Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Little Feedback on Mt. Hood

The range of blues that I had in my stash.
In mid-November, Joen Wolfrom taught her Color Play class through our Clark County Quilters (CCQ) guild. Picking fabrics has been the most challenging part of the quilting process for me. The "been there, done that" method, has helped me produce some projects that were more pleasing to my eye. I still wasn't comfortable about choosing fabrics though!

Since her class, I have some confidence that I can make fabric choices that I will be happier with and even more importantly, I can explain why. Joen would share slides of quilts showing examples of various color principles. Then she would share fabric examples of the principles and finally, we went to our class stash and
My class exercise work
made our own example of the principle. A few times, I was right on, sometimes I was a little off and occasionally, I was right on!

As I worked through the class, I had many aha moments about why I had a challenge with this part of that project or why that fabric didn't show up enough in that project. I liked that when we finished an exercise, we put it up on the wall and she critiqued our work. By the end of class, we were critiquing our own work. That critiquing process was priceless to me!

I learned that the fabrics in my stash are mostly tones and that many of my fabrics have too strong a print to be used in a landscape quilt. I don't have enough fabrics of the same color family to produce a graduated change from light to dark. I've too many mediums or darks or lights that are the same intensity. I also learned that it is a challenge to find "pure" and "tinted" fabrics. So, I practiced using toned fabrics from my stash that could read as "pure" or "tinted." This was an invaluable part of the class!
Class work displayed

As part of the class, we were invited to bring in a project of something that didn't work well for us or if we wanted feedback on a project that had us stalled. I brought in Mt. Hood. She asked me what I thought now and I said that I should have made the proportions different as it would have shown better if it were shorter and wider. (She agreed.) I learned that when I listened to her lecture! But, since this was the view from my window, my proportions are what I would see. I can make a change for the next landscape quilt.

Mt. Hood--My View 

I said that my reflection wasn't quite right; but, I didn't know what was off. She said that because the view is straight on, the reflection would be the same size as the actual mountain/tree line. (I hadn't considered the size of the reflection at all!) Later, I saw photos of a mountain and reflection that illustrated that point. She also said that it is easier to work with the reflection when there is a little breeze on the water rather than a calm day because the movement of the water distorts the reflection.

I said that as I looked at more landscape photos with water, I realized that my water was too bright for my sky.  She said that the water should be the same color as the sky and that next to the shoreline, there is often a bit of illumination in that the water is a bit lighter.

She said that my flowers could have extended just a bit past center which would have created a more pleasing look. She thought the flowers added a lot to the piece and she loved the crystals in the water. She also said it was a beautiful piece and I agree. Moving forward, I believe that I can create a more lifelike example. I'm not changing anything on Mt. Hood. I'm continuing to enjoy it as it hangs in my home!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Butterfly Embroidery--10th Finish for 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long (FAL) 2017

Tracking the minutes remaining of each stitch segment
This is my 10th finish this quarter and it was goal number nine of my list.  It is for someone who needs to know that people are thinking of her. I hope this butterfly brings a smile to the recipient!

The butterfly design was in my embroidery software.  I spent a day playing in the software. I enlarged the design several inches. I duplicated the design and then I mirrored one of the designs. I grouped sequenced the stitching by color so that I would have less thread changes. I made sure that I would be able to stitch both designs in one hooping.

Finished stitch out
On another day, Miss K supervised the stitching. I stitched on a piece of gold felt with one layer of cut away stabilizer. After each thread change, she would remark at how beautiful it was and how it was even more beautiful than it was the last time the needle stopped. I changed the thread. She kept the threads in order and let me know how many minutes were remaining on each of the sections.  It took about an hour and a half to stitch the design.

We were able to finish the stitching and begin the trimming before she it was time for her and her sister to pack up and meet their mama. She provided her input about the antennae. I was going to leave them off; but, she was adamant that there be antennae! She wanted to know how it was going to be one when there were two!

