Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Turn Your Photos into Watercolor Images with Waterlogue

Today I am going to tell you about a super easy way to turn your photos into watercolor-like images using an app called aptly enough Waterlogue. I use it on my iPad, but you may use it on your iPhone or on any device with Windows 10.

My original photos were taken in Court Square in Downtown Springfield, MA, and you may see them in an earlier post here.

Start by downloading this inexpensive app. When you open it, you will a small camera in the lower left corner. Click on it and you will see examples you may play around with or click on Photo Library to bring up one of your own photos as I have done.

Then try out some of the effects running along the bottom of the screen. For example, when your photo is on the screen, click on "Vibrant" and then watch your image appear in a small block to the right. Click on that image and before your very eyes, your photo will magically transform into a watercolor image. Way Cool!!!!! If you don't like the result, just swipe the image to the right and your original photo will appear. Click on another box, maybe "Rainy" this time.

Once you create an image that you like, then slide across the bottom to find a numbered scale. Picking a point of the scale will further change your image. I like the effects of six or eight. You may then save, email, or post your photo to other sites.

This is the scene from the seventh floor cafeteria of Mass Eye and Ear.

One more . . . Here is one of my favorite photos from a trip to Boothbay Harbor last August.

I love the colors in this reflection, but look how Waterlogue rendered it. . . equally nice and oh so painterly. :-)

Sure, I really, really do wish that I had the talent to work in actual watercolors, but for now, this will have to do. :-) I intend to print some of these images to make some notecards to have on hand.

Hope you are having a colorful week.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Hibiscus Quilt Finished

My hibiscus quilt is finished. Let the trumpets sound and the celebration begin!!!  This piece started back in March when I saw a photo that Meredith of mereknits-mereknits.blogspot.com posted of a beautiful hibiscus in her yard. I emailed her to ask permission to use her photo in an art quilt. The flower was stunning, but I also liked the background. She graciously agreed, and slowly I began documenting my progress on this piece. 

Here is my finished piece with an enlargement of Meredith's photo taken from her blog.

As you saw in an earlier post, I tried my hand at doing a lot of stitching on this piece. Not being completely confident about what I was attempting, I chose a light backing fabric. Not to worry, it looks pretty good to me. :-)

Here is the thimble that I purchased at the recent Bayberry Quilt Show. This beautiful silver thimble featuring a swan and sapphire stone was made by Jan Marie Larson of Thimbles for You.  If you go to any of the big shows, be sure to check out her pieces. She was also vending at the World Quilt Show in Springfield and will be in Houston. It was a slight splurge on my part, but it is like wearing a mini piece of art on my fingertip. :-)

A word about threads used in this piece. . . 

As you can see, I used quite an assortment. In an earlier post I showed petals stitched with Superior Fantastico variegated thread. I also used the green Superior Fantastico for the veining in some of the leaves. The two shiny orange Sulky rayon threads were used sparingly as accents. The rest of the threads were chosen strictly for color to create shadings and are a mix of Sulky and Mettler threads.

One thing I learned about variegated threads is to check the distance between color changes. I remember Bob Purcell of Superior Threads discussing that on The Quilt Show a few years back, and I filed it away in my memory bank. Someone on another blog was talking about using Fantastico whenever she needed a bit of shine, so I tried it. I love how it looks in the close up below.

A bit of bead work . . . there a cluster of tiny yellow beads and some slightly larger orange, glass beads.

The finished piece is 25.5 by 21 inches.

If you are new to my blog or would like to try turning one of your photos into a quilt, I have made a list of links I posted while working on this piece. 

The above links will give you an idea of how I approach creating a piece such as this. Each time I make a quilted wallhanging based on a photo, I seem to try new things.  The vinyl overlay which appliquers sometimes use worked well and depending on the subject I might try that again. I know that I won't be afraid to add stitching to my future pieces. 

One more thing: At a guild meeting a couple of years ago, I asked a presenter how she got her wallhangings to hang so perfectly flat. She said that she used a layer of deco bond on the back of her tops, and so I did that on this piece. It does indeed hang very flat against the wall. I'm not sure whether she also used batting, but there is also a layer of batting in my piece.

All in all, this piece was a positive experience for me, and I cannot wait to see what I will try next. :-)

Friday, August 23, 2019

A Little of This and a Little of That

My eye caught this pretty scene of colorful old buildings from the second floor of the MassMutual Center in Downtown Springfield.  Edith and I took a break from viewing all of the amazing quilts to get a bite to eat at a small restaurant across the street.  We walked around Court Square a bit and I was able to take a few quick photos.

Here's Emma, my pride and joy, after being groomed earlier in the week.

Headline of the week from the Boston Sunday Globe by way of the New York Times . . .  :-)

Finally, this pretty stand of sunflowers is growing beside a new restaurant in Weymouth.

