I was at an impasse with my garden quilt. It wasn’t coming together as I had envisioned. I needed to create a new direction–Plan B, or C or D.  So I put the quilt back on the machine to try again.  I decided the quilt needed more color than just the thread.  I decided to use Irena Bluhm’s technique of using colored pencils to create color.  I was aiming for a sketchy look when it was done.

Michael, (my husband) came up with a solution for my sky dilemma.  I went over the stipple 2 more times, in different colored threads creating a ribbon effect.  Much better–thanks Mike.  I couldn’t decide on quilting the background. Once again Mike had the simple solution. Take the quilt off the machine, color it and then decide if the background needs quilting.

I took the quilt home and began the coloring process.  I started with the tomato leaves. One shade of green was not enough so I added a second shade of green. Then I used a yellow color as a highlight. I wanted more color depth and the pencils were not giving me the look I wanted–the look I had in my head.  I tried using Neocolor II crayons over the top of the colored pencil.  These crayons are water soluble and when I brushed on the water I got the effect I had in my mind.

Build up of colored pencil on the tomato leaves

highlights of color on the tomato leaves

carrot tops with colored pencils

Neocolor II washed over the top of the colored pencil layer

Throughout the whole process, my buddy Casper (the namesake of Blacktail Design), was by my side.  Usually he gets excited and wants to “help” when I bring out my paints and brushes. However, today he is content to supervise.

Casper is supervising the operation

I learned that when I applied the water, it was hard to control the flow.  This created a few places where the coloring was definitely out of the lines.  That was my determining factor in coloring the entire background, turning the mistakes into a planned vision.  Also, I decided the quilt needed to have the background quilted. Back on to the longarm machine for the finishing touches. It is now complete–except for a binding.

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Michael says it looks like a picture in a childrens book. Mmmm….that gives me an idea. Maybe that will be another project for another day.