Playing with perspective

perspective-trial
So I had a go at doing a cityscape with perspective.  Two-point perspective, to be precise. This required a crash course on 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, a quick practice using pencil, paper and an eraser (mostly the latter), then firing up Adobe Illustrator and wrangling with the perspective grid, which, once you figure out how it works, makes things fairly quick and easy – until that point, you are better of with pencil and paper.  Anyway, technically I am happy as the perspective is spot on. I even added windows, each of which has to be drawn separately, to get the correct perspective.

However, I made a number of design mistakes.  There isn’t enough contrast in the fabrics so the two buildings on the lower left merge into each other, and the windows on the big building on the left are barely visible.  I should have carried the buildings right to the edge of the picture frame, as now it looks like a small island floating in a green sea (which is NOT what I intended).  I also need to include more buildings, particularly in the background, to make it look more high density.  I also want to play around with the horizon line – I want to drop it much lower to get the feel of looking up at the buildings more.  Anyway, lots to be going on with.

The centre panel is 8 x 8 inches and I added border with a view to making a little 12 x 12 quilt, but as I don’t really like it I won’t bother finishing it off. It has served its purpose as a valuable learning exercise.

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Fabric postcards

I am not even going to address the fact that I have been AWOL for a year.  Let’s just move on.  I decided to indulge myself on Mother’s Day by doing whatever the hell I felt like, and that turned out to be making some Cityscape fabric postcards.  These are quite addictive.

Cityscape-collection

And here they are individually. I have never cared for the zig zag around the edge finish that most people do.  I always think it looks scruffy and unfinished, no matter how good the satin stitch is.

These are all 6 inches x 4 inches.  I think I will play with adding perspective for the next lot – have some ideas about how to do that.

Cityscape-01Cityscape-02Cityscape-03Cityscape-04Cityscape-05Cityscape-06back-of-postcard

New thermofax screen – Sashiko stitching

I am currently enamoured with all things Japanese. I am re-learning the language, forty years after I first did an intensive 12 month course, and I have a trip planned for later this year. So I wasn’t surprised to notice that a number of the new screens I have made recently have a distinctly Japanese theme to them.

Sashiko stitching is a traditional style of running stitch usually done in white on an indigo background. I must confess that traditional sashiko just doesn’t appeal to me much – the traditional designs are very precise and orderly. While many people find repetition and symmetry pleasing in designs, I am afraid I am not one of them. To me, same, orderly = predictable = boring, no matter how artfully executed. I like eccentricity and asymmetry – it takes far too much effort to be perfect!

sashiko-scallops-on-indigo

sashiko-scallops

thermofax screen sashiko stitching
zippered pouch with ‘sashiko’ stitching

So I took a traditional sashiko clamshell design and in Adobe Illustrator, drew free-hand clamshells then used a seed stitch brush to simulate the stitches. I turned this into a thermofax screen, and voila – instant, quirky sashiko ‘stitching’. I made a zippered pouch of the fabric, and backed it with some complementary Japanese patchwork fabric.sashiko-zippered-pouch-back
thermofax 'sashiko' stitching

I played with the idea a bit and made a few more designs, including a traditional hexagon, some random, wavy stitching lines and then interspersed straight lines with circles. These remind of of the sand/gravel gardens at at temple in places like Kyoto.
sashiko-stone-gardensashiko-hexagons

I have printed these onto some indigo fabric that I dyed using 60% reduced indigo from KraftKolour in Melbourne. A very quick and easy way to get into indigo dyeing if you would like to give it a go. These pieces only had one dip in the vat, so aren’t very dark, but I like this shade of blue.

I’m baaaack!

Dear me, I am not quite sure why I go missing in action from time to time.  This has been a particularly long absence, but yes, I am still alive.  I have had a steady flow of thermofax screen orders recently, so people are obviously finding the site, despite my inactivity.  If you are wondering, yes I still provide a custom screen service.

2016-AHQ-label

My first screen of the year, as always was for the 2016 label for Aussie Hero Quilts.  I have sent off about 30 of these already. Of course not everyone uses my labels, many people make their own, but there are obviously some people who appreciate having someone else take care of that little detail, so I am happy to help, especially as it is such a good cause.

I made 11 AHQ quilts in 2015 and quilted six made by others.  So far this year I have one nearly finished and two waiting to be quilted.  I will gradually update the AHQ quilt gallery with the photos.