Friday, May 4, 2018

Zion Narrows Continuing

My original photo
 In my last blog I showed you what I've been working on lately and today's blog is showing you the continuing work. Soooo, by way of review the photo above is my original photo, the one below is my edited version. (I didn't like the big sand bank in the original.) 

My edited photo
 This next photo is where I left off since my last blog. I had finished the golden canyon walls and the shaded deep gray walls. 
From last blog post -
 Let's get started on that last canyon wall. Here is a detail shot from my poster sized photograph. 
Detail shot of the canyon wall on the top left
 As you can see in the photo, there is some stripey action and that canyon wall is a mix of deep reds and light gray. After MUCH debate and searching for the right base fabric, I ended up using the gray/red multi batik as my base fabric. Before I get to the lower part of that wall, I had to do that brilliant upper part. I had to make sure I could blend the part on top with the part on the bottom! 
Double checking - can I blend these two prints together? 
 I decided I could. So I built the upper part of that wall using the striped batik on the upper left and adding small bits of other prints to the base amber print that you saw in the 3rd picture in this post. 
Close up of the upper part of the wall - and the next piece which will need to blend the intense colored portion into the gray canyon wall which will be that batik I showed you.
 I used a lot of crayon color on that amber print I used as a base. I used a deep brownish purple batik to add the shadowy patches and then I went over it all with white marker so it looks a bit like light shining on the rock face.

Now on to the lower part of the wall and blending the 2 portions.
First - add orange to the stripey batik
 I cut out the stripey batik so the stripes would mimic the angles in the photograph. Then I played around with my crayons and markers until I got the colors right. 
Blending the two portions of the wall together

 If you read my last blog, I believe I mentioned that I'm winging it. I've never done anything like this before. Well some of you asked me some questions about using crayons and I figured I'd do some googling to make sure I wasn't -
A. Poisoning myself  (or you!) with melted crayon toxic fumes and
B. That I was using crayons the best way so I wouldn't give you bum advice. 

I read a bunch of tips and a few people suggested using a LOT of white crayon on fabric first so it would settle into the pores of the fabric so the next colors would go on more smoothly. I tried it out and I think it does help the other colors go on. You need a LOT of white though. 

Lightening the batik with a ton of white crayon and melting it in - 
 If you look back at the photograph, you'll see that the top of this wall under the golden shading was quite light.  I lightened it up big time and then I added some golden brown under that top patch to blend the top patch into the light portion of the canyon wall. 
You can see the golden amber color I shaded under the top piece
 The next step was to cut out some of the crevices from the freezer paper pattern. (See last blog for details on this pattern). 
I knew where that crevice was going to go so I shaded a bit with my chestnut crayon underneath it. Then fused it on. 
 I also added that darker gray stony patch that is naturally part of this canyon wall. Once again, look at the photograph and you'll see it. Also, notice how it is pretty horizontal across the wall? I originally arranged that separate patch in that same formation. I hated it.

Mother nature can get away with things and make them work. I can't. I added more gray above that shape to make it look more natural. Yep, more natural than mother nature!
Finished that wall -
 I get so involved working that I forget to take photos. You saw the batik though and I used a LOT of white and gray crayons and markers to wash out the some of the red.  I also added a gray Stonehenge rocky print and used markers and crayons to blend it into the batik base. 
The rocky floor of the canyon starts - 
 The base print I chose was actually from a weird sky print. I liked the sandy color and the shaded areas could look like there were rocks? Maybe? 
White marker time!! 
 I lightened one side of this print and used a gray marker or crayon - can't remember - to darken the other side. Then I got out two rock prints from my stash.
One print too dark, the other print too light!
 I lightened the dark print and using markers and crayons colored stones from the light print. There is a fusible behind this fabric, so I just cut out and arranged rocks. 
Closeup of the sand bank rocks
 I did add some curvy strips of another sandy print just for texture and a bit of different color. I also lightened up the top of each rock with my marker and shaded the bottom of each rock with a sharpie metallic gray marker. 
Next - that water. Egads - making water!
 I had 2 prints I thought would work. The distant water was a bit of a pain because it was too light so I kept coloring it with sandy amber and an olive green crayon until I got it to work. It had to be a little deeper value than the sand bank so I lightened up the sand bank a bit and darkened the water a bit.

