On the 16th, I left Reno to go to Sacramento.
via South Lake Tahoe!!
On the 8th day of my trip, I was in Montana, still looking for the mountains. Most of the afternoon, through the heat and dust haze, I saw 1 mountain range in the distance, and it ALWAYS had a big cloud over it.
On the 9th day, I went through Glacier National Park, from the east. Outside the Park, on the west, I found a great little cabin. It had ac, and no stomping feet or loud tv's (no tv's, actually, LOL) and was restful.
On day 10 (July 10) I didn't go far, finding yet another cabin in the woods, where the air was still very fragrant from the pine forests. Additionally there was a crystal clear, somewhat cold (refreshing) lake only steps from my cabin, and some folks from Wisconsin who were very friendly and generous with their brats and beer. I had a wonderful time, and a restful sleep.
Wow, it seems like such a long time since I posted something, ANYTHING, here on "Having New Eyes"! It's not all because of the holidays...It's been a really difficult fall/winter so far for my husband, healthwise, with lots of trips to doctors, hospitals, and ERs. The upside is that, though finishing the AK quilt at home took longer than expected, I have had lots of handwork time in waiting rooms! Can't wait to start sharing some of that with you.
The big news, though, is that I finished the Alaska quilt the night before Christmas, when all through the house.... well, you know the lyrics. Chuck was touched beyond any gift he received this year, and there were quite a few that touched him. This quilt contains all the wildlife and scenery that he enjoyed on his month long travels in Alaska, and while it ended up being bigger than I'd planned, it fits perfectly on the wall in front of his leatherworking workbench and he often stops tooling to sit and look.
This last picture is of the one patch border I decided to finish with, using pieces from all the fat quarters Chuck brought back for me from his trip. The imagery in the quilt comes from multiple sources. Some are actual photographs from his trip, printed on fabric and fused into the scenery. Others are stock photos, similarly printed and fused. Two images are my own paintings on fabric that I cut out and fused. The water of the river was such fun, so abstract! Lots of applique, plus plenty of decorative threads and lace.
Something I'm really enjoying about this quilt as it unfolds is the color. All of the colors that I see in his photos are coming out of the quilt, with perhaps even more vividness. Look at the green and blue!! Chuck saw quite a few moose on his trip through Alaska. This beauty is actually cut from a fabric that feature moose panels! I just used steam a seam to fuse it.
At the northernmost point in his trip, Chuck got to try out some gold panning. He'd learned the basic techniques in the Black Hills, SD, and had the equipment he needed. He actually did find a few small pieces of gold, and even at the current price, they represented about .25 an hour! LOL!
Here is a sneak peak at the rushing stream, complete with leaping salmon. The stream is definitely mixed media!
Quilting the background, and threadpainting the elements in a quilt, are for me quite enjoyable, IF I have a machine that works for me. I've tried and quit 2 machines and keep coming back to my little Bernina. Once I finally gave up on my most recent, Janome 1600P, and reinstalled my baby in the sewing table, I was easily putting in 3 hours a day, (on those days where I'm actually home!) without tears, frustrations, or wasted time trying to find just the right needle and just the right tension.
The animals picture in this post were ones that Chuck did see and photograph in AK, but his photos weren't clear enough for the quilt so I found images to use and print out on fabric. Here is the basic threadpainted fox - there is still some shading to do, as well as some painting on the facial features to really bring her out.
A highlight of Chuck's trip was the shuttle to Mt McKinnley, when a lynx actually strolled up to the side of the road, where the bus was stopped, and sat down in the sun to clean himself. Even the bus driver was astonished, getting out his own camera. We have endearing photos and some video footage of the actual lynx, but I needed a clearer, 'posed', shot, so found another image to use for the quilt. He, too, lacks the finishing touches, but the fundamental thread painting is done.
I'd like to at least acknowledge a landscape quilting product that I really love to use, especially when I'm using a combination of fuse/glue/pin methods of attaching elements. Now, I have to qualify what I just said! This isn't actually a quilting notion at all, but is used by tailors and seamstresses to transfer oft used patterns to a more durable, but non woven, material than tissue paper. It's called Do Sew and it can be found at Clotilde or Sew Sassy fabrics, to name a few. I cut off as much as I need and it becomes the foundation layer of a quilt where I'm gluing and pinning and rearranging elements, either on the table or a design wall. It's light enough that I can leave it in the quilt, no tearing or dissolving to get rid of it. I can also roll up the entire project if I need the table for something like, well, eating supper? LOL
I decided, rather late in the process that I needed to add evergreen trees. What's an Alaska landscape without trees!? During the quilting process, which I'll cover in more detail in a later post, I realized that the quilting would be MUCH easier if I waited to insert the trees AFTER I'd quilted the landscape behind them! Sigh. Live and learn, I suppose.
While some trees in the woods have lost their needles/leaves for good, having lived a, hopefully, full and vibrant life through many seasons, others definitely needed some greenery added, which was easy to fuse after laboriously cutting them out while sitting in front of the tv.
Until this critter is finished, I have no dining room table - not even for company! It lays there, and I play with it like a jigsaw puzzle, trying new layouts, new fabrics, old layouts and fabrics. As I move forward, I keep discovering something else that Chuck saw on his trip that he'd want included. Here are 2 little painted objects to add:
I painted them the way I learned from a workshop with Tracie Lyn Huskamp. All that's left is to, um, back them with fusing, cut them out and FIGURE OUT WHERE TO PUT THEM. !
Other objects I've fussy cut out of the novelty fabrics that Chuck brought home from Alaska:
Other objects are from photos Chuck took in Alaska, that I printed out onto fabric:
Everything looks pretty one dimensional right now, but once I actually decide that everything's in the right place, and start thread painting, I can't wait to see the depth appear!
Believe it or not, when my husband returned home from his Alaskan adventure, he brought with him a bag of FABRIC that he'd purchased in A QUILT STORE! This is the man who accelerates past quilt shops whenever we travel together, LOL. Several years ago I made a wall quilt to commemorate a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota. I guess he liked it, because he definitely wants something to commemorate the Alaska trip, and actually entered the forbidden domain of quilters and purchased a bunch of fat quarters plus some novelty and panel fabric. Here are some of the fabrics Chuck came home with:
Some novelty fabric I've already cut up:
Some of the many fat quarters:
Novelty fabrics yet to cut up:
Novelty fabrics partly cut:
And then there are the fabrics I printed from photos that Chuck took in Alaska:
This little quilt is 25" x 20". I used fusibles, gluestick, spray baste (505), several different kinds of thread, hand sewn beads, machine attached trims, free motion quilting and some thread painting. I used 2 different kinds of tulle, one with multiple sparkles to lend magic to the landscape behind the giraffes, and a plain bridal tulle to provide a "haze" to the distance, bringing the main giraffe into the foreground. There are painted details making the giraffe darker, blending the edges of the different values of gray, and providing just a hint of his spots. The acacia tree is from a tone on tone gray, fused, and then free motion zig zagged with a variegated greens and browns thread, and finally embellished on the top branches with translucent beads like spots of the sunset hitting the leaves. Hidden in the ground on the front I've free motion quilting my name, and signed my name on the back. I used a white, thin thread in the bobbin - Superior Thread Bottom line, and all the lines I made with the machine show on the dark back of the quilt, with the large giraffe and the tree outlined, plus the background stippling. I lightly outlined the giraffe with a black ink pen and faintly drew in some spots.
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