Friday, September 27, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 09/27

First Snow
27" x 27"
January 2000
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Do you remember the riddle "What is black, white and red all over?" I know two answers to this, perhaps you know more. My personal favorite response was a sunburnt zebra. No surprise that when I started collecting items for a visual inspiration box one of the items I put into my box was of a close-up of zebras such that it was difficult to tell where one zebra began and the other left off. The very first serious series I felt compelled to work on and have returned to time and time again, is my Shifting Values series that began with First Snow. It should come as no surprise that I have been intrigued by zentangles. What is a surprise is that I hadn't tried penning a zentangle of my own until just this week.

How did playing with zentangles influence my week? They are time consuming. Each one took just over an hour from start to finish. However, I did manage to move forward with other art commitments as you can see:

1) Nestling Oysters 

a) Include Nestling Oysters in a call for entry - Started. I selected the call, but then needed to confirm that it met all the criteria with the curator. It took the curator a while to answer. It meets all the criteria, therefore I will fill out the entry next week.

b) Print and attach the label - Done!

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments



Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing - Done!


My preferred method to create a random square design is to
cut strips the desired width from multiple fabrics.
Then I sew the short ends together until I have VERY long
length. In this case I took the length and divided into 16
equal lengths. (Folded in half gives you 2 lengths, in
half again, 4 lengths, twice more you have 16.) I then
sewed these together along the long length.

OK, I am several weeks behind on the foundation piecing assignments. However, this is my list of to do items and I make the rules. I did make yet another foundation pieced tress for Express Your Love II. I also made the "fabric" I will cut another tress from. That leaves me two and one half assignments behind.

I cut the fabric from the prior picture into horizontal strips
and then stitched them down to foundation above, matching
seams as I went.

Personally, I find it much easier to just "make" the fabric
and then cut out the shape I need from the pieced fabric.
The next tress will be cut from this. Any waste can be used in
a future project.

b) Free Motion Quilting - Done!

The motif of the week was Undertow. This was a great motif to practice my echo quilting and problem solve how to stitch myself out of corners.

Undertow is the central motif. If you have been following my
blog, then you recognize the prior two assignments that surround
it. I have been using a variegated white to gold polyester thread.
I love the sheen it gives against the black fabric.


3) Visioning Project for next year. 

a) Come up with a fifth idea - Done!

b) Select the most compelling one(s) - Done!

I have committed to working on beefing up my skills with Facebook, Blogger and Photoshop Elements in October, November and December. Then in January I will start Life Book 2014, an on-line participatory class for mixed media artists. There will be a new assignment posted each week. I find something very freeing about working outside of my chosen media. Perhaps because I don't set such a high bar of expectation for myself. At the same time I invariably learn something new and make connections that I can bring into my fiber art.

c) Write up my goal page. - Done!



The very first Zentangle I ever attempted.
I was hooked!
This is my second Zentangle





















4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next - Nearly.

I came up with four different zentangles and I liked the 4th so much that I will be interpreting that in thread. Each of these zentangles are 4" x 6". However, I will be blowing up the fiber art one to approximately 48" H x 32" W.

This was my third attempt. Much as liked making and felt good
about my first two, they felt too busy to work effectively as
a piece of fabric art. I knew I wanted to create something with more
focus and graphic appeal. This was an improvement.


This is what I created yesterday and the one
I have started to interpret in fabric and
thread. 

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - I am beginning to think this will be a permanent WIP. 

I have the usual emotions about starting a new work in a new direction. I am hyper energized and terrified, especially since this piece has a deadline I would like to meet and I have no idea whether it is realistic or if the piece will even come together in a compelling way. It is time to sink or swim. Check back next week to see how the following plans work out.


1)Complete Call for Entry for Nestling Oysters 

2) ZenBlooms 

a) Transfer pattern to for ZenBlooms to fabric.

b) Layer and baste quilt.

c) Stitch pattern from the backside so that it bobbin thread marks the pattern on the top side.

d) Let the free motion quilting begin.

