Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quilting Blue Song

I've been working on the quilting for 2 days - first the blue flowers, then the sky, and finally the stems and leaves.  The colors blend in pretty well, so it's not super visible, just gives it some definition.  I still have the grass and butterflies to do.




Monday, January 21, 2013

Magic Paint

Hmm...if only I could make that one flower disappear.  Well, I think I did, mostly!
If you look really closely, you'll see it's still there, just hiding in the grass.  In printing the flower, I covered the bottom leaf next to the rock, so I started by reprinting that leaf.  I added some more blades of grass on top of the white, and repainted the part of the rock that had white on it.  So from a distance it's not really visible, and close up, it's just peaking out from the grass. The others may be a little more prominent than I want at this point, but I think the quilting will blend them in a bit more.

Next - the quilting.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Rocks and More Flowers

Sorry its been a week since my last post.  It's taken me that long to decide on the last couple of elements for this piece.  I auditioned various amounts, combinations and placements of the rocks before deciding on the arrangement below.
I think this gives it a bit more balance and grounds it, although I thought the rocks might be a little dark.  What I did before fusing them down is add a layer of beige netting that I fused to the top of each rock. It makes them just a little bit lighter and softer, and adds a little shimmer.

Then as a last sort of impulse addition, I thought some small white flowers in the grass would give it a little more spark.  I had some small wooden stamps that I thought would work but neither one showed up very well.  Instead I tried a small screen that I used as the center of some of the other flowers. I liked it on the sample so I went ahead and started adding.  This is what I ended up with.
Hmm....maybe not the best decision?  Except for the one on the bottom left, I think it will be OK. But I'd really like to get rid of that one.  Come back tomorrow to see what I do next.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Finished Leaves and Stems

 I used these 2 leaf stamps to fill in some of the space in the garden.
 At this point, I like it, but decide to see what it looks like if I add some butterflies left over from another project.
The butterflies are screen printed on yellow fabric and have fusible on the back so when I decide on the final placement they can be fused in place.  I'm planning on one more addition but am not quite there yet.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Printed Leaves & Stems

In the last post I showed a thermofax screen I made for printing stems.  It's actually text - the first 2 lines of Song Sung Blue:
Song song blue, everybody knows one
Song sung blue, every garden grows one.
 I think the use of text adds an interesting element and also ties the piece in with the song.
 Above are some of the stamps I used for leaves and stems on the smaller flowers.  The 2 pink ones are carved from Speedy Carve and the other is made from a foam sheet with adhesive on one side; it is mounted on a piece of Styrofoam meat tray.
Here's an unobstructed view. More additions to come.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Leaves and Stems

Yesterday I showed the yellow added to the blue flowers.  I decided it was a bit too much, so I toned it down by overpainting the biggest areas with blue. I had added green to the center of the flowers, and also painted some blue on top of that.  Better. I also added centers to the large stamped flowers.

 Now its time for stems and leaves.  Here I am auditioning some stamps and a screen.  The stamps will work well for the smaller flowers.  The screen is one I made for the stems of the taller flowers.  Results of that tomorrow.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Building Up Layers (2)

Let's try this again.  Here are the next 2 photos in the process.
 Above, I added more detail to the flowers.  You can see that the dark blue flowers had a second screen that outlined the petals and filled in the center.  I thought the yellow would work for this but hmm....a little too much yellow?  Well, I decided to let it go for the time being and continue adding.
I had carved a flower stamp, but wasn't sure if I wanted to use it.  I made some modifications to it and added 3 prints.  I thought it was a positive addition. More tomorrow on what comes next.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Building Up Layers

There are more pictures to come, but I'm having a problem uploading the pictures with blogger.  Hopefully the problem will be resolved soon so I can continue showing the progress on this piece.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Song Sung Blue - Next Steps

Yesterday I showed the start of this project.  After looking at the printed flowers on the design wall, I thought there were too many light flowers, so I overpainted some of the lighter ones with a navy blue. Better.


Then I started on the flower centers, using a combination of stencils and screens to add more detail. Looking OK so far. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Brand New Year, Brand New Start

2013 - Brand new year - wow, I remember thinking about 10 years ago how far away that date seemed, it being the year I reach full retirement age with the state.  And now its here.  Happy, YES! But also more aware of how quickly time passes.  9 more months (till retirement) but it will fly by. 

I've also been contemplating what to focus on creatively for this coming year.  Not sure I've come to a conclusion, but have a few things I would like to pursue.  Sketching is one.  I've tried rather unsuccessfully to keep a sketchbook, but I think this is the year to try harder.  I've gotten some inspiration from a few sources - books and blogs - and would love to say I'll make a daily sketch, but realistically, once a week may be more doable.

I just read Lynn Krawczyk's post on her blog about an idea from the JustB blog - a month's worth of creative prompts.  Think I'll have to check that out.  Maybe ideas for sketching prompts.  Hmm....  And posting to this blog more regularly...starting today.

Finishing projects is always on the list.  Thought I'd share the process for one I'm working on now.  It's a quilt guild challenge based on top songs from 40 years ago to celebrate the guild's 40th anniversary this year.  All the participants chose a song from the billboard top 100 of 1974 - I chose "Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond.  One of my favorite singer/songwriters.  The piece was originally going to be all block printed, but after doing the background, I decided to combine screen printing, stenciling and block printing, similar to a piece of fabric I created last summer. (Truth be told, it was going to take longer to carve stamps than I had time for!)

Here's the first step, with the sky and grass block printed for the background.  There is actually  more layered printing of the grass than shows in this picture; it looks like I didn't take a picture with that additional printing, but you can see it in the image below.

My vision is a garden of blue flowers, hence the blue flowers printed above.  "Song sung blue, everybody knows one.  Song sung blue, every garden grows one."  These are all thermofax screens made from photos of flowers.  More on the process tomorrow!