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Friday, 4 September 2015

Pike Lake in Progress

When I started this blog in 2009 (forever-ago), my purpose was to show buyers their commissions as I worked on them.  This was a way they could watch their request being created.  I realize I'm blogging less these days, but it's only because I'm busier.  I do take images of absolutely everything I've created from start to finish.  I thought I'd show you some of the current process.

I was asked by 'G' for a threadpainting of Pike Lake because it was a place full of memories for her.  I went out to the beach and took a series of photos and then emailed her a selection to chose from.  She wanted blue sky and liked the yellows and whites in this image.  I then took the image and tweaked the image a bit, cropping it how I thought looked best.

I cropped it square and now I can't locate that image.  So, this will have to do.  I then take a piece of fabric for the sky, and a couple for the earth.  I try to colour match, but it will all get stitched over anyway.  It's a good reference.  I like doing it this way rather than colouring in photos.  That would feel like cheating - but that's just me.  I'm stubborn and I want to do it on my own by sight.  It's way more challenging and great learning curves happen every time.

I like to challenge myself

I use a great big monitor screen and keep it on my sewing table for reference.  Once the fabric is set up, I chose some colours of thread.  This part is fun.  I love matching the right colours.  It's a bit like I-Spy.

Though most of this scene is green, I needed so many shades of greenish yellow and yellow.  the more I looked, the more I see.  I found greys, browns, and even deep pink and dusty rose.  It's a good exercise!

And then I start stitching.  That's pretty much it.

now I see.

I keep looking back and forth.  Some things I care less about  - like exact placement of each tree.  It doesn't matter if it's the background.  I do generally pick out colour changes, light and shadows.  I like the depth it creates.

I do like I do when I read maps.  I turn the map in the direction I'm going.  Do you do that?  I have to.  It drives my husband nuts when we use the GPS.  He likes North up top.  I like the road we are on up ahead to be what I see on the map.  Left is left.  Right is right.  When I'm stitching sideways, I have to turn the image on the monitor so it looks the same.  Turning things helps me notice parts I didn't notice before.

I started the flowers here.  When I'm working, I use a mat to see how things frame up.  This will be a bit bigger than 6" once it goes to get properly matted and framed.

There's so much more detail here that I notice only after I've started.  With more difficult pieces, I'll sketch it out first so that stitching makes sense.  (I wrote about this in my recent feature in Stitch UK magazine.)  This last photo is nearing the end of the machine work.  There it will sit until I get back to it with some hand stitching and machine work in the water.  And the finshing.  And the framing... lol  Still lots to go I suppose.

I haven't shown G yet, and I'm not sure if she reads this blog or not.  But I showed a photo to a relative of hers that I know, and it got the big thumbs up.  ; )  There.  Aren't you proud of me for showing you the ugly stages?

Have a great weekend everyone!


Bev said...

You do absolutely amazing work! You are one of a kind.

Lin said...

Lovely to see your process Monika, this is going to be gorgeous! I like to turn things upside down - you see a lot of stuff that you have missed that way. xx

C. Heinrichs Good Earth Quilting said...


Your work is lovely as always. I'm happy when people show the parts that aren't the most exciting so you get the idea that art takes time and in your case, each stitch takes time.

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