Saturday, September 19, 2015

Battle Plan

Cathy commented on my last post about my "battle plan."  Unfortunately, I had been been battling with emotions rather than plans.  Struggling with testers. Figuring out how to do it.  Jayne Bentley Gaskins responded to my email about the thread painting problem even though she was busy setting up a second home in VA.  She kindly shared her expertise and encouraged me to stay with it and try to use the bird that is already thread painted.  So I sat down and did some more testing.  I am going to go for it.  I am so glad to have my decision made.  After two weeks of waffling I am ready to move forward with a true battle plan.

TIP:  When you have a fail and want to move on it helps to walk away for awhile, do something else and let the ideas percolate.  In time it all settles into place and your brain adapts to new possibilities.  Mistakes often evolve into new techniques.

TIP:  Don't be afraid to contact other quilters even if they are well-known and published.  If they don't answer, no loss, but quilters are some of the nicest people with whom I have ever associated.  In my experience they are kind and willing to share.

I have begun the tedious job of drawing the background design on a new piece of fabric.  I say tedious, because it involves drawing precise lines with Micron pens, which are very permanent.  These lines must be measured as exactly as I can manage so I spent two-plus hours working very carefully. Measure twice, check it out, measure again, say a prayer, and draw the line.  I made two slight errors:  one will be painted over and I hope the bird will cover the other.  If not, I will figure out something on the fly, an extra feather or something.  There is a lot more to do, but the areas with the 1/2 inch grid are finished > sigh of relief.  Fatigue reared its ugly head so it was time to quit for the day.

Grid with freezer paper to guide the extent of design so I don't waste
my Inktense pencils.

What did I do differently and better?  I planned out the lines of the background design better.  I will no longer have the bird eating a golf ball.

From the trashed quilt.
I will no longer have a black line of pieced fabric lining up with a black line of background.  I thought that looked a little funny, but I couldn't do anything about it first time around and was just glad I could line them up exactly rather than slightly off.  Now I don't have to worry about that as the point will be in a section of grid rather than on the edge.

From the trashed quilt.
I painted the crosswise, dividing lines with Inktense pencils and got a deeper, more vibrant color this time.  I masked each line with masking tape and was able to pencil harder and darker because I didn't have to worry about going out of the lines.  I used a popsicle stick to rub the tape down tight so no color could escape.  Same thing when I applied the fabric medium over the pencil.  Much easier.  I don't know if it saved time or not, but I am pleased with the results.  Compare the painted black lines in the above photo with the new ones below.

Lines done and masking tape in place for the next one.
I have a lot more painting to do while the bird just relaxes behind my sewing machine waiting for its resurrection.  Actually, it kind of looks dead doesn't it?  Spooky!  Just wait....

Sew a happy seam this week.


  1. Wow....looking at the bird is mesmerizing. Have fun and enjoy the process.

  2. Can't wait to see how round two turns out. I've read a bit about Inktense pencils, but haven't tried them yet. Art quilts are not my focus now, but it's something I hope to try someday.

  3. This phoenix WILL rise from the ashes.

  4. Fascinating to read all this. I cannot wait either to see it finished.