is done I will cut the muslin to the outside edges of the wool to prepare to stitch the whole to the backing. After fusing, I couldn't resist the urge to see how it looked on the backing with the tree in place. I pinned it to the quilt on the work wall and took a whole lot of pictures, which came out awful - thanks to my waning batteries. Above and below are the best of those photos.
Generally I am pleased with the progress. Tomorrow, another day off work, I will be experimenting with thread color on my sample. I am thinking that I will be choosing bright colors to liven up the dullness of the wools. I like the lines of the wolf a lot and I have some fun ideas of how to use those lines to create some excitement with wolfie. I'm going to buy some new lithiums tomorrow morning so I will be taking more shots tomorrow night.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tree Piecing

Started working on the colors for the tree running through Peter and the Wolf. Above are the first cuttings for the tree pinned to the background colors. Below is a detail of the tree. It shows the patterning well but the colors are not accurate at all. I love piecing trees. They are so much fun and so beautiful.

The tree will be stitched on top of the wolf as it cuts through the wolf. Actually the wolf is circling the tree hunting down the bird, just out of it's reach. So my next project is to take my sample of the wolf, decide for certain on the fabrics and start to cut them. They will be stitched on a piece of muslin so that I can pad the wolf, making him stick out a bit in relief.
Above is the final shot of the tree, all the colors are as I want them. They are just pinned in place but the wonder under is on the back of each one. Once the wolf is fleshed out, stitched and ready to place on the background, I can iron down the tree and stitch it in.

My next three days are 8 hour days at work so I won't get to sew much until next week. Well unless we get another storm with a foot or more of snow. As much as I hate the snow right about now, another snow day in the studio would be fun.