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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Greetings from Portland Oregon

Being without a sewing cabinet for most of the past two weeks provided a good excuse to try smaller size thread painting projects.  Limiting size to 4x6 or 5x7 would provide several benefits.  If I like the finished product, it would take less of our limited wall space, or could be used for a greeting card. It would also allow me to audition a subject for a larger canvas.  I completed five small paintings, four of which became greeting cards.  The last one may be simply a lesson learned.

St. John's Bridge 

St. John’s Bridge spans the Willamette River in North Portland.  Construction started on the bridge just prior to the stock market crash in 1929 and was completed in 1931.  There are many interesting facts and history surrounding the St. John’s Bridge.  It recently re-gained national notoriety when Greenpeace protesters rappelled down the bridge in an effort to block an icebreaker employed by the Shell Oil Company.

The original postcard of the U.S.S. Portland passing under St. John’s Bridge, Portland, Oregon was published around 1931 to 1945, and can be seen on Wikimedia Commons.  I chose to remove the ship and the printed title.  My 4x6 thread painting does not do justice to the beautifully painted postcard.  The background buildings and the lines of the bridge would be better served in a larger size. 


Happy Birthday, MacKenzie!  
A birthday card for our beautiful granddaughter was the most challenging work in the past two weeks.  I used a photo taken by our daughter-in-law.  It took four attempts before finding the right balance of thread, color and density, but I am happy with the final product.  In the early attempts of this photo, I tried stitching MacKenzie's image, however, I found it too difficult to define her face with stitches.  I finally used Photoshop to remove all color except MacKenzie.  A few stitched lines were used to highlight her image.  Many, many stitches used to define her horse, Sunny, and the background.     

Good Luck, Nancy!
This card was created to say goodbye and good luck to a favorite Starbucks barista.  It was a last minute idea, so the time allowed to develop the photo with thread was limited.  I took the photo myself and used Photoshop to manipulate the color.  Because I planned to use fewer stitches, I left more of the photo intact for printing to the fabric.  A streetcar in the photo would have distinguished our Kearney Plaza Starbucks, but would have taken more time than I had to complete. 

Greeting card size version of the Benson Bubbler thread painting presented two weeks ago.  The simplicity of lines and subject was perfect for a smaller version.

This 4x6 thread painting depicting Portland's Union Station is not yet completed.  A smaller canvas does not allow as much detailed thread work and the objects lose definition. I need practice in selecting subjects for the small canvas.  Simple lines and detail that can be defined with fewer stitches....and knowing when to stop sewing! 

Dream Cabinet

My new Koala Treasure Chest Plus IV finally arrived last Thursday and it did not disappoint!  I am sure there are many great sewing cabinets available, but I have owned only two, both were Koala.  The first one was a floor model that served well for over ten years.   When I purchased the Bernina 770 sewing machine earlier this year, I knew I would need a new cabinet.  There are many features that separate this cabinet from others, but height and flexibility of use made this the cabinet for me.  It is about 6 inches taller than a conventional sewing cabinet making it easier for cutting and crafting.  It is also easier on my back and eyes while sewing.  When closed, the cabinet is smaller than my old QuiltMate.  When open, the magic begins.  There are too many configuration options to mention here.  For most of my sewing projects, I will use the outback extension doubling the work space.  There are two “side palettes” (not shown) that will add 4 feet to the width, or swing around to the front for additional crafting and cutting area.  My sewing space will not allow use of the side pallets at the same time as the outback extension.  However, there will be times when I will want to drop the outback extension, and set up the side pallets so I can use my serger and the sewing machine at the same time.  The cabinet is a beauty and I am grateful to have it. 

Traditional Sewing

Although I have more thread painting subjects in mind, I am ready for a short break.  The next couple weeks will be spent doing more traditional sewing.   Fabrics are stacked in my closet waiting for attention.  

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you will come back in two weeks to see what develops.