3) Leah Day's weekly assignments



Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing

b) Free Motion Quilting

4) Visioning Project - Read and practice the next two Facebook tutorials. 

5) 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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 09/20


Detail from Nestling Oysters. 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Adventure versus safety is a topic that I have been mulling over this past week. When I would get lost driving my children to some new destination I would tell them that we weren't lost, we were on an adventure. Now that my children have children of their own I often ask those children, my grandchildren, "who would like to go on an adventure with Grandma?" They range from age 16 months to six years old, so this opening gambit is usually met with an extension of their hand into mine. Off we go to see what we can discover in a walk around the yard or neighborhood. When we return we tell the story of our adventure. Vernacular can make all the difference.  "Going on an adventure" has far more allure than "who wants to go for a walk with Grandma?"

Creating fiber art that has me exploring old techniques with an attitude of discovery and problem solving along the way, is like going on an adventure. Adventures of this sort never grow old. However, I do find the need to rest, to choose safety over adventure from time to time. This week has been one of those weeks. It reminds me of what Doreen Speckman shared with me when I called her to finalize a contract for her to speak to my guild. I could hear her machine going full tilt as we chatted. As I was saying goodbye, I mentioned how impressed I was that she could sew like that and carry on a conversation on the phone. Doreen said, "some weeks it is all you can do to just seam two strips of fabric together. Other weeks you can get creative." This week has been a safe week. I've been seaming two strips of fabric together.

1) Companion Oysters renamed Nestling Oysters

a) Finishing facing Nestling Oysters - Done!

b) Make and attach the sleeves. - Done!

c) Have its "formal" picture taken for submission to calls for entry and my website - Done!

d) Carefully crop the picture along the edges - Done!

e) Add Nestling Oysters to my website - Done!

f) Perhaps start a gallery just for my Beach Series on my website - I haven't set up a separate gallery but I did move the four Beach Series quilts next to each other in my Nature Gallery and I like the look.

g) Include Nestling Oysters in a Call for Entry - I reviewed several upcoming Calls that I felt were suitable for Nestling Oysters. Since the notifications and/or exhibition dates overlap I can only choose one. This being a safe week I wasn't up to committing to one over the other. I still have time. I decided to mull it over for another week.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

 
Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

Foundation piecing continues for
Express Your Love II
Pattern by Leah Day - created and modified by Gwyned
a) Foundation piecing - I have said it before and I feel obligated to say it again, Leah's method of foundation piecing the hair for the goddess in Express Your Love II just isn't working for me. This could be because I am set in my ways. Piecing is safe for me. If there is any technique I can do without thinking it is precision piecing and foundation piecing. Leah's methods seem to take something that is straight forward and safe and make it much more complicated than it needs to be. I keep trying, though. I want to stay open to new ideas even as I fight against them.



b) Free Motion Quilting - this is where Leah excels. I wasn't sure how I felt about Cracked Maze, this week's FMQ motif, when I saw Leah's sample. It was much easier to work up than I thought it would be. It will be my go to motif when ever I need cracks in ice, glass or sidewalks. I can even see using it for irregular tree bark.

Cracked Maze

3) Come up with 5 ideas for a Visioning Project for next year. - Begun

My current thoughts are:

i) To make 3 more quilts to add to my beach series
ii) Start a series of quilts based on Zentangle
iii) Sign up for Life Book 2014
iv) Select several things I would like to be able to do with Facebook, Excel and Blogger that are stymying me and learn how to do them

a) Select the most compelling one - Not yet

b) Write it up on the goal page. - Not yet

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next - Not yet

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Not yet

Will this week be one filled with adventures or another safe one? Either way this is where I plan to turn my attention. As usual there is more than enough to keep me out of trouble or get me into trouble. :)


1) Nestling Oysters 

a) Include Nestling Oysters in a Call for Entry

b) Print and attach the label

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

 
Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing

b) Free Motion Quilting

3) Visioning Project for next year. 

a) Come up with a fifth idea

b) Select the most compelling one(s)

c) Write up my goal page.

