Sun Gets in Your Eyes

It was a nice drive home yesterday, and I actually had to get out my sunglasses! Here, I'm demonstrating the behavior of a typical Oregonian: "Oh the sun...it's in my eyes...it's too bright...whaaaaaaaa!" It was raining sideways the morning I drove to Vancouver for my class, and so it was nice to see the sunshine, even if it did blind me for the remainder of my natural life.

Would it surprise you to know that I haven't unpacked a single thing aside from the charging cord for my phone? Okay...well, maybe my toothbrush, but otherwise there are bags and boxes sitting around mocking me. In my world, the only thing worse than packing for a trip is unpacking when I get home. And since I'll be packing up again starting on Thursday, it seems to be an especially cruel punishment for a few days of fun.

Backing up to yesterday, my first task was to fix the bottom of the pant leg on my project. Recall that I was unhappy with the uniformity of direction on the lines of the overalls.

There were actually two pieces there that I could have changed, but I started with the one lowest down, and the transformation was good enough.

From there, I was ready to piece the shoes together. Originally, I'd planned to do them just in black and white...they are Converse, after all. Ann encouraged me to do them with colors. She balked at my idea to use black and white stripes for the shoe laces, but that was the one place I stood firm. We both liked it when it was finished. And then, because we'd added the red at the toe cap, we decided to try adding more red at the neck to approximate a kerchief. 

It was the right choice, I think. There were many shadows in the original image, and it was hard to tell what to do there. Should it be skin from the neck? Was there a collar?

There is still much work to do on the skin-tones and the hair, but the pieces are tiny and I wanted to wait to start on that until I could do it in the more controlled environment of my own sewing room. 

From there, my focus was on choosing background fabrics. It's difficult choosing just the right thing, and so I wanted Ann's help here. First, I put a scrap of flesh tone fabric where the arm is so that I could contrast it with any background fabric. There is already so much color and pattern in the clothing, and so we chose simple backgrounds behind my brother and the snake, and a flashier fabric for the outer border.

Also, I wanted to mention that in the original image, you can see there is some sort of brand name patch on the bib of the overalls. I don't know if they are OshKosh, but it's a pretty good bet. Ann suggested finding a patch and using it there, and so I used all of the powers of an internet search to track one down. There was one for sale on eBay, but it had already been sold to some other undeserving person before I got there. Then, I put out a call to Facebook friends to see if anyone had any worn out children's clothes. Then, I went on Etsy and found a used pair of overalls, size 3T, and decided to purchase them. I can get the patch, yes:

But by purchasing the whole garment, I can also get the buttons and fasteners.

There's even a patch on the back of the overalls. (It's been so long since I had little boys this size, I'd forgotten about the patch on the back.)

So I'll be embellishing my quilt with all those items by the time it's finished. Ann suggested cutting the remainder of the garment and using it on the quilt back. That's an idea, and I'll have to give it some thought.

Okay. Here's where it all stands. When the background fabrics were selected, I was pretty much finished with what I needed from the class. My brain was fried, and so I packed everything up and headed for home. My brother is now leaning against the wall in my sewing room. These projects are put together on foam core boards. The boards are available at a variety of sellers, including Office Depot, Michael's, and Amazon. Ann also had them for sale, which is how I obtained my first one. They make it possible to get your project home without having to take it apart. Since I have a penchant for working on many projects at once, I could see having a few more of these. It's kind of exciting to think about trying out the scrub jay I've mentioned before...and now I have this idea for doing one of Mike with this fly-fishing catch.

Interestingly, when I took the first class using this technique with Lisa Crnich (here's one of the Four Fabric Forest quilts that came as a result),

she showed us how learning the technique had transformed her quilting. Prior to learning, she'd made traditional quilts, but afterward, her quilts took on a more whimsical look. While I think it would be a stretch to say that my own quilting will be "transformed," it is exciting to think about the possibilities for making more quilts from my own photographs.

To get back to the class for just another moment though, here are the last pictures I have of the projects from my classmates. Here's the cat...I really see the face, but I'm having a hard time picking out the legs. I'm hoping I'll get to see this one when it's finished.

Here's the dog. She was having trouble getting the orientation of the fabrics for the ears right, and so she'd taken down the ear on the right side before I could get a picture of it. It's turning out very cute, I think.

