Thursday, June 25, 2015

Animal Quilt - Center Panel Part 2

After getting the rhino and grasses finished for the center panel, I started working on my tree.  I drew only one limb, a few branches and leaves and the tree trunk.  I quilted the outside lines first then I started in the center of the tree and stitched some curvy lines up and down the tree trunk. Then I continued with wavy lines out the branch.

I plan on making some more branches so my tree will look more like a tree. I also want my tree branches to be outside the center panel and out into the sashing areas so that the tree will look much closes to the viewer and give it some "pop."

After doing the initial quilting, I colored the tree with my Inktense pencils and the color goes on looking darker since its wet, which is fairly misleading as to what your going to wind up with. I felt the colors were too light and didn't vary in intensity at all, so I went back in with the Tsukineko inks and darkened some areas which really helped.

My tree also looks pretty wavy. Not sure I like it but it definitely gives my tree a nice roundish look and some texture. I may add some more quilting when it's done I don't know yet. Also, this tree is going to be an applique on the rhino panel. So I'm going to trim away the batting as close as possible to the stitching while leaving about 1/4" of the top fabric. I'll turn the fabric under when I stitch it onto the panel.

I also made some leaves to go on my tree and extra branches. I simply stitched some areas, added some quilting or not and then I used the inks to color them.  They will appliqu├ęd on as well. I'll probably need some more leaves at some point but this is what I've gotten done so far.  They may or may not work, I won't know until I start to put the panel together.

I trimmed the batting away from the tree and grasses and laid them out on the rhino panel to get an idea of what it looks like so far. Not bad.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Animal Quilt - Quetzal Bird

All the 10x10" animal squares for the quilt are done. I just have to figure out how much/little to quilt them. I've been working on the center panel quilting/painting the tree and leaves but that's for another post.

The borders of the quilt are 10" wide and I was going to paint them and include some plants, flowers, animals and maybe an insect or two. I wanted to include the Quetzal bird because he's really colorful and I doubt many people have even heard of it. So I went ahead and painted it.

The painting looks okay but this little guy looks more iridescent and the paint just didn't capture his brilliant plumage. So, I decided to try to thread paint it using embroidery thread. I tried to match the colors to what I had in the way of thread and started with a zig zag line in the different areas to stabilize it a bit. I don't have any stabilizer ironed to the back of this and I probably should have. 

I started with the yellow and added that to the feathers and head/beak areas. Then I went for a darker green. Remember to build your colors and add highlights or lighter colors at the end. I added dark red on the breast area and filled in with a brighter red. I added the black area next and some bright blue highlights. For the branch I used two colors of brown (one dark and one light) in the top thread. It got pretty dense but I like how the effect. 

The tail is really long and I used a dark green and a dark blue and then added lighter colors on top but I wanted it darker then the main bird. You can see how my fabric/batting have pulled and bunched up which is because I didn't have any stabilizer to help keep the fabric in place.  My bird isn't really done yet. I'm going to trim the backing away as close as possible but leave 1/4" of fabric around my bird and turn him into an applique. I'll hand sew it onto my border and then I'll sew I'll finish the bird blending his feathers out. 

I also just realized I forgot to sewn his feet on the branch. I'll fix that later. But so far so good. I'm pretty happy with how this applique turned out. Maybe I'll video the next one so you can see how I did it. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Animal Quilt - Manatee

I have to admit I really like how this one turned out.  I was thinking "oh good lord another gray blob to paint and have to make it look good" so needless to say I wasn't thinking this would turn out well.

And since the manatee lives in tropical water, I went for aqua blues and greens for the background.  I started by roughly outlining the animal in gray and adding darker grays and some browns for shading.

I kept adding darker colors to add shape to the animal and white to highlight skin folds and sunlight. The background looked kinda drab so I added some water leafy things to add interest. Overall, it definitely looks like a manatee enjoying a swim.