I have almost finished my Trend Tex challenge for the Canada Quilting Association show and what a lot of work it was! I have combined hand and machine work, a little paint here and there and lots of applique....stitching and more stitching. I'm finishing up the binding now. Here is a sneak peak of a very tiny section. You can tell how close up it is because the material is not at all open weave and I can spot a tiny cat hair.....must remove that.
In the next piece which I started before Christmas, I am trying to capture the look of underwater rocks. In the photo that I took at Fishing Cove in Cape Breton, the sun was turning the water into a prism and you could see tiny rainbows on the underwater rocks. So I am using some of Elaine Quehl's lovely fabric as well as some others I had in my stash to create a fanciful interpretation of the rocks. I've appliqued them to a black background. Then I plan to free motion stitch over it to create movement. I may use some paint and/or shiny organza but the fabrics themselves have lots of subtle colour changes. Anyway, here is a tiny corner of this rocky piece. Don't you just love the colours!
Here is a bit of the original photo (sorry I didn't have time to remove it from its frame so the effects are dulled a bit). The sunshine on the water created a yellowish tinge to the rocks with the tiny rainbows and sparkles here and there. If you click on it for a closer look you might be able to see some of the rainbow colours.
In this last one, I had an idea! I know that artists often underpaint in a certain colour (red, orange, blue etc) to achieve a special effect. I wanted to start another piece with a stream running through a field (memories of my childhood hanging around creeks, forests and fields). I wanted the fabric to act as an underpainting using stitching to create the added colours and texture. In my mind I could see these fields, hills and stream with the late afternoon sun giving a yellow hue to everything (I really seem to be into yellow this winter!?). So I chose a background fabric with yellow-orange and yellow. I added a bit of watercolour crayon to guide me with the colour changes and started to stitch. I've been at it over a week of evenings so far... I'm not sure what will happen (or if my fingers will hold out) but it's a good way for me to practice my hand stitching and experiment at the same time. For awhile this winter most of my work was on machine and I found myself very restless in the evenings....I needed some hand stitching.
I started machine work in the past year because of intermittent pain in my fingers whenever I hand stitch but I do find so much peace in the hand stitching that I guess I'll just grin and bear it for now. And maybe someday I'll be able to sit down at the machine without holding my breath the whole time and expecting the worst:)
Here's a final close up - of my son's dog who stayed with us a couple of weeks ago. He had glaucoma years ago and had to have one eyeball replaced with an artificial one. It looks pretty realistic but you can see his eyes are different (the light coloured one is the real one). He was watching birds in my backyard and probably had his eye on the back door as well to see if we would invite him inside.