An update

DSC05472I’ve been working on the same piece since about 8:15 this morning with only a few short breaks and am about done in. After last night’s post, I flayed myself with details for a bit, then went and had a good night’s sleep. The morning dawned fresh and new and I decided to apply a healthy dose of running philosophy to my artwork.

There are several rules for running a race:

  1. Do the training (this step should be obvious, but sometimes escapes people, especially in the case of the Tely 10).
  2. Have a plan.
  3. Test the plan.
  4. Stick to the plan.
  5. Don’t try anything fancy or new that isn’t in the plan.
  6. Don’t change the plan mid-race.
  7. Pace yourself.
  8. When in doubt (and you will be), trust your training and trust the plan.

I stepped back, reviewed my original plan and decided to proceed as if I had no doubts. I would trust my plan.

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Trees, folded to correct side and ready for quilting.
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Tree trunk, with quilting.

The trees were my first step. I figured that since they were my stumbling block, I should attack them head on. They were also the next logical step in The Plan. I spent the first part of the morning cutting batting for the trees that was the size of the finished trees. This was placed on the back of the tree pieces (which were laid face-down on the ironing board). I then folded the edges over onto the batting and ironed them. Basically, I created an appliqué piece, with edges folded in, that also contained batting.

Then I quilting the trees for added texture and dimensionality, not attaching them to anything and leaving the batting open at the back. Cherry trees have very smooth bark that has horizontal striations. I added a bit of shading along the edges and finished off the larger trunk and branch portions.

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Misty trees

I also decided that the sky needed some extra sparkle and that the trees themselves would benefit from “mist” flitting between the branches. I layered swaths of tulle here and there as a test.

I then added a small amount of shading to the ocean surrounding the rocks, which will be accentuated during the quilting. I was about to do the ocean quilting this evening, but since at least five subtly-different sliver and metallic threads will be used and I really, really want to get this right, I’m waiting for morning, daylight and fresh eyes.

The sky was less light-dependant, though, so I made a start there, tacking the first layers of tulle down as I went.  The trees and further tulle layers will be attached tomorrow, details of the branches completed and cherry blossoms will be added. I’ve more or less decided to use a stretched canvas as the mount for the whole works, to keep all the layers where they ought to be and to make it easier for folks to hang. This is a roughly-pinned sketch of where I’m going with this:

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Blossoms do not reflect final placement or quantity! Branches are not in final position. There are no twigs yet. Petals on ocean are not properly placed. Ocean isn't quilted.

I believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel.

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