Free motion stitching the layers together
She also wanted to know all about the recipient. She asked questions like:
Would this make the recipient happy?  Would the recipient  like the color?  Miss K said she would like this butterfly if it was going to be hers. I told her that making a gift for someone is special; but, making a gift that you really like makes giving it even more special. She nodded her head. Miss K has such a kind heart which is just like her mama!

Plain back of the design
I used a little glue to "encourage" the layers to stay together. It was close that the front and the back matched.  I added a gold ribbon for the hanger and some glittery pipe cleaners for the antennae.  I purchased the pipe cleaners from the Dollar Tree a few years ago.

I placed a drop of glue under the pipe cleaners and the ribbon.  Then I stitched around the outer edge to hold them in place. I like the finished product. For a first try, the front and the back of the design are okay!

I decided to stitch a few more. I edited the design to try to compensate for the amount that the motif shrank from being such a dense design.  I tried using batting and tear away stabilizer. That was not a good combination as the design drew up too much. I stopped the stitching after a couple thread changes and started over!

Three butterflies
Next, I tried using two layers of tear away stabilizer. I also decided to make the back plain.
Originally, I had planned that I would stuff the center; but the design is too dense to be able to do this.

The compensation is still a little off. I did like having the design on one side of the ornament. It is lighter. I changed the antennae a little which I liked better.

I found that it was easier to glue the hanger and the ribbon to the back of the embroidered side then use the glue to anchor the embroidered side to the back. (I inserted it on the first one which was not easy!) I also found it was easier to free motion stitch the two edges together. I'm considering trying to add this stitching line in the design so that I could finish the entire design in the hoop.

I continue to have a healthy respect for those who digitize their embroidery designs. My goal is to be happy with my results of creating my own designs. I have a long way to go yet!

Perhaps, I will consider stitching more of these butterflies as this a project for 2018! For now though, I'm returning to working on a couple quilt projects. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving

The current favorite toy to play when at our house
Happy Thanksgiving, dear blog followers! Thank you for visiting my blog and reading my posts. I especially appreciate those of you who leave me a comment and who answer my questions! Thank you too to my quilting buddies who offer up advice when I bring my what if questions to you. Your feedback is invaluable!

Thanks to Miss B who loves us all--especially the
youngest grand!
Happy Thanksgiving to the "important" members of my family. Thank you dear husband for all your support this past year as I navigated through following my dad's last wishes. You always have my back! Thank you dear daughters for reminding me that there is a bigger picture and to not lose sight of it.

Thank you to the granddaughters who are so much like their mama and their auntie that hanging out with them is like stepping back in time and reliving the days of our parenthood. The grands keep us on our toes as well as make our lives a little brighter.

This week, Miss K didn't have school so I got to spend some time with her. She and her sister, Miss J were here Monday, Tuesday night and Wednesday! We had a sleepover. Miss K chose pancakes for breakfast and lunch at McDonald's where there is a play structure. We played with dolls. They, with their papa,  built a working carousel.

A past family dinner with all the "important" ones!
J's favorite parts of the week were playing dolls and going to McDonald's. K's favorite parts of the week were telling stories in the dark during the sleepover and going to McDonald's. Being a grand is sure fun and we are fortunate that our grands live near us and we get to have semi regular play dates.

Tomorrow is J's actual fourth birthday and there is a family party. Later today, I'll be baking the carrot cake that she asked to have at the party. It will have nuts, raisins and frosting. . .just like she asked. Life is good!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Triangles, Circles, Rectangles and Squares-- 9th Finish for 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long (FAL) 2017

J's drawn shapes
The other day, I was drawing some possible designs to quilt on my chicken border. Granddaughter J was watching me. After I finished, she wanted to know if she could draw on my paper. I said sure.

J loves tools. So I wasn't surprised that she wanted to use my pencil and my paper.

She asked me:
"Gran, do you want a square or a triangle?"
Me: "Triangle." She drew a triangle.
J: "Gran, do you want a square or a circle?"
Me: "I'd love a circle." She drew a circle.
J: " Gran, do you want a square or a rectangle?"
Me: "Rectangle." She drew a rectangle.

