Face to Face

It was nice to have a day at home yesterday with nothing in particular to do. I spent quite a bit of time on the Hocuspocusville block. The whole right side is finished from top to bottom now.

After taking that picture, I rehooped it, but then continued on. Now the whole roof is done as well, and I've moved the hoop down to the next part. 

After that, I did some walking. My 10k steps have suffered a little bit the last few days. I'm making my goal most days, but it's hard to force myself to walk on days when I'm busy. I decided to get back on the wagon, er, treadmill yesterday, and I got 'er done. It's too soon to say for sure, but I believe walking is making me feel a little more toned than previously, and I've lost a couple of pounds without even trying. Hopefully, I'll continue to notice results...or maybe I'll decide it's just my imagination. Whatever. It can only be good, right?

So then I got to work on Maggie's pawtrait. The first step with these is to use the posterized version of my image to trace in the colors. I strive not to be too detailed, or it becomes a nightmare of applique. Even at that, I'm always ending up with lots of little pieces.

I use a transparency and an ultra fine point Sharpie for this. The Sharpie ink doesn't smear as some other inks will.

It ends up looking a lot like a paint by number...and it kind of is.

And this is applique, so you want to flip it over and make all the pieces a mirror image of the original.

A pressing sheet is essential for this project. I want to be able to stick the fusible pieces together, and also retain the ability to move them around. I use tweezers to peel them off the pressing sheet when I need to reposition them. And with that mess in the image above, I'm constantly have to decide whether to put this or that piece over or under another piece. The transparency can be seen through the pressing sheet, but I can also hold it over my work and use it to position the applique pieces. 

The eyes are first. The secret to making the eyes look realistic is to do the pupils first, then put the iris over the top, then the lids over the top of that. The details will be stitched in when I do the top-stitching.

Maggie's colors are harder than Gracie's or Smitty's. I'm not sure why...perhaps it's her "dilute" quality. I considered stopping when I'd gone this far...and it took me about two hours to get here.

But then I decided to add the portion to the right of the nose. When I got this far, I was tired of working on it for the day.

That piece on the right might be too bright. I'll have to see how I feel about it when I add the highlights above the nose. I can always peel it up and use a different color if I need to.

As for Maggie, her favorite game right now is to lie in wait at the bottom of the stairs and terrorize Smitty when he comes down. He turns on his lasers for safety.

Hm...might want to turn on my high beams for this.

I knew it! There she is!!!

Moooommmmmm!!! She's bothering me! A little help, please! I hope you're not posting these pictures on the blog. 

It's pretty funny seeing the tables turned, although Smitty doesn't see the humor in it. 

So today I need to catch up on a little housework, and then I'll continue on with my attempt to recreate Miss Maggie.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

All those fiddly little applique pieces in Wind in the Whiskers has probably served you well for these pawtraits. It will be fun to see Maggie's come to life!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love watching your pawtraits come to life. Too much fiddly for me, but love watching you.

NancyA said...

I love following your 'steps' for putting the applique together--fascinating! Thanks for all the details. I am trying to decide if I have the time/patience to do one of my cats (or all three). You make it seem possible.

Lynn - JnL4God said...

Looking good!

gpc said...

Maggie is a complicated little missy. I can't wait to see the finished product -- your previous portraits have been amazing!

Renee said...

Hocuspocusville looks great! And, it is fun to see how you are working with your applique. Wonderful work.

Dana Gaffney said...

I love these portraits, they turn out so amazing. Funny how she's stalking him now and he's uncertain. She's playing right?

Natureluvr57 said...

I'm rather new to your blog but that cat portrait looks amazing and it's not even finished yet!!! What applique method do you use? Needle turn, fusible or ? I'll be looking forward to your next step. I would love to do one of my dog but I'm sure all black would really be a pain to do.

Barbara said...

Welcome and thank you, Natureluvr57. You're no-reply, and so I can't reply to you personally. It is fusible applique, and this post pretty much explains the process. It's a bit tedious cutting out all those little pieces with so many nooks and crannies, but it's also completely absorbing and the time flies by.

Natureluvr57 said...

Thank you. I've tried to change my no-reply but can't figure it out. Maybe I'll google it.

quiltzyx said...

Funny that Maggie has turned the tables a bit on the Smitster. He does look indignant at the thought that you would post his little scaredy moment on the blog!
Hocuspocusville is whizzing right along! Cool!

Dar said...

This had me laughing out loud about Maggie and Smitty. What a pair. Your portrait of Maggie is coming along nicely.

Brown Family said...

Maggie's quilt is coming right along! Smitty is learning about pay-back!