There will be no Sunday stitchings next week as I will be giving a talk. This week's progress was slowed as the talk for the last portion of the meeting was both inspirational and emotional. It is a tad difficult to sew when your eyes get misty.
So on to the second graduation portrait, I had set myself a high standard with the first which made this one daunting, it had to reach the same level. I found my first bit of procrastination in trying to find the shield/motto for her university. A more modern institution to her husband's, I never did find one, I guess it did not have one.
Then it took a little while to sort the material for her dress (I went with satin) and the colour of the hood, they were so close in tone.
Sort out the order for assembling tack it down and start the detailing.
The eyes on the first portrait went too well, I was nervous it would not work out this time. I worried without cause, I feel that the eyes here turned out exceptionally well. Therein I had a problem, I worked on the eyes early on, a mistake, those eyes were full of mute accusation..why because she had no mouth. Not for a short time for a long time. Everything else was getting stitched. Hair, tassels, hands, rings (more metallic thread) collar bone everything and anything not to do the mouth. Teeth, that is what scared me, and open smile with teeth. First attempt was carefully unpicked, as was the second and third. I just could not get teeth to work, there would be months between working myself up to another attempt, or was it years.
It was easy to let other projects elbow their way it, take priority be started and finished and still those eyes watching...
At last I reached the only logical conclusion, don't do the teeth, let the eye and brain of the viewer fill it in.
I think it worked. I think it became an equal companion to the first portrait. A fitting reflection of the equal partnership in this marriage.
So now I had five blocks, what was I going to do with them. That required some thinking and staring at the blocks,the engagement,the wedding,graduation lion,and graduation portrait and some more thinking and staring. I will leave you thinking about what you would do with them and tell and show what I did in another post later.
how could I offer to make something for one Missionary and not his companion, they come in pairs. The answer is of course that I couldn't. The American half of the pair also surprised me with his choice. A racoon. I had in my head that I had a couple of racoon designs I could choose from in my pattern books , so I said yes.
This is the design I chose.
I made it into a card, as I had with the earlier dragon although sorting out a message to go inside did not require an online translator this time.
Oh, I almost forgot again to provide design details. It is from this book.
Graduating students have a formal portrait taken and my friend send me a copy of his. Now this is the point at which the project started to morph once again. I decided to do a block using the portrait picture. However this time, given the subject matter the likeness needed to be better, the increased size helped but it still took more time, quite a lot more time.
The face had an adjustment or two after I started to get the eyes right. I had marked the face out with a yellow washable pen. It took more than a few washes for it to come completely out and until it did he had a decidedly jaundiced look
Once again I used padding, although it was even more marked in this instance, and gold metallic thread for his wedding ring and silver for the ring on the other hand.
I also included in the top right the coat or arms and motto for his university. I was rather pleased with it when it was finished but the time taken had eroded my plans for the blocks becoming a quilt.
It would probably not have been finished till he was ready for his pension.
I have managed with this picture to cut off the top of his head gear!
I had planned block with images of his homes, a world map with little stars for places he and his wife had lived or visited, blocks with the other children in their growing family..oh yes I had lots of plans. It would have been an amazing thing (as is the way with projects in my head). However the reality of it made me realise it was just not going to be practical.
So was this the place to stop, with quartet of blocks? graduation lion,the wedding,the engagement and this one. No, as I had another picture, both my friends had been students when they met and married, so there was another copy of a graduation picture I had received, and that is a story for the next post on this project.