Bonus though, the guests this weekend are my sister Becky and the beloved not-quite-a-baby-anymore Anna Banana! I'm so super excited to see them. Becky thinks Anna is old enough to be introduced to (edible, non-toxic) play doh, so we're going to make some and see what happens. Also, super exciting news, Anna's going to have a baby brother along in September, so boy sewing starts now!
Anyhow, I want to share a bit this week about a project that I've finally pulled out of the wasteland of the WIP-drawers, my dog portrait quilt. This is actually the only item left on my very first UFO-WIP list, from back in 2011. Sadly, I haven't really done anything with it since then. I mentioned back at the beginning of this year that finishing it was going to be one of my goals for this year. I hadn't planned to start working on it until this summer but my mom sent me this call for entry and I thought I might try to finish it and enter.
I started with three pictures of my (then) three dogs, Pumpkin, Bullett, and Missy and then edited them in photoshop. Pumpkin has since passed away and we've acquired two new dogs, but I'm just doing these three for this project.
I printed them on fabric sheets we treated and ironed to freezer paper and then sewed them together, so each one is about the size of four 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper. I put interfacing on the backs of all of them but evidently not strong enough because Bullett and Pumpkin both shrunk up when I started the thread painting. I got so frustrated with that, I put them away (for a couple of years!). I really love the edited pictures though so I'm just going to power through and finish them. They'll all be assembled into one piece, probably with offset grey borders/sashing.
Bullett has been completely thread painted. Pumpkin was two-thirds done when I put them aside; in the last week I've finished her left eye, ear, and the side of her face. My goal for the rest of this week is to finish her mouth and chest.
Since I'm thread painting really densely in one area but not others (the backgrounds) I don't think there's any way to completely avoid the shrinking. However, to minimize it I've started hooping whatever section I want to work on, which has the added benefit of being easier to maneuver. I've decided I'm going to get all three dogs done and then block them out as flat as I can, then layer for quilting before filling in the backgrounds. I'm not optimistic about this since they're really wrinkly, but I'll hope for the best.
Anybody have any experience with this kind of thread painting? I haven't started Missy yet, so any suggestions for a better approach would be greatly appreciated.