Saturday, June 28, 2014

House Sketching

Finally finished the sketch of a house beside the small university where I teach. I worked on it mostly while proctoring exams--a good use of time.
One Sunday, we traipsed off to the police station to file a complaint against the evil neighbor (who is building 2 huge refrigerated buildings) who hurled insults at us from his side of the property line. Sketching helps make the best of a bad situation...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt: FMQ, 3

Every evening, I work through a few lines of quilting on the roots. 

I'm finishing this section because I can see what needs to be done. The rule on such a big project: a small bite at a time.
Looking at the photo, I'm reminded of how much I like to machine quilt, how much I like the effect. The lines are so interesting.

Of course, there is a problem looming ahead that I will deal with when I get there: the quilting around the roots is close, which will probably shrink the bottom a bit if I don't get just as much quilting done on the tree. I could have quilted the roots separately and then sewn them to the tree in a quilt-as-you-go technique (the intelligent solution), but I like working on the whole thing at once. The buckling is a familiar problem.

...ah, but it will all quilt out...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Problem With Sketching

Yeah, the problem with sketching is that it takes time. I drew my wooden toy motorcycle for Sketch Club two weeks ago...and still haven't finished.

I drew the house next door to the classroom where I was proctoring exams...and still haven't finished.

And I'd rather be stitching-- but the sketching is awfully fun...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt: FMQ, 2

Sitting on my sewing machine table, the Pomegranate Tree Quilt awaits me each evening. The outline quilting around the roots is very slow and rather complex.

My method is a non-method. I safety pin the sandwich and then pin furiously where I'm going to machine quilt (at least every half inch, if not closer). Tedious, but it works for me. It will eventually all be filled in with FMQ.
See here for an overview of the whole tree.

Linked to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday".

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Pomegranate Tree Quilt, Quilting

I felt the urge to do at least a bit of hand-stitching into the Pomegranate Tree. The running stitch also serves to quilt between the machine quilting--vague leaf shapes. More French knots. I'm using two strands of machine sewing thread because I have such a large collection from my mom.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

On My Sewing Table: FMQ

The machine quilting is going fairly smoothly, if slowly. Mostly outline quilting to hold the sandwich together and create a sculptural effect.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Unexpected Work

It turns out that Tunisian teachers work until the end of June, proctoring and correcting exams and re-sit exams (final-shot-exams for failing students). I've never given so many bad grades in my life...something's wrong somewhere. Things have skidded downhill since the Revolution. It looks like I'm developing a series of drawings of students taking exams.
I suppose I'll be preparing all summer for the coming school year.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cumquats and Colored Pencils

It's a good year for cumquats. Our tree must be at least thirty years old, an old friend. The Campers and I have been picking our sketching subjects right off the tree. Yesterday, the lesson was about colored pencils. In my sketchbook, I like to line up the colors used at the bottom for reference.

GD1 (first granddaughter, now 12 years old) picked up the technique easily.

GD2 (now 7) decided on a flower in the garden. She is learning to look at her subject and see what is there. Watching her try so hard, I realized that sometimes we forget how difficult that lesson is.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Sandwich

Now the back, batting, and top are all taped and pinned on the floor. 
Tough to get a good shot.
And here I thought I had squared it up nicely! Hmmmph! Well, I won't do anymore trimming until I finish quilting and hand stitching. I'm just itching to do the hand stitching, however, I need to machine quilt some of the main lines to stabilize it...Fortunately, the waves will all quilt out...I think.