Fabric Portraits, Baskets and Birds

I’ve been so busy with work stuff, that I don´t even have the time to blog anymore, so this post is about a few things I´ve finished but haven’t had time to write about.

So firstly, in December I finished the fabric portrait of my daughter Andi and Isabella. I´m still not happy with the outcome of my fabric portraits, I think I’ll probably stop doing them, in this portrait the change in colour value in Andi´s face is just too striking, It bothers me. Now looking at it after o many months I can see so many things that I should have added and/or done differently, so maybe what I should do is start a portrait and take month long breaks while doing it 🙂

This is the original photo

Next, I made a rice filled heating pad Llama, I found the pattern at The Crafty Quilter Here. I made the outer part like a cushion cover, the inside is made from plain cotton , this way I can safely heat it up in the microwave, before covering it with the outside minky part. I use this every night when I watch TV, it´s wonderfully warm and comforting.

I made another fabric basket, I really like the way it turned out, so I´m pretty pleased with it.

I think I´ll definitely make more, they´re so easy to make and the outcome is so worth it, I have meters and meters of batik fabric that was given to me a while back, so I´ll probably use that.

And lastly, I´m playing around with some blocks I made ages ago from a Jaquelyne Steves quilt along Here I just finished quilting the blocks and because I didn´t know quite what to do with them, I hang them up on a branch, I´m asked my daughter Andi to make branches with macrame, which I will then sew to the blocks so that hopefully it will look like a tree with bird houses, or something like that when it´s finished, its still a work in progress, so I might just use them as pot holders 🙂

Well that´s a quick round up of what I´ve been up too, have a great week and thanks for popping by 🙂

AUNTS AND NIECES

When I was growing up I had a very special relationship with an aunt of mine, although she lived quite far from us, she lived in East London, South Africa, and we lived in Zimbabwe and then later on, in Johannesburg. We would spend a few weeks each year with my aunt and uncle on holiday. As a young teenager I would sometimes visit on my own during school holidays, my parents would buy me a plane ticket and off I´d go. My first ever date was on one of these trips. My aunt´s friend had a very good looking son, and he invited me to the local drive-in, being very shy I was petrified but my aunt encouraged me to go and so I did. When my mom found out she was livid with my aunt, and to my disappointment the boy never asked me out again, Hah Hah, I really was such a nerd 😀

All the above waffling is just to say that I think aunts and nieces can have a very special bond, this kind of relationship is very evident in my daughter Megan and my granddaughter Isabella, and that’s why I wanted to make a fabric collage portrait of both of them

Now, about the actual portrait, I´m not really happy with it, it´s my second “people ” one, but I feel I didn´t really progress, I found it much harder than the first one, and thank goodness my daughter Andi, Isabella´s mom helped me correct some glaring issues, because eventually I just couldn’t see the wood for the trees, in the end I also added some shading with inktense pencils, because the fabric I had just wasn´t the right tone.

I´m not sure I´m cut out for this type of work, but I´m pretty stubborn and I won´t give up on myself quite as readily as that young man did 😀 so I think I´ll probably be doing another soon, but I´m going to make it colourful, and not try to match skin tones, hopefully that will be more liberating.

Rhino Fabric Collage

My Rhino Project is done. Took me an age to do, and it´s mainly due to being on partial lay-off, due to the Covid pandemic that it is actually finished. It´s quite large measuring 116cm x 98cm, and I am sooo in love with it

I have an enormous love of all wildlife.  Having been born and bred in Africa my heart literally sings when I´m in the African bush, which unfortunately is a very rare occurrence since moving to Portugal. Actually the last time I was in the Kruger Park, was in 2013, goodness, I can’t believe it´s been 7 years already, but it´s so costly to visit my birthplace and then when I come back to my “home” in Portugal I feel homesick for ages! Oh my, just writing this has made me feel a little sad, 7 years, wow… Anyway, I chose to make the Rhino because they are literally being slaughtered for their horns and soon there won´t be any left. It´s  sad that humans are so incredibly ignorant.

I have dozens of Rhino photos taken by me at the Kruger Park, I chose this one because he was really enjoying himself at the water hole, it was late afternoon, and all around us their was such serenity, all we could hear was the occasional sloshing of the water as he moved around, the cicadas, and now and then the far off cry of a fish eagle. 

When I  made my Jack portrait Here I already knew that I wanted to do a Rhino art quilt. Jack was my stepping stone. I knew I wanted the Rhino to be big and I wanted it colorful, and I wanted the background to be similar to it´s natural habitat, and so that’s what I´ve tried to do here.

I ordered some Kaffe fassett fat quarters from overseas, unfortunately I can´t find Kaffe Fassett anywhere in Portugal. The background fabrics I ordered from Spoonflower, and the rest I sourced from the local stores and from my home stash. I started it in early March so it took me 4 months to do.

Here are some close ups of the rhino and the birdie on top.

I mounted the quilt myself on canvas, and it´s new home is in my lounge. I´m a little worried about how it will stand up to dust etc. but mounting it in glass would have been a huge expense, I also like the look of natural mounted textile, so that the thread work and fabrics are clearly visible and touchable.

The other day my daughter Andi, jokingly said that it looks like he´s wearing a mask, so I suppose he´s very 2020 appropriate 🙂 I love looking at him in the evenings, when I´m relaxing in the lounge.

Looking at the quilt every day up on the wall, I can see so many things I  could have done differently and better, but I try not to dwell on these thoughts. I know that if I had worked on it for a year, I would still be finding fault with something or other, so I´ll just enjoy my Rhino as he is.