Friday, January 3, 2014

Week in Review - 2014 - 01/03

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I have a confession to make. It has been years, perhaps even decades, since I made a New Year's resolution. Why? Because more often than not the goals attempted in a New Year's resolution aren't achieved and it becomes just one more thing to beat myself up about. Instead I prefer to focus on much smaller more attainable goals that over time surprise me with just how far I have come. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I so love taking classes that peak my curiosity or promise to teach me something I long to be better at. I particularly enjoy that my classes aren't affiliated with a degree or even a grade removing the pressure to master everything so that I can regurgitate it at the end of the term. I am free to play! 

Here are the classes I have taken over the past few years that I highly recommend to others:

1. Leah Day provides lessons on free motion quilting. She just started up a new course that is sure to be a winner for anyone wanting to become confident in free motion quilting. 

2. has lessons on all things craftsy whether you want to decorate a wedding cake, sew your own custom fitted garment or like me want to know how to paint on fabric to create highlights and shadow.

3. If you write a blog, run an Etsy shop or maintain your own website, then you know how important it is to have good pictures to support your prose. I turned to Ed2Go for a class on Photoshop Elements.

4. This year I will be taking a mixed media class hosted by Tamara Laporte titled Life Book 2014. What really sparked my interest about this class is that the course is taught by over 20 different mixed media artists. Each of the artists take a turn teaching one or two or more of the classes each week.

1) Jazz Trio - Add the figures to the stage. - Done!

Take Three

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments:

a) Foundation Piecing - 

i) Baste the face and body to the quilt. - I am waiting to do this until I have the arms pieced.
ii) Start piecing the arms from hexagons. - I am still basting the hexagons. I should start piecing the arms next week.

b) Free Motion Quilting - Leah Day is starting a new class. I won't be taking it since she is getting back to basics and I don't need a refresher course. I am going to miss the excuse to try a new Free Motion Quilting motif each week.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do this week's assignment. - I have done the first assignment and begun this week's second assignment.

Life Book 2014 Week 1 Assignment

The gist of the assignment was to start the page by writing out all the negative thoughts and fears I have about making art. It was done in pencil. You can see the writing under the paint. Then using layer upon layer of technique including water-soluble colored pencils, gesso, splatter paint, stamping and dragging painting with a hard edge the negativity is covered up. Finally two hearts are added one being my vulnerable self the other being my supportive voice. The words in ink are being spoken from the supportive voice to my more timid vulnerable self.

The second assignment is to create a mixed media piece portraying my Inner Guardian Angel, or the supportive voice. 

4) Tumbling Blocks I - Cut out more of the blocks. - Done! I have 25% of the quilt cut out, including cutting off the corner tips for ease of precision piecing. I figured out that I will need more than 1,500 pieces to make this quilt. 

One thing is for sure, I am not going to run out of things to do in my studio next week. Here are some of things I will be working on.

1) Take Three - Decide whether the piece is finished or if it needs something else to bring it to life.

2) Express Your Love II - A Leah Day project.

a) Start piecing the arms from hexagons.
b) Baste the face and body to the quilt.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do this week's assignment.

4) Tumbling Blocks I - Cut out more of the blocks.

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 think you are so smart to make small, achievable goals. You are very productive!

  2. Amazing! Very inspiring! Thank you for all of the great links and your absolutely right the classes on Craftsy are wonderful. Take Care, ~ Happy Quilting!

    1. Thank you. One of my goals writing my weekly posting is to provide a bit more than a window into my studio. What I love about this working in this medium is how wonderfully generous many are with their sharing. I do what I can to pay it forward.

  3. I'm doing Leah Day's class this year. I'm really excited about it. Thanks for reminding me to check Craftsy for a 2014 BOM - that could be fun. I'm also doing Pat Sloan's free BOM.

    1. You are going to love Leah's class. She is amazing teacher.

  4. You certainly have a busy year planned! Best wishes for a happy one!

  5. Love the jazz trio! You are very disciplined to stay on task with your projects. Once I am back at it, I'm afraid I will be tempted to start too many things at once.

    1. We all work in different ways. Some thrive of working many projects at once. A rare few work on one only until it is finished and then tackle the next one. Most of us are somewhere in between. As you can see I juggle several. This way I usually have some hand sewing, machine quilting and piecing to work on - just not necessarily on the same piece.

  6. I love to know that you're continuing to enjoy the project and my posts! I also love the work from Life Book, so I will have to follow along with that myself. We could all use a little love from our Inner Angels.


    Leah Day

    1. Thank you, Leah. It is always good to hear from you. I think you would love taking the Life Book course. However, with all that you do it may have to wait a few years.