I had to take it at this angle as I didn't think the driver of the truck next to me would have appreciated me climbing onto the hood of the truck to get a better angle. :-)

Next post . . . my completed hibiscus quilt . . . I just need to add the sleeve, binding, and label.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mancuso World Quilt Show New England 2019

I accompanied my friend Edith to the Mancuso World Quilt Show in Springfield, MA, last week, and let me just say that the caliber of the quilts on display from around the world was amazing. "Teatime in Wonderland" was one of the first quilts that we saw, and we knew immediately that we would be glad that we had come. 

I used a lower resolution for the identifying cards, but as always, you may click on any photo for a larger view.

One fun aspect of this quilt was the use of lace for a binding. Wouldn't that be a great idea for a little girl's quilt?

This would be a very long post if I showed all the photos that I took, but I have selected a few of my favorites. Just look at the use of color and the quilting on this one. If you read the cards, you will see these were all very large quilts and thus very impressive.

One of my favorite quilt was "Dineh Madonna.:

Hanging across from that quilt was "Virginia City Miner."

And finally, I loved, loved, loved "The Secret Life of Carrots." Be sure to click on this photo to get the full effect.

A couple of takeaways from the show. . .

 -  If you go next year, go on a Thursday to avoid Friday Boston traffic. (The only thing worse would have been to be in the miles and miles and miles of backed up traffic heading north.)

-  Definitely do go to this show!!! It was amazing to see the quilting that is being done around the world.

-  You will not believe this, but I did not buy anything in the vendor section. No, really I mean it. . . not one single thing. That in itself was amazing. :-)

- If you cannot make it to Houston International Quilt Show, then next August head to Springfield. The show is much smaller, but the work was truly impressive. I came away with so many ideas that my head was positively spinning.  I better start recording some of these ideas before they slip away. :-)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

In My Garden This Week - 8/15/19

 It's another near perfect day in the neighborhood. I'm heading into Mass Eye and Ear later this afternoon for a follow-up after my recent ear surgery. Fingers crossed the news will be good. Anyway, I haven't posted an "In My Garden This Week" post for a while, so here goes.

The dish plate hibiscuses are in bloom and make quite a statement. You might note the small yellow teapot in the top left corner. I pick teapots up when I see them at thrift shops or yard sales. To some I have added a small strand of clear beads coming out of the spout to suggest water. They add a touch of whimsy to my garden. :-)

Instead of jumping from project to project, I have been concentrating on my hibiscus wallhanging. Here is a close up of one of the hibiscus petals. Normally I would just zigzag around each element, but I thought this piece called for something more. As you may recall from earlier posts, this quilted hibiscus piece was based on a photo that I saw on another blog.

I used all kinds of thread, and I will discuss that more in an upcoming post. Let me say that the variegated thread seen here was Superior Fantastico thread which was perfect for this section.

Now, I'm sure my quilter readers and friends are saying, "Why look at those even stitches!!! I had no idea that she could free motion quilt like that." Well, the truth is, I cannot!!! I keep my pressure foot down and  my feed dogs up the whole time. I stitch one way, lift , turn, and stitch back the other way. . . stitch  . . . turn . . . stitch . . . turn . . .  You get the idea. I dabble with free motion stitching, but I would not take the risk of ruining this piece after I have put so much effort into it. As you can see, by gently manipulating the fabric, I can even make curvy lines. :-)

I have at this point finished the entire flower and am starting on the leaves and the background.

On Monday, my cousin Linda and her boys ages ten and seven came for a visit. They knew just what they wanted to do:

1. Play with Emma
2. Have lunch at Jimmy's Diner 
3. Go to Hornstra Farms in Norwell for ice cream

We walked to Jimmy's Diner and along the way passed a neighbor's yard with a very large boulder. They couldn't get over how big it was, so I told them that after lunch, I would take them to see a really, really, really big rock.

Sure enough, after lunch we headed to House Rock Road which is not far from my home. There is a small parking lot, a swing set, and a basketball court, but the main attraction is House Rock. To say that they were impressed would be an understatement. They could not believe it.

Later, I researched House Rock and learned a few interesting facts. This boulder was believed to have been deposited here by a glacier about 10,000 years ago. Geologists refer to it as an "erratic" because there are no other rocks of this type in the area. Finally, it is one of the largest totally above ground erratics anywhere. The Madison Boulder in Madison, NH, is almost twice as big, but most of it is below ground. Who knew that Weymouth's big rock had such a claim to fame?

Before reading further take a good look at this second photo. Do you see anything?

People in bygone days claimed that it resembled the profile of Queen Victoria. I can see the eye and nose and I guess I can make out a face. From a different angle some people see a sphinx. What do you see? You may read more about House Rock here, here, and here.

And so ends today's geology lesson. Rock on!!!!!!

Update . . .  

Hear Ye . . . Hear Ye . . . Hear Ye!!! 
 Just a quick happy update on my follow-up appointment this afternoon. I am thrilled and relieved to report that my hearing has improved and is expected to continue to do so over the course of the next month or two for which I am beyond thankful.

This is the million dollar view from the seventh floor cafeteria at Mass Eye and Ear. These images were taken with my iPhone.