I am pleased to announce that both my taxes and my bridge slice are done, and well ahead of their deadlines! After a bit more cogitation on how to construct my bridge, I started with perhaps the simplest part - the road bed - which could be done with a single strip of fabric. I'd noticed as I studied the reference photo that the bridge metal was picking up a yellowish tone, was not grey as I'd thought. I'd been auditioning grey fabric and threads but nothing was showing up well on both the dark mountain fabric and the lighter sky fabric. But yellow or gold, that was working on both really well. I cut the strip wider than necessary, pinned it in place along the lines I'd traced on the back of the foundation muslin and stitched with invisible thread.
Then I carefully trimmed close to the stitching to remove the excess fabric. Step one of bridge construction done!
Then it was on to the girders and guy-wires. Again, I worked from the back, stitching along my marks with grey thread, first the parts closer to the viewer, then after filling in those spaces on the front, stitching the ones farther away to maintain the overlapping occurring.
Now I had guidelines on the front for the threadwork that would form the narrow girders. I used two different colors of Superior Twist trilobal polysester thread threaded through a single needle to get the effect I was after. It took 3 to 4 passes of straight stitch rows right next to each other to fill the space between the grey thread outlines.
This got very fussy when I went back in to stitch the lines falling "behind" the already stitched ones. Not sure I was thinking clearly when I came up with the sequence. Many short lines, lots of threads overall having to be pulled to the back and tied off. And in the end, I'm not sure one can tell that there was no crossing over of sections in the foreground. And since I was using a straight stitch and not a satin stitch, and sewing through two layers, I didn't think there'd be an issue with pulling up. But there was. I really should have used some kind of stabilizer underneath, but thought I couldn't because of my guidelines on the back. Surely it will quilt out, right? I have since found out about Terial Magic which would have been a perfect solution for the stitching I did on this. I'm definitely getting some to try out. Are any of my readers familiar with this product?
Ahhhh, I'm done! Whoops - no I'm not! There's still a reflection to deal with. I was given the option to let the quilter put in the reflection as I guess she is doing for some of the others, but I'd already spent a lot of time thinking about how this could be done, and being stubborn, I wanted to try out the idea I came up with of using netting because, unlike other sheer fabric I was considering, it will not ravel. I inherited a lot of sheers from my late friend Judi, so pulled out her bin and started through it, finding this black netting with gold threads running through it. I decided it was darn near perfect and proceeded sewing it down in a way that can be easily reversed should the other slice participants over-rule me.
I approached this the same as the roadbed - pinning a big square of the netting over the reflection area on the front and stitching the outlines from the back with invisible thread, following the pencil tracings. The darker lines were stitched prior to pinning on the netting, and in grey thread because I wanted them to show. They are guy-wires. There were a few more but I chose to ignore them.
Once everything was stitched, the excess netting was carefully cut away. And I DO mean carefully because that invisible thread was indeed invisible to my eye. I should note that I used the wrong side of this netting because the sheen off those gold threads on the right side was a bit much visually.
After the first removal, I went back in with curved scissors to clean things up, getting right up to the stitching, then added the line of metallic gold thread replicating a narrow part of girder reflection and a line of black poly and grey/orange Twist on the opposite side, the reflection of the cable running along the bottom of the bridge.
NOW I'm done, and quite pleased with the result. I've cropped the final photo to approximate the actual finished size of my slice (we were asked to leave a very generous allowance around all sides). And so that you have a reference, below is the photo of the Cobban Bridge that we are using as our inspiration. Read more about the bridge itself and efforts to save it plus watch a drone's eye view of it here. Can't wait to see what the other gals have done and how our quilter pulls it all together.
|Historic Cobban Bridge - Chippewa County, WI|