Sunday, June 27, 2021

Miss K's Mermaid Is Finished--Post 6

Applying the glue to the binding
On our next sew day which was early March 2020, Miss K finished her binding. She liked cutting the 45 degree angle on the binding tails. 

I showed her how to glue her binding in place instead of using pins. She was skeptical about the glue; but, she gave the process a try. It worked well for her. She liked using the iron to make "the glue melt." I liked her description of the process. We spent about an hour finishing the binding.

Finally, we were at the stage to add beads for the fish eyes and to add the hair to the mermaid. I've wanted to see the mermaid have hair since Miss K first described her vision of the mermaid's hair. As we have worked on the project, the conversation about the mermaid's hair has evolved. Miss K has auditioned "hair" so that I would understand what the hair should resemble!

We had planned to spend Spring vacation working on her project. COVID restrictions sure curtailed progress on that plan! We didn't get together to discuss the project until the beginning of April 2021. Miss K auditioned beads for the fish eyes. She decided that she would rather stitch the eyes with thread--she was concerned with how the back would look. She did pick some beads to put in
Painting the fish
the hair.

When we finally got together to work on her project last week, she decided that she wanted to do something to make the fish more visible. She practiced making marks of various colors on a scrap of the background fabric. She used tsukineko inks and a brush applicator to apply the ink to the quilt surface. I purchased the inks and applicator brushes when I attended a class at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas a lot of years ago. I haven't used the paints since.

Detail of fish
Miss K liked the effect of the paint. She was surprised how the color changed depending on the part of the fabric she was painting. She marveled that she could see the fish from a distance after painting them. She used a micron pen to make the dot for the eye. She also used the pen for line work to add a little detail to the tails. She liked that the inks left the hand of the fabric intact and that there was no stitching or knots on the back of her piece. 

Mermaid with yarn hair
Next, she added the hair to her mermaid. Originally, we had cut thin strips of fabric to make dreadlocks. From the free table at guild in 2019, I picked up a package of doll hair. It was curly yellow yarn. Miss K laid out pieces of the yarn in a pleasing layout to her eye. She liked the yarn better than the fabric strips. She wanted the yarn or hair to be "pouffy." 
Sewing the sleeve

With my help, she free motioned stitched/tacked the hair in place. To achieve the pouffy look, she left sections of the yarn unstitched. She also stitched the yarn with a metallic thread so that it would look like there was a net of sparkle in the hair. She had to stop and readjust the yarn as she adhered it to the quilt top. She loved the effect the hair added to her piece!

 She made an effort to not entirely cover up the fish on the top left. As she worked, she developed a story about the fish and the mermaid! It was fun to listen to her process. Throughout this process, it was challenging for me to figure out how she could achieve the look that was in her head!! 

I showed her how to position and hand stitch the hanging sleeve. She was NOT a fan of hand stitching. I didn't have a thimble that was small enough to fit her finger nor did I have any finger savers. She poked herself which hurt! She was NOT a fan of stitching the corners of the binding closed either. 
Using pliers to pull the thread

I thought that she would be excited because I thought she was finished. Nope, she wasn't finished. She said the mermaid needed a necklace, a nose and there was too much of a white space in the middle of the mermaid's face. Then she decided that the eyes needed paint to be more "real." She let me know her thoughts had "matured" since she drew her picture when she was seven. She had her ninth birthday last month!

She auditioned ribbon, beads and paint for the necklace. She wasn't excited about the options available. I suggested she audition a piece of red pearl cotton. She liked the color; but, she explained to me that it wasn't thick enough to be a necklace for a mermaid. We made a sample of a strand with colonial knots couched on the strand. She liked the texture. 
Necklace and nose

She laid the thread and pinned the center in
place so that it would remain in the position that she wanted it. She found it challenging to hold the wraps on her needle and impossible to hold it all in place to pull the thread to the back of her quilt. 

She found she was almost strong enough to pull the needle through all the layers with needle nosed pliers. She had me hold the threads on the top side of the project while she pulled. She wasn't happy that the embroidery covered a word of her story. BUT, she loved the effect. I loved the effect too!

