Friday, August 2, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 08/02

My photographer (a.k.a. my husband) asked that pose in front of
Companion Oysters
for the blog. This was taken Thursday night, August 1, 2013 after
full day in the studio. What you see is precisely what you would
see if you were to drop by while I was working. It also gives
you a good sense of the scale of the piece.

It's been another week in my home studio, said with a wink to Garrison Keillor. This week has been all about preparation. Abraham Lincoln said, "If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." How apropos for quilting. Preparation is often where I spend most of my time when making a quilt.

My preparatory work for the week went as follows:

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Stitch the oyster shells to the background - Done!

A nose to the quilt close-up of Companion Oysters.
I opted to use the blind hem stitch (Bernina 1260 Stitch #7) that looks like _ _ _ ^ to sew down the appliqué pieces. I use this when I don't want the stitches to appear as a design element. I use a narrow satin stitch when I want to create a rim around the piece. If you click on the image you should be able to see the blind hem stitch on both the lavender and eggplant pieces. The shimmer on the palest fabric is created with an overlay of white tulle that has glitter adhered to it. I had hoped the glitter would be more stable. Much of it is on the studio floor and a few stray pieces traveled around the condo on my body. 

Stepping back a bit for a more distant close-up of Companion Oysters.
Here you can see how I layered the seaweed. Since there were so many
tight and small curves I opted to fuse the seaweed in place. I prefer to
use Steam a Seam 2 or Heat 'n Bond Lite for this. Both adhere well
and keep the edges of the appliqué from fraying.

b) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect - Done!

Companion Oysters with the first layer of batting adhered behind the oysters.
I added batting behind the oysters, but cut it away behind the kidney bean shaped depressions. I am hoping that this will help create a sense of depth/relief to the oysters that I will enhance through quilting. I am also thinking of adding a hint of shadow with paint to left hand side of the image.

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next. - Started.

Foundation piecing is
begun for a lock of the
goddess's hair in
Express Your Love II.

It is time to begin the goddess's hair for Express Your Love II. This will be done with a series of foundation piecing patterns. The first step is to create a guide on a sheet of muslin. If you look closely at the image, you can see that I stitched over the outline that indicates the finished area for this particular lock of hair. This is part of my preparation that seems to be an extra step. The advantage is that the pattern is now marked on the front and back of the muslin. Also, I can select a color thread that blends with the fabric, making the marking something that won't be seen in the finished piece AND I can iron this obsessively, something I couldn't do if I used a water soluble blue marker.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Not even considered.

With the prep work accomplished it is time to move forward to create the work. This is the game plan for next week.

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Determine whether to add shadows and if so, paint them.

b) Layer and baste the quilt sandwich.

c) Start the free motion quilting.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

a) Finish last week's golden lock.

b) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


  1. It is nice to see you with your design wall. I had no idea that the piece was so large! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Actually that is the wall that is used to photograph my quilts. It is in our utility room. I covered two 8' H x 4' W pink styrofoam boards with black felt. This way the work can be pinned to the wall for photographing. There are 10 lights (5 on each of two poles) angled to provide light across the artwork. The camera is on a tripod. I almost always crop the photographs to remove the distracting edges.

  2. Tell your photographer thank you! I had no idea this piece was so large!

    It's beautiful. I love how much you share your process. It really gets my brain churning with ideas.

    1. My photographer will be very pleased to hear how much his suggestion was appreciated. Although I was hesitant to be photographed, I did notice it helped with understanding the scale of the piece.

  3. Wow! I didnt know it was so big either! Nice idea your husband had and nice to see you too!

  4. Such a beautiful quilt!! I agree with Quiltin&#39 your process of what you will finish in that week helps to keep my brain on track. Have a great weekend!

    1. I am a firm believer in the adage, "failure to plan is planning to fail." Although I like the converse: Successful planning results in a plan for success.

  5. Great idea to post with your oyster quilt. It is so much larger than I thought!
    Great job. Can't wait to see it finished!
    esthersipatchandquilt at yahoo dot com

  6. I also didn't realize how big the oysters were. Nice to see your appliqué, I'm trying to learn it and I didnt like the blanket stitch my machine made, I ended up using the blind hem stitch also, I think it blends more. Thanks for sharing the close ups!

    1. I had forgotten about the blanket stitch. I've used that in the past, too. I may revisit that to see if changing the automatic settings help. I am fairly certain though it is meant to be a decorative stitch, so that the "bite" into the appliqué is a double versus a single stitch.