October 16, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 5

Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP18

I finished the felting and the stitching on the center panel..I clean-finished the edges by adding a backing.  I could have called it done at the point, but I decided to add beadwork to the panel.  I like the way beads add texture and detail, and I enjoy the meditative quality of sewing on the beads one at a time.  It's slow work, but that's ok.  I've begun by stitching tiny glass seed beads to each rose.

I like my for my work to grab your attention from a distance, then reward you for coming in to take a closer look.

Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP19

I also made good progress on designing and piecing the background quilt that the panel will eventually be mounted onto, using the patchwork strips I put together earlier.
Late Summer Roses by Sue Reno, WIP20
I don't like measuring things.  I can do it well if required, if the finished work needs to be a certain size or there are other considerations.  But the act of measuring and turning the dimensions into numbers, and then working with those numbers instead of directly with the materials, feels unnecessary and intrusive.  I've been doing this a long time.  I started out as a semi-traditional quilter (I never had the patience to follow a pattern), so I have a good innate sense of what's needed and how it will all fit together.  I square up and measure it all at the end.

And I am approaching the end of the design work, I'm soon ready to layer it and begin quilting.  I'm having a lot of fun with this one.

You can track this work back by clicking on Late Summer Roses in the right sidebar, or go here.

October 9, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 4

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP15

I'm making steady progress on Late Summer Roses.  I've just added the roses.  They are little balls of wool roving, felted into place.  I may add beadwork or more detailing to them, I'm still contemplating my next move, but for now I am very happy with how things look.

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP16
I've also pieced the strips of silk and cotton into long strip sets, that will be sliced up and pieced further for the background quilt.  

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP17
There's a lot of work that goes into the preparatory part of quilt assembly.  Soon it will all be all fun and games as I put these elements together.  Stay tuned!

October 5, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 3

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP11
My plan for Late Summer Roses is to mount the needlefelted and quilted panel onto a supporting quilt. I use this technique often. I feel it's very effective in framing and highlighting the panel, and adding context to the imagery. Examples include Magnolia:
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
 Ice Jam:
Ice Jam, by Sue Reno
Ice Jam

If I Woke at Dawn
If I Woke at Dawn

Towards that end, I've pulled fabrics in two colorways and cut strips as a first step towards strip piecing.  The strips will then be cut and reassembled. 
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP12

Work continues on the center panel. I've added in the background for the rosebushes:
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP13
And thread painted them. Now all it needs is the roses. I've carefully built up the background and am excited to finally add them.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP14

October 2, 2016

Late Summer Roses - update 2

 I'm working on a new project, Late Summer Roses, that I began plein air in the garden of the PA Governor's Residence.  (Read the first installment here.) Back in the studio, I started with a good hard look at what I had made on site.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP7
I was pleased with it, but there were some obvious corrections to be made, so I made them.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP8

I then began building on the foundation, detailing the mulch beds and the brickwork, with needlefelting and with stitching. I also added the clouds in the sky.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP9
Next, I added the first layer of foliage to the trees.

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP10

Stay tuned! Lots more to come, including the rosebushes.

October 1, 2016

Late Summer Roses - New Work in Progress

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP1
A few weeks ago I was one of the plein air artists working at the PA Governor's Residence, as detailed in my previous blog post here.  The weather was on the warm side but otherwise lovely, and I set up my workstation in the shade of the arches near the rose garden. 

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP2
I was particularly intrigued by the contrast between the hard geometric shapes of the brick pathways, and the roses enjoying one last full flush of bloom. 

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP3
Here's a panorama view showing more of the roses, and the side entrance to the Residence.  On the left is the large magnolia tree that was the focus of my plein air work there last year, resulting in the eponymous Magnolia art quilt:
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
Magnolia, by Sue Reno
(You can track back blog post about the creation of Magnolia here.)

Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP4
This time around I knew where to set my expectations.  A lot of the pleasure of working in this kind of setting is talking to and interacting with the public, so my focus was on that and on getting the basics of the scene blocked out.
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP5
I talked a lot about fiber art, and needlefelting, and had my needlefelting flip book there to show how my typical work-in-progress proceeds.  I gave out samples of roving to children, and let interested visitors take a stab at using the needlefelting tool.  
Late Summer Roses, by Sue Reno, WIP6
By the end of the afternoon I had blocked out the path and the large trees, and had a firm vision in my head of where I wanted to take this piece when I got back into the studio.  It was a good day.