The foreground water is an old Stonehenge print. I suggests water to me - water with rocks under it.

In case you are wondering why there is a T-Square there, the water print has to be perfectly horizontal in the landscape. Remember I'm building this on a fusible foundation so when I press it into place it has to be perfect. 
White washing water
 I began to play with cutting out bigger rocks and realized I was going to have to change that Stonehenge water a bit. It needed white water in some places and deeper blues in others. I began  by painting over that print with a mix of acrylic white paint and a fabric medium. (Liquitex). I painted 'comma' shapes and then used a bit of water to blend them into the print. 
All lightened up with suggestions of ripples
 The next thing to do was add deeper shades of blue and I used a simple blue watercolor paint to do so. Once again I painted 'comma' shapes and blended them with water.  Unfortunately, I did not choose the perfect blue. My water is more cerulean than the photograph. Sniff... this doesn't make me happy. RATS. 
The shore under the rock -
 There is washed up sand and small rocks under this big boulder so I shaded in some chestnut and green to mimic that look. There is some deep shade there so I used a black marker on the edge. 
The water -
 I don't know why  but there are two closeup shots of the water so I might as well post them. 🙂
Water close up
 I added some narrow wavy light pieces to mimic whitewater around the rock on the other side of the shore. 
Making large rocks - these are my fabrics

 I had a really large rock print that I didn't bother showing you - it was Michael Miller's Just Rocks if you remember it. I used that print for the boulders on the bottom left. I used the wrong side and added color with marker and crayon. 

The other rocks were made from that same batik I used on canyon wall on the left and a blue green rocky weird print I had in my stash. You never know when you'll use strange prints and this one worked great blending in rocks that looked like they might be in or just above the water. 

All done - 
 I think I'm done for now though truth be told I might do down to my sewing room and see if I can add more more navy blue to the water so it isn't so turquoise.  I kind of hate to touch it though! I'm always telling hubby not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good and it might be time to take that advice myself. 
Another water closeup
 Today I'm cleaning up my room and getting ready to teach a couple of classes. When I get back, it will be time to figure out how to make the plants and knit them into rock walls and how to make the trees. I'm sure I'll be using fabric confetti for the leaves it's just a matter or figuring out how. I do not want to sprinkle it on the landscape and use tulle to hold it in place.
From photo to fabric

Seriously, I may have to go down and see if I can add some navy blue to this water. 
Ugh. If wreck the water that will be a disaster.
Decisions Decisions

Until next time - Happy Quilting!
Comments welcome


  1. Looks great so far, add some trees and you sould be close.

    1. Thanks! I just have to psych myself up for more work and I'm not feeling it...

  2. I love this and am enjoying watching you do it.

    1. Thank you - I have a lot left to do - I think the most work will be the trees and I've been battling a headache lately so I'm not really motivated right now!
      I need to get it together and get back to this project.

  3. What a pleasure and treasure for you to blog your progress. I am getting inspired!

  4. You have an amazing eye . The rock scape looks like the photograph but I'm sure "in the flesh"is much more interesting .
    I know what you mean about the water - from the pick looks as though grey should be added or could a dark fabric like navy or black go underneath to slightly "grin through" darkly?

    1. Yeah, it still isn't quite right and I added some darker blues to it but I need to do more. I've been battling a headache for a few days now and lost all motivation to work... but I need to get back to it.

  5. You have a very keen eye for the natural look.
    The fabric picture looks so like the original photograph.However the texture makes it more interesting !
    I see what you mean about the water needing darkening. Perhaps using a darker fabric like black or navyy to "grin " underneath may help. I dont know.Im aspiring to be more creative in my quilting but am still very much at the practical beginner stage!! Good luck with this. It's fabulous .

  6. I so much enjoy reading about your process and the tools and techniques you use. I have to do a lot more mustering of my courage to attempt something similar for my barns and I think there will be a big box of crayons coming home with me before long. I never would have thought of using crayons, although I have tried watered-down folk art paint and also watercolour pencils. The pencils were rather a failure and I can see that crayons would be better. Thank you for sharing so much and helping me learn!

    1. The crayons do change the texture of the fabric which makes it less forgiving when you are quilting... those little holes show if you have to rip out any stitches. They are wonderful to use though, that's for sure!