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next

5) 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.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 09/13

"Change is inevitable. Change is constant."
                                                 Benjamin Disraeli

Tips, thoughts and techniques:

Entwined by Gwyned Trefethen
64" H x 48" W
Is currently on display at the
New Visions Gallery
Marshfield, WI
My thoughts often turn to the subject of change. It is the underlying theme of my blog posts, since a work in progress is all about how it changes as this or that is added. Even a small change such as adding some shadowing to Companion Oysters makes a big difference to the piece, giving the oysters some dimension. Some changes are difficult to accept, such as the loss of someone close, especially when that loss comes sooner than expected. Then there are changes that can feel difficult to keep up with such as all the technology we feel obligated to learn in order to stay current.

As the curator of Conversations In Stitch: On Abstraction, a traveling exhibition of fiber art by members of Fiber Artists Coalition, I have seen the exhibit change in many ways. Since I first put the exhibit together some members of FAC have gone on to pursue other goals and their work has been removed from the exhibit. Some of the work has been sold! Other members have joined FAC and added their work. Every time the exhibit is shown the venue and its director come up with a different layout. Conversations in Stitch is currently at the New Visions Gallery in Marshfield, WI. You can see some of it virtually on a posting by fellow FAC member Pat Bishop. Of course, I recommend seeing it in person if you are in the area.

Here are the changes that took place in my studio this week:

1) Companion Oysters 

Companion Oysters
38" H x 39" W
Let the hand sewing begin!

a) Square up the quilt in preparation of facing it. - Done!

b) Face Companion Oysters - Started

This is a job that I think should take a couple of hours. In fact I find that attaching the four facing strips, especially mitering the four corners is far more time consuming than I imagine and it doesn't get any faster with experience. The change this time is that I allotted myself full day to trim the quilt and attach the facing in preparation for hand stitching. Just accepting that it would take me this long reduced my frustration level dramatically. Now everything is ready to be hand stitched to the back. Also, by not rushing I think I managed to get four fairly sharp corners as facings go.

c) Make and attach the sleeves. - Next week?

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments


Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

Recently Leah has been alternating between giving out foundation piecing assignments for making the goddess's hair on Express Your Love II and general free motion assignments. I managed to complete one of each this week. 

The foundation piecing assignment was log cabins. I tried it Leah's way and found it frustrating, confusing and not that aesthetically pleasing. So half way through I decided to do it my own way. I made the log cabin blocks off of the foundation and then used the foundation to place them. This allowed the blocks to be "wonky" in places, but also give an even flow to the resulting piece that worked better aesthetically for me than the original plan. 



The log cabin "tress" is the uppermost of the three yellow
sections. N.B. These will all be trimmed and appliqu├ęd
in place. The black lines are the cutting lines for each
section. They are drawn on a plastic sheet, hence the glare
in the photograph.
I really, really, REALLY loved Leah's latest free motion quilting pattern. It was easy to execute and is absolutely stunning. Leah calls it Glazed Doughnuts. It has a very asian feel to me.

I have started a new sampler to practice Leah
Day's free motion quilting assignments on.
I purposefully divided the sampler with wavy
lines so that I would be forced to problem
solve how to keep the pattern going along an
uneven edge. This motif is called Glazed Doughnuts.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Didn't even look at it.


Now that I am back in the groove I wonder what I will achieve next week. Here are my thoughts for that:

1) Companion Oysters 

a) Finishing facing Companion Oysters

b) Make and attach the sleeves.

c) Have its "formal" picture taken for submission to calls for entry and my website

d) Carefully crop the picture along the edges

e) Add Companion Oysters to my website

f) Perhaps start a gallery just for my Beach Series on my website

g) Include Companion Oysters in a Call for Entry

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments


 
Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

3) Come up with 5 ideas for a Visioning Project for next year. 

a) Select the most compelling one

b) Write it up on the goal page.

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next

5) 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.