Pinning the pattern to her fabric
This conversation went on for some time. To be frank, I'm not generally high on her "like" list.  My thought behind my ranking is because I have "rules." We "get" to follow those rules. For someone who hasn't "time" to bother with such frivolous business as rules, the rule following crimps J's style.

As we were having this conversation, I was chuckling because this is often how we have conversations. For example,
Me: "Do you want to cook pancakes or blueberry muffins for breakfast?"
J: "Pancakes."
Me: "Do you want to get out the eggs or the griddle?"
J: "Eggs."
I have these directed sort of conversations because if I ask what do you want to cook? The answer most likely would be bacon and if I didn't have bacon, there could be unhappiness shared for hours!
Cutting fabric
But, back to our geometric conversation! I knew where J's conversation was going; however, I played along. Finally, she said, "Gran, do you want a square or a square?" Aha. . .she has me at my own game!
Me: "I'd love a special square." She drew me a square with extra bits in the interior.

Trimming the threads after serging a seam
Not bad for an almost four year old to not only know the names of the shapes; but, also to have the ability to draw the shapes too. Her auntie says that it is the magnetic game that she gave the grands that helped with this skill which could be true. I give J props for guiding me to that square which was what she wanted to draw in the first place! She is so like her auntie!!

Checking the fit of the neckline
Since J loves tools, perhaps she will take those drawings to quilted designs in fabrics. I have no doubt that whatever it is that she decides to do. . .well, she will be totally amazing. I will be able to say I knew her when. I'll relate stories like this one to people who want to know more about her when she is in the business world.

After drawing, we picked out some fabric and a pattern to sew a t-shirt. A few weeks later, we cut out the fabric. I thought about showing her how pattern weights work; but, then decided I wasn't ready to learn new uses for pattern weights just yet. J has no "box" to contain her so the possibilities are truly endless!

Another day that she was here, we did some sewing. I didn't have ribbing to go with her shirt. I asked her if she wanted to go to the store to buy the ribbing. She let me know that I could go on my own and whatever I decided was fine with her. So I spent 54 cents for a piece of ribbing that we  stitched to the neckline.

Just the hems away from being "wearable"
Once we stitched the sleeves to the shirt body and added the ribbing, she just had to try it on. I love her exuberance. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she turned to me and said:
"Gran," as she raised her arm and pointed to the underarm area, "Problem!!!" The shirt didn't have side seams yet and she was pointing out to me that I needed to fix that problem!

After her fitting, she was ready to stitch the side seams and see how the shirt fit at that point. As she was showing her papa how her shirt fit, she said, "Gran," as she pointed to the ends of the shirt sleeves and the bottom of the shirt, "Problem!!"

Guiding the fabric for the hem
We saved stitching the hems for another day. I found that the sleeve hem was too small an area for her to stitch so I stitched those. With a lot of help, she guided the fabric through the foot. She delighted in counting the stitch pattern which was 1-2-3-4-over. She giggled almost every time the needle did the over!

Finished shirt
I enjoy hanging out and playing with her so much.

This is finish number nine and goal number 11 for the fourth quarter of Finish-A-Long 2017. You can read my list here. I used half a yard of fabric from my stash bringing the total used to 42 of the 50 yards of fabric used from my stash this year. I'm not far from my goal!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Scrappy Placemat Post 2 of 2--8th Finish for the 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long (FAL)2017

Miss K's finished placemat
Goal number 10 on my 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long 2017 (FAL) was to stitch leftover scraps from a Christmas stocking project.

I posted here about the design and piecing process. With the quilting process, I wanted to use gold thread as well as use a similar quilting pattern to unify the placemats as a set. I finished Miss K's placemat. I did quilt pebbles around her name. She will like the design in the center of her placemat.

Miss J's finished placemat

Miss J is a whirlwind of activity so the swirl design in the center of her placemat is an accurate replica of how busy J is when she is visiting us!

