Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WIP: The Dogs

I haven't written a progress-update post in a while, mostly because I haven't been making much progress!  When I got back from Seattle last week I spent a fair amount of time cleaning up the studio in anticipation of really digging back into my various ongoing projects, and as testament to how long it's been since I've really gone through things, the pile on my "most current things" table had unaddressed stuff from early March...

I got it all cleaned up and have since been working away on my dog portraits which I'll talk more about in a minute.  I do somehow seem to have gotten a bunch of unfinished projects tacked up in mid-completion.

So, no progress this week on:
Armadillo Whole Cloth (this is just for practice FMQ)
Orchard Quilt (I'm about 1/3rd done quilting this)
Mountains (This just needs binding/pocket/label, but I'm still not totally satisfied with the large green foreground mountains, so we'll see what I decide)
Rainbow Star (The next step on this is piecing the piano key border)
Mammal Medallion (This is my next big art quilt, still in the early design stages)

I have been working hard on the dog portraits- I'd originally wanted to finish them by the end of this month to enter a show, but I really don't think I'm going to make it.

Since I last posted I finished the thread painting on the Pumpkin dog and layered the Pumpkin dog and the Bullett dog for quilting.  I stretched/ironed them out as flat as I could (Bullett had been stapled to a blocking board for months anyway), and layered them with two batts.  I used wool batting since that's what I have right now.  I put two batts because I thought that might help with any distortion in the top from the dense thread painting and that it might give a little extra weight to help with hanging.  I hate seeing quilts that don't hang straight and flat (and mine often have that problem).

I'm quilting each dog separately and then am going to mount them to a separate quilted back piece (kind of like pinning a picture to a bulletin board).  More on that when I get to it.  I quilted the "dog" part of Bullett and Pumpkin using clear monofilament (since they're already so covered in thread from the thread painting), and was pleased with how they flattened out.

I decided to wait to do the backgrounds until I've thread painted Missy since I'd like all the backgrounds to look consistent and I think I'll have a better chance of that if I quilt them at the same time.  So in the last couple of days I've been working on Missy.  Slow going with all the thread changes but I think she's looking good so far (the weird circle is where I had her hooped).

I've noticed that the thread painting on Pumpkin is much more dense than that on Bullett (who was finished first a couple of years back).  I'm trying for a happy medium on Missy.

No Link up at Lee's this week, but I'm going to be sharing over at the fabulous Nina-Marie's.


  1. Your thread painting is fantastic! Thanks for sharing on Nina Marie's blog.

  2. I was able to see two of your quilts in the Fiber Arts Festival in Albuquerque today. I *should* have taken pictures of them hanging in the show, but didn't think of it until I'd left. Sorry about that!

  3. I love your dogs, I would like to do something similar with a photo of my dog but I've never really thread painted so it scares me a bit :)

    1. Silvia, I tried to reply via e-mail but you're a no reply blogger so I'll just do it here. I'm so glad you like the dogs, you should totally try it, this was my first try and it isn't hard. My two greatest recommendations (which I wish I'd figured out sooner) are to use good stabilizer and to use a hoop. I do that just on my regular sewing machine (with a regular embroidery hoop) so it doesn't have to be anything special. Good luck!

  4. Great little hair over the dog's eye!

    1. Thanks Cay, That poor little dog always has hair in her eyes, I don't know how she can ever see anything!