She used color pencils to blend the color of the face better and she used a micron pencil to add a nose. We got out the acrylic paints and she gave the eyes more dimension. Now she was truly finished. (She decided her mermaid didn't need a crown after all!) She was excited! It measurers 15 inches wide by 25 inches high. It is constructed of scraps. Many of the scraps came from my friend Martha's string bin.
Finished back

Miss K began her journey with this project September 2019. Throughout the entire project, she built her quilt in her own vision. She chose the colors, fabrics and threads that worked the best for her design. She is letting me keep her quilt to enter in a quilt show or two should the shows be held.

You can read the previous posts of her journey by clicking the links below:
Miss K is Stitching--post 1
Miss K's Mermaid--post 2
Miss K's Mermaid--post 3
Miss K's Mermaid--post 4
Miss K's Mermaid--post 5

This was goal number five on my June list. We used about a yard of scraps so 5 3/4 yard of stash/scraps has been used this year. We have already decided what our next project will be.  Now, if we can find the time to get together! I'm also linking to Oh Scrap--Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework.
Finished front

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 181M cases; 3.92M deaths
United States: 33.6M cases; 604K deaths
Oregon: 208K cases; 2,704 deaths

The Oregon governor has announced that the state will open to "normal" on June 30. While I'm happy about the prospect of wearing a mask much less, I imagine that I still will  wear a mask because the people who aren't are either vaccinated or not. It's the unvaccinated group that concerns me. It seems odd that the magic number to open was 70% vaccinated. The state is 51% totally vaccinated and 57% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

On another note, we are having a heat wave. Yesterday, it was 104 degrees Fahrenheit as the high and 67 degrees as the low. Today, the forecast is for it to be 111 as the high and 72 as the low. I can't remember a time that the upper temperature was that high. It will be an indoor day for me. I'm thankful for air conditioning! Restrictions on the number of people in a swimming pool have been reduced as have the restrictions for number of people in a cooling center.


Nicole Knott said...

Quite the artistic lady Miss K- just like her mama! Great project and innovation with all the techniques and materials involved. said...

Yes, Nicole, Miss K is an artist and she definitely knows what the end is going to resemble! It was fun to work with her!

Mereknits said...

I absolutely love how hard you tried to get the quilt done in the image she had, her thoughts on it were so interesting. I really have enjoyed hearing about her vision for this project. We have been open here in Florida forever because of our Governor but I still am wearing a mask everywhere. I have a little boy to take care of and he can't get this due to some respiratory issues he had when he was a baby. I try to be very cautious because of this, and of course all my little patients are pretty fragile. It still makes me feel safer to have one one. Hope it cools off near you soon.

Rebecca Grace said...

How wonderful! She did a great job!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

It looks like you had so much fun with Miss K! I love all the wonderful details of her mermaid. It will be fun to see what your next joint project is!

Janice Smith said...

Please tell Miss K that I think she is a truly wonderful quilt artist. I love, love, love her mermaid, especially the hair. I have enjoyed following her progress on this piece, and I am impressed with her clarity and determination about how the piece should look!

Stay cool. We are having a heat wave with temperatures 94-100, but that’s nothing compared to what you are experiencing. Be safe. said...

Rebecca, I'm impressed that she stuck with the process until the end! I hope she will continue to quilt. said...

Thank you, Diann. It was so much fun to watch her create this project. It was also an opportunity to stretch my skills as well! said...

Janice, I forward your comments to Miss K. The hair is terrific. Although, she thinks the tail is the best part because it is unique. She sure was determined and triumphant when she finished which was great to see!

Janice Smith said...

Yes, please tell Miss K. that she is right; the tail is amazing!!! said...

Janice, will certainly share your comment with Miss K. She will be excited you noticed all the tail detail! said...

Mereknits, I can relate to why you wear a mask. Tomorrow is the day "ordinary" begins here. Let's see what that looks like and if there is a spike in COVID cases. It was in the 90s today and it felt cool! Compared to 117 yesterday, it was cool! It is all about perspective isn't it?