The grands think their daddy is the best daddy ever. I used a beefier font for his lettering and I used a bubble design to signify his importance to them.
Daddy's finished placemat

I outlined "Daddy" with the gold thread and used the gold thread to stitch the bubble design. I quilted the pieced strips with straight lines using the same spacing that I did on the girls' placemats.

Momma's finished placemat

Momma is the heart of the family so I used red thread to stitch her name. I used the six inch arc and clamshell templates to quilt much of the space with curves so that the quilting related to the circles I quilted on Daddy's placemat. I also quilted the pieced strips with straight lines.

I considered stitching the binding totally by machine; but, then decided that I wanted a skinny binding on the placemats. I hand stitched the binding. I liked how all the corners turned out. I usually have one corner that doesn't miter well; but, not this time!

These are the finished placemats. I used about a yard and half in addition to the scraps in this project. This brings my total of fabrics used from my stash to 41 1/2 yards of the 50 yards that was my annual goal last January. This is my eighth finish for the quarter!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Scrappy Placemats post 1 of 2

Scraps for placemats
Goal number 10 on my 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long 2017 (FAL) was to stitch these leftover scraps from stitching J's Christmas stocking a number of years ago. My thought was that these would be a great gift for the grands. I could gift the placemats at the beginning of December as preparation for the big day. I remember as a kid, it seemed to me like a whole year passed after Thanksgiving before it was Christmas! It helped the time pass when there was an activity that all the family did together. . .like picking out and decorating the Christmas tree.

Batting and backing
I thought that I had enough scraps to make two placemats. My plan was to make one using the strips and then to make a second placemat from the extra strata I had stitched with 2 1/2 inch strips.

Some of the available scraps
Miss J, the youngest grand, helped me stitch the batting pieces leftover from the QAYG (Quilt As You Go) project so that I had plenty of batting.  I know that most people would just toss such tiny scraps; but, it gave J something fun to do and netted us both enough batting for a number of small projects. The size of the pieced batting was 39" x 59 inches.  I'm glad to have it!

K's design and fabric addition.
I had a piece of leftover fabric that would work as backing for two placemats. My plan was to use all of the 30 degree cut strips in some sort of arrangement. Then, Miss K, the oldest grand, took a look at the design and changed it for the better.

In a few minutes, she removed some strips and oriented other strips in a different direction. Then, she spied a fat quarter that was laying on the cutting table and said that I should use it.

She was RIGHT! The only downside to the design was that I still had leftover strips. Having leftover strips meant that there would be more placemats!

Embroidered names for the placemats
I especially chuckled over her comment of where her name should go and that her name should be in "gold" like the stars on the black fabric. Oh, and I should use plain black fabric on that part! Did I mention she is five years old? That gal knows what she likes!
K's placemat ready for quilting

Embroidering her name on the placemat would give me practice with my machine. It would also give me a chance to play with different fonts. What a great thought!

One for my son-in-law
It took some time to embroider the names. I used different fonts and different colors of thread. I am pleased with how each looks!

One for the oldest daughter
One for the youngest grand
At this point, I wasn't sure if there were enough scraps for four placemats; but, I planned to try to stitch that many!

I selected scraps for K's placemat and saved similar scraps for J's placemat. I can relate to experiences where I didn't receive similar attention from a grandparent. It was hard growing up knowing I was "liked" less than another grandchild. I'm mindful of what that experience felt like to me. I am determined that each one of my children and grandchildren will always feel like they are the "favorite." Honestly, I don't have a "favorite."

Back to the placemats, K was right about how much the gold star fabric added to the placemat design. She was also right about adding a name to each placemat.

Whew! I had enough scraps to make four placemats. My stash had scraps for the back of the Momma and the Daddy placemats although it was two different fabrics!

The scraps left after making four placemats
That piece of plaid on the Momma placemat is what is on the back of Daddy's placemat. I included it on the Momma placemat because that Momma always has Daddy's back.

I've inserted a photo of the scraps that I had left which wasn't much! Yes, I used Bonnie Hunter's method to cut those four pieces at that bottom of the photo into useable increments. The snippets left at the top. . .yes, I threw them away!
A sample of the quilting  
Close up of the quilting
Now it was on to the quilting! I began ditch stitching each placemat with cotton thread.