This one really amazes me. When I saw the original photograph I though, no way, no how. And yet, she's doing it. I'd love to see it stitched together. The arms are going to be perfect.

Finally, the calf. The brown plaid on the side represents a fence post, and the calf was lying in straw, leaning against the post.

Ann tells us that she's set up a website where students can post pictures of finished projects. There isn't much there at the moment, but you can see it here: Bit.ly/asqpictures. I'll be posting my finished project there, and hopefully, my classmates will do the same. Finally, Ann is on The Quilting Show this week with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. I'm not a member, but I see there's a tab where you can get some free shows before purchasing. Check it out right here.

Now there's no time to waste. I need to get unpacked, get reorganized, make up a grocery list, and do some housework. Nevertheless, I'm still hoping to have some time to start sewing my project together. Fortunately, Past Self thoughtfully froze some dinners that will keep us fed for the next couple of days. Oh yes, and there's bread to be baked. Mustn't forget the bread.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

So wonderful....this one will be a priceless quilt. First it is your dear brother. Second, you have dedicated time, travel into making it great. Third, it is leading you on a journey of self discovery and direction. I caught your remark about being excited about quilts from your photos.....I do believe that is how I first saw your blog, something about Sat. photos?
It was a Saturday workshop for me that lead me to watercolor quilts, and 17 years later, it is my passion.
cheering you on!

Lynette said...

It really makes me smile to watch the progress on your project! And you know - There is no way I would be unpacked before Thursday - I'd just be swapping out the dirties and restocking. :D

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I can only repeat what Debbie has said. Well done! And you use to shy away from guild meetings and here you are sailing away in such an artistic class.

claudia said...

Welcome home, said the sun!
This is such an intriguing technique. So intriguing I could watch you (and others) do it all day. I think it would not be for me. Although I do have a pattern for a horses profile I want to do. I will have to buy some steam a seam or whatever that stuff is. I had some and used it for a project, but it's coming off, I guess I kept it around too long!

WoolenSails said...

Love the overalls and materials you used. I would have gone to the thrift store and bought a cheap pair, always have overalls. I never thought to keep the tags from Bill's pants, I just take the jean material. I found a free pattern for some trees and a bird, figured it would be good practice for basic machine quilting.


Brown Family said...

When I was making denim stockings for the family, I bought many pairs of Levies at the thrift store just for the back pocket and tag. One pair would make two stockings, but had to buy many to make them all alike!

I like the progress you have made. I know you will show it off when finished.

Dana Gaffney said...

Shoes and sunglasses are always put on just before walking out the front door here, I've actually forgotten the shoes but never the shades.
I love, love, love your brother's picture, it's really coming together and I can't wait to see the finish.

Wendy Tuma said...

Sunshine, a productive quilting class, and bread! It doesn't get much better than that. Unpacking? Bleh. Not a fan of packing or unpacking, here. What's the point of unpacking? Just switch out what you need to :-) Am I helping? I am enjoying going through the quilt process with you. I haven't watched Ann Shaw's video, but I just might go do that. I'm still amazed at the swimmer quilt!

Denise :) said...

Your subject is coming along wonderfully. The trims from the overalls will really add eye interest to your piece! It would be neat to see the photos that inspired everyone's work on her site! Like the gal with the arms. It makes me think of a dancer...or perhaps a diver, getting ready to make a splash! :)

Sarah said...

All 200+ TQS shows are free this weekend (Friday thru Sunday) for World Wide Quilting Day!!! I am amazed at all the projects from class! I do hope everyone posts them to the student website as it's very educational to watch where the projects start and then how they evolve. Happy Sewing!

Kate said...

You got a really good start on your picture. I'm looking forward to seeing the bird come together too.

quiltzyx said...

Your brother's really coming along now! The Osh Kosh b'gosh labels will be fun on the quilt too.
Even though I don't do a lot of traveling, I do have a bag with toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. in it that is my "go bag". I just have to throw in my comb & I'm ready to go. That way the home stuff stays home & I don't have to worry about forgetting it. Slightly less unpacking too. ;^)

Dar said...

Thank you so much for the link to the Quilt Show with Ann on it. That was so good. Makes me almost want to go rooting through my old photographs to see if there is something I could play with. But I know I won't. Instead, I'll just enjoy your wonderful examples and wish I was 30 years younger since there are so many things I want to do!