When I went into the sewing room, I wasn't really sure what I was going to work on, but Gracie's unfinished portrait was sitting on my work table, and so I studied it for a bit and then decided to just go for the finish. Here's where I left it last time I worked on it.
And here's the original photograph.
My goal was to stitch down all the pieces, and I did that using a smoky monofilament, but also some white, green, orange and brown. Also, I needed to add one more black piece over the right eye and then stitch in the eyebrows, whiskers, and ear fur. Also, I added the details to the mouth and nose. In addition, I wanted to add a little free motion machine embroidery to lighten up the black on the left side of the face. Finally, I wanted to add the "eye spot". The eye spot is important in photography because it brings life to the eyes. I did that with a French knot and some white embroidery floss. Then, I quilted it and bound it, and Voila! Gracie rendered in fabric and thread.
I took it upstairs to where Gracie was napping on our bed and tried to get her to pose with her portrait. I suppose she could have looked more bored, but it would have required more effort on her part.
She perked up a little when Smitty stopped by for a smooch.
Smitty wants to know when I'm going to do his portrait.
I don't know about you, but I've been too chicken to try projects like this. Having this one work out so well has been very empowering. I've been hearing snippets of interviews with Elizabeth Gilbert recently because of the release of her new book "Big Magic" about the creative process. While I've heard of her and her books, I have yet to read any of them. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the interview I heard, and so I decided to "like" her Facebook page.
Even though I'd already created the photographs, the "posterized" photographs, the transparency, and the pattern, I was still feeling pretty intimidated at the idea of starting the quilt. I feared it would be like so many of my big ideas where I walk right up to the precipice, and then turn around, too scared to jump. The next day after creating the pattern, I read this meme on Elizabeth Gilbert's Facebook feed:
and I got up from my chair and went straight into the sewing room. Gracie's portrait is what came from that one bold step. It isn't perfect, but it's finished, and now I'm feeling equipped to try it again.
For now, I'm going to try to catch up on some of the other blocks that have been waiting so long for their turn. Today is a CSA pick-up day, but aside from that, it's going to be another day of sewing.
By the way, did you see the video Lynette posted on her blog What a Hoot? I had seen it someplace else, but didn't watch it, thinking I wasn't going to see anything new. But then Lynette's enthusiasm caused me to give it a second look, and whoa! Now I'm singing the praises of this method too. I tried it on Gracie's quilt, and it was so much easier than the self-threading needle method I've always used. So, here it is again. Take a look, and then give it a try:
And thanks for bringing this to our attention, Lynette. Great find!