Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The colors are coming!

I hope everyone has been having a lovely week- the weather here has been just gorgeous so we've been out on Mike's new bike several times and enjoying being outside in the evenings.  It's so lovely to just open all the windows and door in the studio and feel the spring breeze and hear my lovely windchimes.

As you might imagine, I've been plugging away this week at Seymour's background, and I'm so excited to finally get to the fun colors.  When I left off last week, I'd assembled the sky section, so this week I did the chimney rock section and the foreground.  I was so so excited this week to break out the colored fabrics.  I went through my stash and pulled out all the yellow-orange-pink-red fabrics I could find and arranged them in a value gradient.

I then went to my background pattern, and wrote in each space what approximate value that shape should have (light, light-medium, medium, etc.) before covering the whole thing with parchment paper.  To assemble it, I used a slightly different approach from that of the sky since I wanted the pattern pieces to have a specific shape.  I took my wonder under, held it up to the pattern and traced the pattern piece (one at a time) onto the sticky side of the wonder under.  After fusing to a fabric of what seemed like an appropriate value, I then cut out the piece and pinned it to the design wall.   Because the pieces needed to overlap in order to fuse together, as I cut the pieces out, I would leave excess where the piece was supposed to slide under another piece and cut right on the line where the piece was supposed to go over another piece.  For the most part,  I tried not to have lighter fabrics on top of darker fabrics (to avoid shadowing) and I think it worked out ok.  

I switched out a few pieces as I went, when I realized they didn't exactly go or I thought I needed a darker or lighter bit, and once I finished all the Chimney Rock section, I sent a picture to my mom.  She thought I needed some more very-dark, so I swapped out a few more pieces to hopefully add some dimension to the rocks.  

To do the foreground, I reverted back to the way I did the sky.  Namely, I had larger pieces of fabric with fusible already on them and I cut and overlapped more ore less random pieces.  I divided the foreground in three sections, the back-most section has the lightest colors and the least contrast while the front-most section has more saturated colors and more contrast.  I'm hoping this gives some feeling of depth.

I can't believe how many pins it took to get it all pinned up.  I went through three full boxes, and my finger is still sore (three days later) from pushing them all into the design wall.  After getting it all pinned up I started fusing it down, making the occasional change in piece placement or fabric as I went.  I'm still not finished fusing the chimney rock part though.  It takes quite a while to fuse it- I'm removing pins carefully as I go and trying to make sure my pieces don't shift in the fusing.

I'm not quite 100% sold on all the chimney rock pieces, but I adore adore adore all the bright pinks and yellows and oranges and reds.  My next step (after fusing the remaining pieces) is to merge the sky section and then start building Seymour.  After I get him in place, I think I'll be able to make better judgments about whether the background needs changes.

I did actually finish a couple of small projects this week, the napkins I showed on Monday and I made a fun ipad case I'll share as soon as I have time to write it up.  Also,  for anyone who read about my sewing machine frustrations making the napkins, I'm pleased to say I got my singer working!  Turns out I had the needle in wrong.

You guys working on any long-term projects?  Doing things with lots of bright colors?  You know those are my favorites!