Friday, November 1, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 11/01

ZenBlossoms after 3 days of free motion

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

When I first started quilting back in the Jurassic Period (1988) I had no idea how quilting would force me to learn about photography, lighting and preparing photographs for print and internet viewing. All I wanted to do was try my hand at making a simple Eleanor Burns "Log Cabin in a Day" quilt. In fact for the first few years of quilting that was pretty much all I did, make simple, traditional quilts from patterns and give them as gifts for babies, weddings and holidays. Then I attend my first quilt show and saw one of Dianne Miller's impeccable quilts and I knew I had to join her guild and learn about art quilting. This lead to exhibiting in the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild Exhibit. What a thrill to have my work and Dianne's in the same show. I screwed up my courage in 2000 and applied to the American Quilters Society exhibition in Paducah. In 2000 quilts were juried into exhibitions using slides. I was fortunate to live in an area of the country where there was professional art photographer, David Caras, who photographed ALL the local art quilter's work. My only job was to set up the appointment, bring my work to be photographed and return a week a later for my slides. Then the art world went digital, several years later David got of the business, I find another photographer and now I live in an area of the country devoid of photographers. 
Detail from ZenBlossoms.
All but the tips of the first flower have been stitched.

How do I manage now? Thank goodness my husband agreed to master the art of taking digital photographs. I provided him with this fabulous tutorial, Shoot That Quilt and he experimented, tweaked and experimented some more so that he can take professional quality images for me. That is just step one. I take his photographs and crop and resize them to suit what I will use them for. Most photographs are of my current work in progress, so simply cropping out extraneous portions of the photograph and saving it at resolution appropriate for the web is all I do. However, once a piece is finished then a "formal" photograph of the full quilt and several compelling details must be taken. It is extremely important to capture the subtle shadows created by stitching and have even lightening for these photographs. I must extract, not crop, the quilt from the background so that the edges of the quilt can be seen.  My go to resource for this is Gloria Hansen's "Digital Essentials: the quilt maker's must-have guide to images, files and more!" 

1) Finishing a bobbin's worth of FMQ on each of my three studio days on ZenBlossoms - Done!!!

ZenBlossoms after 4 days of FMQ.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing - Done by default. Leah has not provided any foundational piecing assignments in several weeks.

b) Free Motion Quilting - Leah has provided numerous FMQ motifs to test run. I've done all but the one from yesterday!

Four different Leah Day FMQ motifs.

What I have learned about myself  from attempting so many different quilting motifs is that I am drawn to both making and viewing dense multi step designs with lots of echo quilting. It also intrigues me how the same design executed by different artists can look so different. I think the design in the upper left looks like ornaments. Wouldn't it make a great design for the background filler of a Christmas quilt? I also see potential for the echoed daisy motif on the lower left for a future Zentangle based quilt.

3) Visioning Project - Read and practice the next  Facebook tutorials. - Done in a manner of speaking.

I did post to my FaceBook page and post an event. I also redesigned the template for my blog to give it a more professional, polished look. Finally, I signed up through Ed2Go for an on-line class on Photoshop Elements to beef up skills with that application.

Next week should be another week focused on FMQ. However, there are a few more projects I would like to attend to as well. Here is the game plan:

1) Finishing a bobbin's worth of FMQ on each of my three studio days on ZenBlossoms

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing

b) Free Motion Quilting

3) Visioning Project - Continue to post on FaceBook.

4) Start sketches for Tickling the Ivories, the quilt that will be my next focus. 

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. I love those flowers!! Great detail:) Thanks for the photography links.

  2. Danielle, I can always count on you to brighten my day with comment. I can speak highly enough about Gloria Hansen and Holly Knott.

  3. Love the dogwood blossoms. Your practice piece is great.

    1. They do look like dogwood blossoms, don't they? They are just doodle blossoms from my imagination.