quilts, treadle sewing machines, crochet, watercolor, dogs, & other fun stuff

Morning Glories Flimsy

My “Morning Glories” quilt top (a.k.a. flimsy) is finally finished!  It’ll go onto the pile of quilt tops waiting for quilting, but first, I snapped a few photos of it.  

This project felt like moving in slow motion, for some reason.  Maybe it’s just the foundation paper piecing, but I’ve done that before and didn’t find it so tedious back then.  It might have something to do with stressful and emotional things that were happening in my life back when I started it… In any case, it’s a pretty pattern, but I’m really glad to have it done!  

My next project will be a selvage quilt, but before I start that, the Juki needs a good cleaning and a fresh needle—and I’m still not sure what pattern I’ll use.  There are so many possibilities!  My one demand is that it be relatively simple and stress-free.  

Watercolor: Tracing

I mentioned tracing with watercolor paper in my last blog post, so I thought I’d take a few photos of the process the next time I tried it.  

  1. Use an LED light pad (or window) as backlighting. Put the image you want to trace under your sheet of watercolor paper.  Use a little washi tape or other low-tack tape to hold things in place, if you like.
  2. Use a pencil, waterproof ink pen, or whatever else you prefer to trace the parts of the image you want to include in your painting.
  3. Don’t forget that you can trace just parts of the image, add/change details, and alter the composition as you trace.  
  4. Take the watercolor paper off the light pad and begin painting! (You can always add more detail in pen/pencil before, during, or after painting.)

This is where I suppose I should put the obligatory disclaimer about respecting copyright.  If you’re doing something just for your own amusement, I don’t see a problem with copying/tracing anything and everything (though I’m sure some people will disagree).  However, if you’re planning to make something to sell, you’ll need to be much more careful about what you trace—and I’d never try to pass off something I’d traced as my own original work. 

Setting all that aside, it’s a fun technique to play with.  Once you’ve finished tracing, it’s a lot like painting in a coloring book that was printed on watercolor paper.  And if you want to go an extra step, you can add a lot of your own personality in your tracings through what you choose to include/exclude, combining elements in different ways, and making large or small changes as you go.

Last time, I also mentioned that I’d try putting the watercolor paper in the printer and printing designs directly on it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work well.  The paper wouldn’t feed through reliably, and instead it tended to jam the printer, requiring us to remove it manually. 

Also, the toner didn’t seem to “stick” like it should, maybe due to the fact that it wasn’t going through the printer properly.  (I don’t know much about printers, as you can tell!)  I tried putting a wash of color over the print-out, just to see what would happen, and while the toner didn’t bleed, it did try to lift off the paper, which wasn’t great and ended up leaving black specks in my brush and mixing palette.   

I was using some 140 lb./300 gsm wood pulp paper in my first tests, and apparently that was just too thick for our printer (though it may work fine for some).  I have some thinner paper I’ll try next.  I feel confident this paper will go through without jamming, but it’s also a matter of whether or not the toner will “cure” and adhere well to the paper.  And of course with thinner paper, you’re a bit restricted in how much water you can use before the paper really buckles.  The type of painting I did on the moths above doesn’t use that much water, so something like that should be fine.  We’ll see!

Recent Listening & Reading...

Last time, I forgot to mention that I had also listened to another audiobook recently—Sometimes I Lie, by Alice Feeney.  I found it interesting to listen to, but also infuriating at times, and that ending… Hm.  Not the most plausible story, but entertaining if you like psychological thrillers and can set aside expectations of realism.

For some music, I thought I’d share a Swedish song that Donald often plays on the guitar.  From the versions available on YouTube, I liked this one by Sofia Karlsson.  The song itself is a “funeral ballad” from the late 1700s, written by Carl Michael Bellman.

The second one is just something that Amazon Music randomly played one day, but it’s been a part of my “relax” playlist for a long time, now.  


I’m Michael (a female Michael, to remove any doubt).  I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast with my husband, Donald, and our crazy American Eskimo Dogs. 

I love to fill my spare time with various crafts and other hobbies, and this blog is where I share photos, record my progress, and ramble endlessly.

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