I decided that the center piece of the grands placemats was a great spot to slip in a motif using one of the Westalee rulers. I'm glad that I refreshed my memory of how to use the lines on the ruler because I spent some time getting reacquainted! Thank goodness for YouTube as there was a short video available that I viewed and then realized I had been using the wrong line on the ruler to orient the design.

Broken ruler foot
I was cruising along and then, my ruler foot broke! It was about 6:30 on a Saturday evening and I knew that my Bernina dealer was at Market in Houton TX. I sent her a text and this photo.

She replied in about 10 minutes and said she could take care of it when she was back in town on Wednesday. (That is the day that I publish this post!) She also texted some fine comments to me. . . she called my scrappy placemats beautiful and called me an artist! How is that for support from the local quilt shop that is also the local Bernina dealer? Thanks again Thea and thanks Quilting Delights! 

I plan to complete the free motion stitching on the second two placemats and be ready for the ruler work. I can complete the other two placemats as they are ready for the binding.

Stay tuned as I continue my progress in the second post of Scrappy Placemats!!!


Sunday, November 12, 2017

3rd Swim Suit--7th Finish for the 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long (FAL) 2017

Goal #17 and #18 finished swimsuits
The second swimsuit stitched quickly, so I decided to quit thinking about it and stitch the third swimsuit too! Besides, I still had about a day left before my Bernina dealer returned from vending at Houston Quilt Market.

This was goal number 18 on my 4th quarter list as my plan was to stitch three swimsuits this quarter. I have four numbers on that list; but, only planned to sew three suits.  The good news is that I have one less goal to meet for the quarter!

It is the seventh finish so far! It brings the total fabric used to 40 yards from my stash since I used about two yards of fabric for this project! I'm inching closer to the 50 yard goal!

In the future when I cut out a project, I will make more effort to have all of the pieces cut so I can just stitch the project when I'm ready. I dislike cutting out swimsuits because I'm dealing with scraps and trying to get the most out of the remaining fabric. It takes time to wrangle the parts so that is why I try to have a suit or two waiting in the wings to stitch!

I will wear these when we go to Hawaii next summer. I wonder if N will want a new suit. We could make one when she is here over Christmas. . .Hm m m. . .I have some fabric that might make enough suits so all the girls could have matching swimsuits. . . .hm m m m. . .it is a thought. For now, though, I want to get back to stitching those placemats for now!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2nd Swim Suit--6th Finish for 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long (FAL) 2017

Broken ruler foot
I was quilting my scrappy placemats when my ruler foot broke. Talk about an unbelievable moment! At first, I didn't realize that the foot broke. Rather, I thought that I had somehow bumped the lever that attaches the foot to the machine. Then, my brain registered that the bottom of the foot was separate from the top of the foot! I texted my local Bernina dealer--now I knew she was out of town vending at Houston Quilt market--and I didn't expect a reply. But, within 10 minutes, she responded. She outlined a replacement plan which would happen when she returned.

The short of it was that there was a flaw with this foot for it to break in such a manner.

I didn't want to work on another quilt project until I finished the placemats, so, I took out one of the swimsuits that was almost cut out and worked on it. I needed to cut a back of both lining and swim fabric. I had to purchase some black swim fabric to cut the back. Now, I have one finished suit which I'll take on our vacation to Hawaii next summer.
Finished swim suit

A friend who stopped sewing her swimsuits, gifted me her leftover fabrics a couple years ago. I once had a similar fabric. . .but, that was probably 30 years ago! I used a different pattern for the suit. At that time, I had purchased a bundle of ready made straps and the pattern was the perfect option for those straps.

I remember that there were many fabric prints of this type. I would make more suits from a print fabric yardage because I made a plain back for each print front!

Last week was the end of a five week session of teaching swim lessons to three to five year olds. It was my first actual class of students in many years. It was fun. When the last day arrived, I was excited for the parents to watch class and see how much their child had increased their swimming abilities. I was also a little sad as my "friends" may be off to other activities.

