Friday, March 1, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 03/01

I am fortunate to belong to SAQA and through SAQA have the opportunity to participate in the Visioning Project. Each fiscal year, running from October 1 - September 30 VP participants set a personal goal for the year. It seems ever since I started quilting in 1988 I have wanted more time to quilt. Then it hit me, why not make more time my VP project for 2013? I started practicing in September not answering the phone during studio time. I also notified family members that I would not be answering the phone during studio time, but would listen to messages during my breaks just in case there was an emergency. What a difference that simple change has made! You only have to look at what I accomplish each week to see what I can do by not answering the phone when working and committing to three studio days each week when I am at home.

The proof is in how the week ending March 1, 2013 went:

1) Shore's Edge (Absolute deadline March 21, 2013) - Made it with three weeks to spare!!

a) Attach the sleeves. - Done!

b) Make and attach the label. - Done!

c) Submit Call for Entry to Vivien at Fiber Revolution. - Done!

d) Add Shore's Edge to my website. - Done!

2) Pictorial Painting

a) Create a palette of colors to be used when painting the geese. - Done!

3) Express Your Love

a) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

An experiment with trapunto. The iris in a vase design is Hari Walner's.
I stole the rays from Express Your Love. I am thinking of
adding a single iris in alternate rays, then stippling around it.
Leah took a break from Express Your Love to work on a personal goddess quilt of hers. She wrote about how she is adding trapunto to the piece as well as how and why she opted to dye the over 60" square piece midway through the quilting process.

A closer look at the trapunto practice piece. It began as a
white whole cloth quilt. I immersion dyed it with minimal
stirring, hence the mottled look. 

I have been deliberating about adding trapunto to Reflection as a way to give the geese more of a 3D appearance. I used Leah's break from Express Your Love to do what she did, some trapunto followed by dying a whole cloth quilt, just on a smaller scale. The piece, with a working title of Iris Still Life is going to be approximately 16" square, unless I am inspired to continue with it by adding quilt as you go borders or blocks.

4) Reflection (Absolute deadline April 23, 2013)

a) Finish reverse appliquéing the geese to the background. - Done!

b) Paint the geese. - Done!

I painted the geese and then painted the lightest and darkest sections again in order to achieve a more natural contrast.

Reflection after the gees have been painted.
The red branches's location has been penciled in.

c) Determine how best to create the red branches and their foliage. - Done!

I have decided to create the red branches with skinny tubes of bias fabric. This method is frequently used when making Baltimore Album quilts to weave baskets or add vines and stems. I am going to embroider the foliage, probably in french knots done in clusters.

Now, what trouble can I get myself into before March 8, 2013?

1) Pictorial Painting

a) Watch the next lesson.

b) Begin the next lesson.

2) Express Your Love

a) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

b) Finish quilting Iris Still Life.

3) Reflection (Absolute deadline April 23, 2013)

a) Add the first layer of batting needed to trapunto the geese and trim it.

b) Add the second layer of batting and backing, in other words make the quilt sandwich.

c) Start quilting the ice and water surrounding the geese.

Tips, Techniques and Thoughts...

Last week Quilting Jenny made the following comment on my post:

"I would like to start laying out my project steps in this way and hope to get more accomplished. You seem to have a very good grip on your process and what is required at every stage."

The one word response to this comment is PRACTICE. I have been a quilter since 1988 and an artist with fabric as my medium since 2000. I have no idea how many quilts I have made, but since I make approximately six quilts each year I have made close to 150 quilts.

One thing I have doing since defining myself as an artist is beginning my day with morning pages or journaling. I do this 365 days a year, on weekends, while vacationing and even when I am sick. Morning pages are uncensored stream of conscientious writing done in long hand, not on the computer. I have found many benefits from this practice. One of the first things I noticed is that I got the whining out in private. I gripped about the weather, my health, my relationships with others, whatever had my hackles up. Getting it out there allows me to let it go. As time went on, I discovered that problems I was working on, such as how to make the red branches in Reflection, were often solved while I wrote. Sometimes I even doodle. That is how I created the free motion quilting pattern I will use on the ice in Reflection.

If you are interested in learning more about morning pages or making the transition from quilter to artist, I can't recommend "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron highly enough. I use it as one of the textbooks for my one on one mentoring class titled "How to Make An Art Quilt."


  1. Doesn't it feel so great to get things done!?!
    Reflections is absolutely stunning!

    1. Yes, Alex, it sure does feel great to see the progress I have made. No doubt about it, keeping track of what I have accomplished and what I would like to accomplish has kept me better focused and therefore more productive this year.

      My husband deserves much of the credit for "Reflections." He took the photo that inspired it.

  2. Replies
    1. I became an instant fan of Hari Walner, when I stumbled across her booth at a large quilt show. I bought two of her collections of patterns. That was close to 15 years. My FMQ wasn't up to them. However, thanks to following along with Leah and doing my own FMQ work, Hari's patterns are breeze and delight to work with now.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your process. I just LOVE your reflections quilt.

    1. Thank you, Pat. What is most important is to develop a process that works for you. Mine has certainly been many years in the making. I continue to tweak it here or there as needed.

      I am loving how intuitive it is to work on Reflections. As I said it earlier it helps to have started with my DH's photograph.

  4. Hi Gwyned- Your progress and thoughts are such an inspiration to me each week. I've struggled for years with getting enough studio time in... starting to do better over the last year, now that my sons are 15 and 18. I've also done morning pages and love Julia Cameron's books, although I'm out of the practice of it right now. I also like the idea of weekly noting what you've accomplished and making goals for the upcoming week. Thanks so much!

    1. I'm not sure if this will be an inspiration or not - my son turned 29 in January and my daughter turns 33 next month. I thought when they moved out of the house I would have oodles more time. WRONG! My final child care years overlapped with my elder care years. Yesterday was the first anniversary of my mother's passing. Now with both children independent and mother gone I have the time I dreamed of - only 10 years or so later than I thought I would. I am determined to make every day count. Just as I made every free hour count when the children were young. Sometimes, just spending half an hour reading Quilter's Newsletter was all I could muster during peak child rearing years. Trust that the time will come.

  5. I think Reflections is gorgeous. I can't wait to see the finished project. I learn so much and gather many ideas from my communication with "Quilting Bloggers"

    1. What can I say? My FMQ has grown immensely since following Leah. Like you, I also pick up tips, tricks and sites by following her followers. What a prolific and talented group!

  6. Those geese are amazing! Thanks for the words of wisdom.

  7. Thank you, Sam. I'm glad both the geese and my writing resonated with you.