Wednesday, 13 January 2016

WOW 13th Jan

Hi Everyone,
Where is Jan going. This post I started on Sat 9th and by the time I link on Wed 13th to Esther's WOW the month will amost be halfway over. Since New Year our days have been a mix of cloud, showers and sun and very humid. so ideal to spend time in my sewing room.
I have made good progress with my Gecko and all my mosaic pieces are now in place.

Very happy at this stage as this replicates my metal original well.
 I did change my gold and deep red over on the lower back leg this morning after making the other 3 the other way. Don't know why but light to the front of the leg just feels better to me.

The next stage is outside my comfort zone by several miles!!! I want to free motion stitch all over my Gecko to make sure the applique pieces stay in place and also give another texture.

My stitching doesn't show up very well, probably a good thing as I have some pointy turns and some crossing of my lines LOL.
 However I love the extra layer of texture it has given, I used a Wonderfil metallic copper thread, first time I have tried it and it sewed beautifully

Have also decided I want to create a real 3D effect to the head so went out this morning and bought eyes - several of them.LOL.

Not sure which is my favourite but am leaning towards the copper haf button at the bottom.
I want to create an eye hood that sits over most of the button which will be fun in itself!!!

Now to cut my Gecko away from the backing fabric and add some padding.

Traced the outline onto iron on Pellon batting then cut it out a quarter inch inside my trace line.
Had to fuse it from the right side with baking paper to protect my "skin" so it took a while but it is in place  - but - I want more  padding to the body!!!!

This is the third layer, underneath is a a smaller layer and hopefully when stitched to my background the body will really leap out. I don't like waste so these layers have been pieced from my off cut of pellon.

Decided on my background fabric after trying several and ruling them out as either too dark, too light, too busy etc

An offcut of curtain fabric which I am using horizontally as feel it gives the look of trellis work that my Gecko is climbing up. Fabric is textured which will give another dimension.
Realised this morning I needed to make my eye hoods before I place my gecko as stitching them   afterwards will flatten my head.

Very happy with the result as it was just trial and error. Steve redrew my pattern as I wasn't sure how much to increase it by to get the lift I needed. I cut it as a double shape so fused in half I had a sealed outer edge. Trickiest part was FMQ those tiny pieces but holding tight to my starting threads got the fabric moving. I then pinned an eye in place to judge what line I needed to follow for my curve to get the lift. Haven't decided which eyes to use but have to stitch him down first anyway.
 Now to get him onto my background.

Linking shortly with Esther's Work on Wednesday and looking forward to the 15th when she releases Hazel and Little Hazel which might be the one for me to make.
This week having been a long term member of Esther's BOM group I have been spending time exploring Facebook as Esther has advised members she is moving her group there.
I have been a member of Facebook for several years but guess I was what is called a "stalker" as I never posted about myself but used it to catch up on what my friends were doing. 
It was only a few weeks ago through using help that I discovered that to post a comment you push the enter key, I had been clicking here there and everywhere and my comments never posted. LOL
This week I added a profile picture - Gracie not me at this stage- so slowly I am moving with the times. I have been surprised how easy it is to navigate within Esther's groups and even managed to post photo's of my Lily Rose. Learning is a real pleasure however you do it.
This year I intend to finish my LE, only the final border to complete. One day soon I will take the time to edit my album of my LE progress and add it to Esther's group but I have taken sooooo many photo's of my journey it will take a while.

Enjoy your Wednesday Everyone, Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Happy New Year

Hi Everyone,
Hope you have all had a wonderful peace filled Christmas with your family and friends.
We had a quiet day, joined very good friends for midday Christmas Dinner and shared with their family in a special day. After Mum's passing last year it was lovely spending time with a family who still have parents with them.

Since finishing my Ginny Beyer 24" block have not been sure what I want to do next.
LE has come out again and I have stitched some more of final border 2 but I can't stay focused on it but 2016 is the year it will be finished.
I loved Terry Aske's recent blog on how to create portrait quilts and am now thinking about doing one of Grace but I haven't go very far. Have played with a photo, not quite how Terry describes but I love this version.

 Used a water paint effect with Photoscape and although Grace is a jet black dog this is giving me ideas for highlights and how to bring her to life in fabric,  Also love how our horrible textured 70/80's carpet has been given a new look, could be the ideal background fabric to look for.  LOL

DH and I don't buy each other presents at Christmas but I have been looking for ages for a metal ghecko for on our front deck, the week before Christmas I finally found one I still liked on my second viewing so home he came and luckily Steve likes him too so he is our Christmas present for the house.