This week, I begin another five week session of lessons. I always enjoy the first day of class when I find out who is enrolled. There is a mix of returning and new students. It is kind of like an old friends reunion mixed with meeting new friends.

This was goal number 17 on my 4th quarter list as my plan was to stitch three swim suits this quarter. It is the sixth finish for the quarter so far! It brings the total fabric used to 38 yards from my stash since I used about a yard and a half of fabric for this project! I'm inching closer to the 50 yard goal!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Mt. Hood--5th Finish 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long 2017 (FAL)

Inspiration book
I was inspired to finish this project because of the Thread Tales book this quarter.  The books' title was "Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis" which Timothy Egan wrote. For this biography, Egan compiled many research materials and was skillful at telling and showing us Curtis' story.

Curtis spent more than 30 years documenting the stories and rituals of many North American Indian tribes.  He didn't have crews of people or plenty of money to help him with his task. You will have to read the book to find out what his journey to preserve the past cost him.

Early in Curtis' photographic career, he took photos on Mt. Rainer and enjoyed not only the serenity of the area; but, the sunlight at the beginning and the end of the day too. He loved taking photographs where he could also photograph the reflection of the subject in the water. This was the part of the book that helped me get going on quilting my piece!

Outline, ditch quilting completed 
Sky completed with background fills
Back of quilt
After I stitched around the tree branches, in the ditch and around the appliqués, I knew that I wanted to stitch different textures in the sky to represent a breeze and clouds. I started mapping the sections with a grey 40wt polyester thread and then played with 100 wt blue silk thread.

It was challenging determining a background fill stitch that didn't take extra effort to work around the appliqué blossoms.

After the I finished the sky, I moved on to quilting the mountain and the mountain reflection. I also added more quilting lines in the water area. I stitched with 40wt polyester thread because I wanted more definition and I also liked the sheen the stitched lines had when I was finished. To provide more depth in an area, I followed with a smaller background fill and used 100 wt. silk thread. I found it challenging to stitch the fills in the opposite direction for the reflection though!

Label with all the information I might need
Once I finished the quilting, I applied a facing. Fortunately, I had enough of the backing fabric left for the facing. I did select a batik fabric from my scraps to become the hanging sleeve and I inked my label. After, I completed hand sewing the edge of the facing, label and sleeve in place, I decided my piece needed a little bling. I added a few crystals.

This was goal number 2 on my 4th Quarter Finish-A-Long 2017 list. I used three yards of fabric from the my stash making this project bringing my total to 36 1/2 yards of the 50 yards that was my goal for the year. Cost to make this project was $93. I bought paint which wasn't much; but thread adds up fast! Hours to complete was 52.
Finished wall hanging

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mt. Hood

On a clear day, I can see Mt. Hood from my home. When I was a kid, I lived in the central part of Oregon. I would watch the sun set on several mountains in the Central Cascade Mountain Range every evening. It was spectacular. Now, I live in the western part of the state and I get to watch the sun rise on one mountain. Sunrise is my favorite part of the day. JoJo over at Through My Hands, had a Mt. Hood project.

Mt. Hood ready for stitching
Some day, I might not be able to view the mountain so I thought, why not make this wall hanging? Selecting fabrics is the most challenging part of the process for me! Over a few weeks, I chose fabrics from my stash. A friend and I spent a session together and we cut out our pieces. 

I was surprised at how painless it was to cut and prepare the fabrics for stitching. I had all the fabrics but the snow reflection in my stash. My friend, Pat, gave me her piece when she decided her snow reflection was too light. It was the perfect choice here! Thank you Pat!

Blossoms auditioned
The "snow", tree line and tree line reflection are fused. The mountain and mountain reflection have a turned edge. I appliquéd the pieces, as JoJo suggested, with a narrow zigzag. She used a stabilizer. I found that I didn't need a stabilizer. That part of the process was painless too!

