Sunday, September 25, 2011

Geisha quilt comes to life!

After my big oopsie, I decided that I needed a new direction for my Geisha quilt. So, being a newbie at many textile techniques, I decided to send off an email to the first artist that I ever followed on my blog, Lyric Kinard. In the email, I asked for her advice on painting on a quilt that has already been partially quilted; during my email, I thought "hey, I could always do a test sandwich, but I've already written this, so off it goes to the pro." To my surprise and delight, Lyric answered my question within just a couple of hours (which is awesome, because when I get the urge to create, I am not so very patient) - her reply gave me great advice on using a couple of different techniques, and reinforced the need to do a test sandwich. This is what happened next:

I grabbed my new favourite palette

I made a test sandwich (which, as you can see, I used all weekend long)

I have to say here that the test sandwich was the most amazingly cool idea, since it let me play with different colour mixes, and play with how much dilution I might need in order to achieve the look that I wanted. And, after about 5 hours of painting, here is what I came up with:

The full shot ( I love how the colours look here!)

Close up

I was loving the way that this looked, but I needed something more; it was time to sleep, so I went to bed and let my brain mull this all over. Geishas generally have their face and neck painted white, but not their hands, so I knew that I needed more fabric paint - not a problem, since there is an awesome art store called The Upstart Crow about 5 minutes from where I live. From there, my only challenge was to figure out how to paint the chopsticks in my Geisha's hair, without "overdoing" it... eventually, I came up with this:


It took a while to get it all planned out and done, and though it's hard to see, I did actually paint the chopsticks, using Jacquard's Lumiere paint in iridescent. In all, I think that it's looking great, and I am excited to use my blue thread with gold metallic in it from Yenmet on the kimono. The coolest part about using the Yenmet threads, which I also used to do the design surrounding the Geisha, is that it's made in Japan. Perfect match, right? Yeah!!

Oh, and if you are wondering - for the blue on the kimono, I used sky blue transparent mixed with shimmer gold opaque Setacolor paint, diluted with water; for the collar, I used only the gold shimmer paint diluted with a little water. Next, for the red dressing in her hair and around her waist, I mixed oriental red transparent with vermillion transparent, and a bit of shimmer gold opaque Setacolor paint, and of course a bit of water. The ginko leaves were painted with fairly diluted green gold opaque paint, and accented with diluted fawn transparent Setacolor paint. The toughest part was the Geisha's hands, which were done in fawn transparent, with a bit of sienna opaque Setacolor paint added to the mix; in order to get such a light color, a fair amount of water was added to the paint in order to dilute to the right shade. After putting paint on her hands, I used a clean paper towel to lift some of it off, so as to make the colour wash even lighter - overall, I am very happy with the results, and looking forward to working on the rest of this quilt!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My big "oopsie"...

So, these days I am becoming intimately familiar with just how long it takes to remove stitching that doesn't work on a quilt. I've been working on a Japanese themed quilt for awhile now, and need to finish it by November so that I can give it as a gift. I did some stitching that I really like around the Geisha, but when I tried to add some detail to her, I got stuck on what thread to use. Here are a couple of pictures:

This is an overvies of the entire quilt

And this is some detail of the stitching around the Geisha

On the left of the picture above, you can see the thicker thread that I used to add detail; I liked the colours, but the thread is too thick, so I need to remove it. I've bought some black and white thread to use instead, and it is much finer, with a bit of gloss to it; I sure hope that this works better, but only time will tell, and I can't do anything until I fix it... so, a stitch ripping I will go (again!!).... Hoping to post an update with better results!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I have been working on a Japanese themed quilt lately, with a goal of getting it finished by November for the 21st birthday of my sweetheart's daughter. That said, the "craft bug" has been gnawing at me as well, and today I awoke with an idea for a cover for my Moleskine journal/datebook; here is what I came up with:


I must say that I am really quite pleased with the end result. I used fast 2 fuse for the interfacing, and am happy that I added a 1/2" allowance after tracing my book. I used plain black fabric on the inside, and made little pockets to slide the book covers into. The button has a flower in the middle, so it suits this piece perfectly I think. I am also happy that I stiched along where the spine lies at 1/8" intervals, since it makes the interfacing fold over much nicer. And to give it that "extra polished" look, I went over the whole border with satin stitch twice, to catch anything that was missed the first time around.

I must say that I really like this cover; I think that next time I will try adding signatures, instead of just making a cover - this, of course, depends on when I can get into town to buy the right paper and bookmaking tools, since it will be my first attempt. However, this was my first attempt at making a fabric journal cover, and it came out pretty darned good I think... I would love to know what you think of it as well, if you happened to find yourself visiting my little blog :-))