Friday, May 3, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 5/03

Remember how "Canyon" looked before it was painted?
Read further to see how much it has changed.
I’m back! For those of you who read my blog regularly and thoroughly you may have noticed that I had a planned two week gap between studio progress recaps. The reason was a scheduled trip to the southwest that finished up in Santa Fe, New Mexico for the SAQA conference. If you are interested in art quilts than SAQA is the organization for you. It includes over 3,200 international members, mostly art quilters, but also patrons, gallery owners, business owners and students. It is because I joined SAQA’s Vision Project and chose as my personal project to spend 120 days in my studio for the 2012 – 2013 fiscal year that I am so focused on production in my blog.

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques

I wasn’t the only one in Santa Fe. I discovered my painting teacher, Annette Kennedy was an attendee as well. She graciously chatted with me on several occasions. I took a seminar lead by Carol Ann Waugh on what is required to become a professional art quilter. Outstanding! Carol is another one of’s teachers. I love her method of how she finishes her art quilts and plan to use it when appropriate. Carol demos her rattail finishing technique on YouTube.

It is always difficult for me to transition back to a disciplined workweek after an absence from my home. Nevertheless I did ease my way back into my studio. By my fourth day back I was in synch again. Just how much in synch can be determined by reviewing my plans for the week against what was accomplished.

1) Pictorial Painting

a) Continue to watch the portion of the lesson that demos how to paint the Canyon piece. – Done!

b) Finish painting "Canyon." – Done!

This week "Canyon" received some plants and more
definition to the road.

Check out the plants in the desert, particularly their shadows. I have always struggled figuring out how to include shadows in my artwork. These shadows work for me. Yeah!

2) Express Your Love

a) Do whatever assignment LeahDay comes up with next. – Done!

All that is left is the body!
"Express Your Love" is designed by Leah Day and executed by
Gwyned Trefethen, who selected the thread and what stitches
to use where.

Actually I did two assignments. I did one assignment for the week that I was away and then this week’s assignments. Both involved free motion spirals. The first was a combination of spirals and circuit board. The second was simply spirals as a filler. I love free motion quilting spirals. They flow naturally through my muscle memory. However, circuit board does not. So, I found alternating between executing a spiral and then a circuit board awkward.

The circuit board with spirals free motion quilting is
featured in the lower of the two purple ribbons. The
middle turquoise ribbon is done in spirals only.
Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

3) Adoration (Shooting for a deadline of June 1, 2013

a) Cut the backing and batting for Adoration. – Done!
b) Prepare the quilt sandwich. – Not done.
c) Select the quilting threads. – Not done.
d) Start quilting. – Not done.

This is a detail from "Adoration" after I painted in the eyes of my grandson.

I am really, REALLY struggling with this piece.  I made several “rookie” mistakes when assembling the pieces. The orientation lines are visible through the lighter fabric as is the edge of the dark blue background. Actually, I had tried to use lighter orientation lines and use markers that could be washed out, but I just couldn’t see them sufficiently. Once I got the marks dark enough to see to be useful, they are too visible. I am hoping that by adding paint and quilting these problems may resolve or at least be much less obvious.

What I did do is start the painting with my grandson’s eyes. I will add a dab of highlighting to the eyes next week.

4) Bonus project. Signature Experimentation

For years I have struggled with how to sign my artwork. Should I use my full name? First name only? My initials? Some artistic rendering of my initials? What about the date? While wandering one of the galleries in Santa Fe I came upon a signature that I liked that incorporated the artist’s initials and date. I played around some first on paper and finally created this. My addition was to frame the signature as well. I am not totally satisfied, but do feel I am to something.

My first experiment on how to sign my artwork.

There are so many enticing opportunities for me to apply for where my work can be shown. What holds me back now is having enough work submit. Therefore, I am determined to buckle down and create. Here is what I plan on achieving for the week ending May 10, 2013:

1) Pictorial Painting

a) Watch the lesson that demos how to quilt the Canyon piece.

b) Quilt "Canyon."

2) Express Your Love

a) Do whatever assignment Leah Day comes up with next.

3) Adoration (Shooting for a deadline of June 1, 2013

a) Paint the shadows, highlights and fine details necessary to bring the piece to life.

b) Sandwich the quilt.

4) Signature experimentation

a) Design a new signature motif.

5) Plan the next art piece.


  1. The shadows do look great in the canyon. As for marks showing that you don't want, if they don't resolve from the quilting or painting, you could audition various fibers and perhaps see if you want to couch fibers or cording as outlining or do some satin stitching. I had to do that on my Color Wheel of Emotion entry when the Fray Stop liquid stained the edge of some of my silk. But it turned out that the satin stitching actually made it look more finished. Serendipity is always a good thing.
    Glad you enjoyed the conference.

    1. I've frequently outlined fused applique with satin stitch. That could help define the foreground from the background while it hides the blue background peaking through the pale peach and white foreground. Fingers crossed that FMQ will be sufficient if done generously to hide the orientation lines for the faces and baby's arm. As I say in my lecture, there are no mistakes in quilting. There are only creative opportunities and learning experiences. I am very generous with both. :) Stay tuned to see if I can salvage Adoration.

  2. Your choice of fabrics is wonderful then to add your painting!!! Beautiful!!!!

    1. Thank you. Fabric choice is something that I do with confidence. I've had 25+ years to learn what does and doesn't work. Painting? Well, this is my first shot. Annette's instructions are very comprehensive. Still, I found blending the right paint, even if I auditioned the blends, didn't always achieve the effect I was going for. However, for a first try I am more than satisfied.

  3. Wow! busy busy! You're churning out tons of great stuff. I like your signature. :)

    1. Thank you, Susan. For years I have felt that I should be signing my work. I have signed a few pieces, but felt that unless I could work the signature into the work naturally it detracted from the piece. But if I could just come up with an artsy consistent signature that might do the trick. Hence the signature experimentation project was born.