My favourite colours at the moment he's waiting for a few extra layers of automotive clear coat before heading outside as all the open work is copper wire so while waiting I have another project idea that might be simpler than a portrait of Grace.

 Traced around our ghecko, drew in the eyes as best I could (you can see how they are hooded and bulge up) and added the other pattern lines and colour shading marks. 26" from nose to bend of tail and 20" across back toes so this might be a challenge after all. Have a couple of fabrics that might work plus this piece of  synthetic snake skin look fabric.

My thought is that if I cut a complete Ghecko from this fabric and then work on how to overlay the other fabrics and colours it may come together. There is a seamless blend in the paint effect so how can I acheive that?

To other things. El Nino this year has brought us continous hot sunny days. They take Whangarei temp's at the airport by the sea in a louvered box and are being recorded as high 20's but at home we know we have been getting low to mid 30's. By 5.30pm we can barely sit in our lounge as the sun moves round and streams in for the next three hours so a solution had to be found.

This sunsail has made a huge difference although we still need a fan in the lounge to move air around.
It is a little darker inside but we can take it down for winter when we do want the late sun to stream in. Metal extension brace at one end and a new post at the other to give us good head height on the deck plus the proper tension. The support timber will come off once the post concrete has fully hardened. Because of the post's position we will now add another fence out to the boundary fence to make it look like it belongs there and seperate our exta parking space from the front yard.
Since we replaced our front fence the area has become a haven for Blackbirds and Thrushes.

I added 2 stones to our birdbath as it was never used and suddenly, IT IS being used, I think it was to deep and slippery and not private enough. On the left Mum Blackbird is on the branch and Dad is feeding Baby on the ground. These are taken from our dining room so are not great photo's Today it was Mum Thrush and her 3 chicks playing here, one still with a couple of down feathers on her head.

This is now a two week blog so Happy New Year everyone, It has gone from sweltering yesterday to a subtropical low overnight bringing first wind and now steady rain with the forecast for thunderstorms and heavy downpours today and tomorrow. - Welcome 2016 -  at least a few days of not watering the garden!!!

This morning I cut a complete background Ghecko from my pattern and fused it to another fabric which I intend to cut away once my applique is complete.

The flash has lightened the body area but this fabric is great, if I didn't want to add colour I couldn't have asked for a more lifelike fabric. While I was looking for A3 pages to trace my pattern on I came across some mosaic patterns I had forgotten about so this is my answer for colour blending
I picked 8 fabrics to hopefully blend from red through yellow to dark green and set to work drawing mosaic pieces on the reverse of my pattern, numbering and then shading them. If it doesn't work for the tail then it won't work at all!!!!

I didn't expect 60 pieces just for the tail - this is going to be a project after all.
After a very wet New Years afternoon spent with friends I got down to the task on Saturday and this is the result.

Again the flash has changed my snakeskin fabric but am I very happy with how the tail has come together, now for the head.

Not even thinking about the eyes at this stage, only colouring my background.
Dropped off the red and orange and added a deeper green at the neck end.
Only 38 pieces this time

I think I am going to do the main body next and leave the legs till last starting with the two areas that are metal on the original and then mosiac over them to get a softer blend of the orange and red.

Wrong Option!!!!

The solid cololour looked better than my mosiac overlay but I felt it was just too solid so to a new plan, luckily my fabric peeled off without problem. I cut a new solid pattern and drew my mosiac on it as I wanted to keep the crisp outline.

3 Pieces in place and this is working out like the perfect jigsaw puzzle.

Cut a shape out, pin my pattern in place and I have the perfect template for positioning.

And here we are on Tuesday 5th Jan.

Love the body elements but that leg has taken ages but now  I think I need to move my gold to the front of the leg, LOL
Photo's are a great way to view from a distance and make alterations before it's to late!!!

Another couple of garden photo's before I link to Esther's first WOW for 2016.

Old Lady Jacaranda across the street from us has been beautiful this year, we get to enjoy all her glory
 and don't have to clean up her carpet of fallen flowers.

 Agapanthus now blooming right outside my sewing room window.
I wonder why I love blue and purple so much.

Potted Hydrangea by our front steps, will have to go in the garden after flowering as although healthy last year flowers were much deeper so needs more nutrients but this lovely pastel pink is gorgeous as is the orchid peeping through.

That's it everyone, thanks for taking the time to visit and I love to read your comments.
Now linking with Esther's WOW
Cheer's Jenny