Next, it was time to figure out what fabrics I would be using for the blooming tree branch and what thread I would be using for the tree bark. This was a challenge. I'm trying to use what I have. I first thought that I'd broderie prerse the blossoms; but, I either didn't have appropriate sized flowers or I didn't have a print that had enough flowers in the same colors.

I settled on a batik fabric that I fused to some stabilizer. If it looks familiar, it is because I used that same fabric in my QAYG project that I've blogged while it was a BOM (Block of the Month). Cutting more than 50 blossoms took some time!

Cutting the shapes
JoJo used paint and embroidery to add more depth to her blossoms. I tried paint and embroidery too! I was disappointed at first that the white paint didn't show as much as I had hoped; but, it did give the illusion of depth which was the effect that I wanted.

In the end, I found the white paint to have added just the right effect. Next, I added some gold metallic paint which I applied a little differently on each flower. Sometimes, I added a lot and sometimes I added a little. I liked how painting different amounts of paint and painting in different areas of the blossoms added so much depth to the blossoms.
Shapes painted and drying

Auditioning the flowering branches
Then, like JoJo, I added some hand embroidery stitches. The first day, I completed seven. At that pace it took me a little over a week to complete that step. I used some floss that has been in my floss box since I was in college! Okay. . . that was in the late 70's! I'll report that the "preserved" floss worked great!

For layout purposes, I used a bit of ribbon so I could get an idea of the shape of the branch. Next, I laid out the finished shapes until I found a pleasing design. I'm happy that I stepped outside my box and tried JoJo's technique with these flowers. That paint made them just sparkle! I also learned that I like painting!

Next, I fused the shapes to the background. Then I added a heavy chain embroidery stitch to represent the tree branches. I'm a big fan of Mary Corbet's Needle and Thread blog. Mary is generous about sharing designs and tutorials.
Paint for the mountain top

Painted mountain top
I used a JP Coats crosheen type embroidery thread for the branches which came from my grandmother's stash.

I visited JoJo as she offered me use of her paint stash. The photo represents the paint I used on my project. The Setacolor paints left the hand of the fabric just as soft as when I started so those were my favorite. At the time I was doing the painting, local sources of the colors that I wanted were out and even the couple companies I checked out for an online order had these on backorder.

Branches with a little stem stitch accent
JoJo also provided moral support and helpful hints as I painted details on the mountain and mountain reflection. Isn't it amazing how much the paint added to the mountain? I'm liking those stems. I decided to add some light to the branches.

This is the branch after adding a stem stitch with a gold sparkle embroidery thread made in Japan. This thread stitches beautifully. A special friend gave me this to me. I liked it so well that I have my eye out to purchase more locally!

Now, I'm thinking that I need more blossoms. I struggled for days trying to figure out where to put them! Then JoJo came over and gave me some feedback.

Using a zig zag to stitch the blossoms
I fused the blossoms and then began the process to stitch each blossom to the background. I decided I needed a little bling so I added metallic thread to the blossoms. I also decided to pad the blossoms with wool batting. The appliqué and trapunto happened in one step.

I hope that the trapunto effect will give the blossoms a little "pop" and make them appear closer when I finish the piece.

The metallic thread wasn't easy to use on this project.

Places where I had layers of fusible, were spots where the metallic thread shredded. In the end, I had a few more starts and stops in those areas! 😀

Batting trimmed
I trimmed away the batting so that the trapunto effect would be maximized as much as possible. Yes, this step took time and no, I didn't cut the front while I was trimming. . . .WHEW!

Ready for layering

As I was clearing a mini pile off my work table, I found a few more blossoms. I decided that the blossoms should be part of the project so I added them to the top.
Now, to layer and baste the top for quilting. I do have a back fabric selected and I am planning to face this wall hanging too and I think I will have enough back fabric for the facing. I will need a different fabric for the sleeve which I am thinking about. As for the quilting, I'm planning my stitching will be enough to provide definition for the sky, mountain and water. I'm not planning to quilt it as densely as I'm quilting the chicken! Surely, I can quilt this project faster than I have quilted the last three quilts that I've finished!