Friday, November 8, 2013

Weekly Report 2013 - 11/08

My current sampler of free motion quilting adventures.
A mixture of Leah Day assignments and my own experiments.
Note the green feather on the left hand side. I will talk
more about that later .



Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

It is 4:04 a.m. CST as I begin typing my blog. I have been up since 3:00 a.m. by choice. This is a little early for me but only by half hour or so. I am nearly always up before 4 a.m. even on the weekends. When people learn about my early rising they are often puzzled and I am asked why. The primary reason is that this is my natural circadian rhythm. Why I don't try to break myself of the habit is because it works so well for me. Every morning I have an hour or two of uninterpreted silence. No phone calls, no e-mail chatter and no one else up and wandering about my home. I start with morning pages, treat myself to a few on-line games and do so simple work. Today I am running loads of laundry and writing my blog. Next I will exercise, have breakfast and shower. This answers the second question that artists are often asked, "how do you find the time to do your art?" By taking care of myself and my chores first I am free to spend the day in my studio. I find I am not alone. Many artists are out of synch with the 9 - 5 world either starting before dawn or working after midnight.

Here is what I accomplished while in the studio this week:

1) Finishing a bobbin's worth of thread on my FMQ on each of my three studio days with a focus on  ZenBlossoms - Done! I came very close to finishing 4 bobbin's worth of thread.

ZenBlossoms will finish at 47" H by 35" W.
Most browsers will allow you to click on the
image and see an enlarged version. Remember
the green feather up above? One of the reasons
I made that was to test the varigated thread I
planned to use for the leaves in ZenBlossoms.
Needless to say the test was the go ahead I needed.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments



Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing - partially done. The next assignment is the planning stage for creating pieced fabric using hexagons and the English paper piecing method. Ironically this was how I first attempted to quilt in 1974 and I found it so time consuming and difficult that I didn't try quilting again until 1988. Perhaps with 25 years of quilting under my belt I will have more patience and skills. I am also thinking that there are many "fast" ways to piece hexagons these days, perhaps I should just go that route. :)

b) Free Motion Quilting - Done!


The upper motif is Leah Day's Glass Art. I could
see using a variation of this on tree bark or perhaps
on the fur of a large cat. The lower motif's center
is Leah Day's Wired Feather, coupled with two experiments:
one, what would happen if I echoed the feather and two, how
would the thread look if I scribbled with it?

3) Visioning Project - Continue to post on FaceBook. - Done! I also managed to add 
an image, a slice of my work, Nestling Oysters, as my blog's header. Just now I figured out how to add emoticons to blogger. I'm on a roll! ;)

4) Start sketches for Tickling the Ivories, the quilt that will be my next focus. - Oops, I forgot I had committed to this.

My guess is that next week will be consumed with finishing ZenBlossoms. Still I have a few more projects I need to keep up with. Here is what I would like to attend to:

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 - plan out the number of hexagons I will need and determine how I will piece them.

b) Free Motion Quilting

3) Visioning Project - Do the first assignment from my Photoshop Elements class.

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.

14 comments:

  1. I love getting up early, I'm up at 4:30 to go drive school bus, but I usually find 15 -20 minutes in the morning to sew on bindings, cut out pattern pieces, or sketch. I finished one project by sewing on 20 beads every morning, made lots of progress. I love the transparency of the Zen blossoms, is there organza in the petals, or is it just the look from the stitching? Beautiful!

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    1. Great question, Amy. No organza, you are looking through the stitching.
      Your school kids are lucky to have you. Bet you are all the more cheerful for pausing for art before starting the bus.

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  2. Zen Blossoms are fantastic. So delicate and detailed.

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  3. The quilting is gorgeous, I think the scribbles are actually very visually interesting! Your morning routine sounds like a really nice way to start the day and get some time to yourself.

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    1. Good to hear from you, MC. I'm blushing. The particular variegated thread was perfect for scribbling. It included three colors, yellow, blue and green. What I found interesting when working with it was that the lengths of each color varied. Sometimes the yellow would run for three inches and sometimes it clearly ran for five or more inches.

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  4. I am out of quilting for a time, but totally enjoying looking at yours

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    1. Glad to be able to to give you a quilting fix.

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  5. Such an artsy, productive lady! Love seeing what you've been up to. My hubby is a night owl and so I have lost my early morning time to much needed sleep. Every once in a while, I'm up early and love it!

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    1. I have the added advantage of being a bit of an insomniac. I rarely manage more than six and half hours of sleep. My husband rarely sleeps less than seven hours and can easily sleep for nine and take a nap just a few hours later. Couple that with the fact that he works outside the home and my work is home based and I have quite a bit of quiet, solo time in the house and therefore my studio. This wasn't always the case. I did have children at home for 27 years. :)

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  6. I am so happy to meet another early riser! I love getting up early and working on my latest project before anyone else is up needing attention. I get up, perform my morning grooming ritual, make coffee and go into my sewing room. I set a timer so I don't forget to go to my day job. When the timer goes off, I wake the rest of the household and leave. I love 'Zen Blossums'. Your work is beautiful.

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    1. Imagine a quilter with the moniker earlymorningquilter - love it! Sounds like you have found the perfect routine for yourself.

      Thanks for the compliment. I am rather enjoying seeing how ZenBlossoms is pulling together, myself.

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  7. Your machine quilting is amazing! All that diligence has really paid off. I use to be an early morning riser (but not as early as 4 AM) but as I get older I find it hard to drag myself out of bed. But since I live alone, my time is mine to do whatever I want whenever I want.

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    1. There are times when I questioned my sanity as I practiced my FMQ week after week. Even before I started practicing my FMQ was good enough for my needs, but something nagged at me to push myself further and than just a little further. The biggest difference is how much more relaxed I am when quilting. It is as second nature as a seam two strips together.

      I fear if I lived alone I would be in bed by 6 p.m. and up by midnight or worse, still in bed by 8 p.m. and up by midnight. I am very fortunate that Dana is so busy with his work and his own pursuits that my time really is my own.

      Good to hear from you, as always.

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