Friday, February 7, 2014

Week in Review 2014 - 02/07

Another Life Book 2014 assignment completed.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I am left handed. I didn't give this much thought when I was growing up until my school had tennis as an option. I showed up at the courts with my fellow students and the teacher asked if any of us were left handed. I was the only left handed one. She then said in what sounded to me like an exasperated voice, "well just do what ever I do only backwards." No surprise I am not a tennis player. However, one of my strengths is that I am a problem solver. I believe I owe this in part to being left handed. Tennis is not the only thing I have had to learn by finding my own way. I believe that being a problem solver is the key to being able to salvage many an artwork that at first glance seems destined for the trash. I would go so far as to conjecture that problem solving is to art as building strong flexible muscles is to an athlete. This week my mixed media lesson asked us to create a piece listing our positive qualities. Perhaps I should have put being left handed on the list. :) 

Another positive quality was my positive, take charge attitude as I plunged ahead with my newest WIP (work in progress) and attacked a few other projects besides. Here is how my week played out:

1) Tickling the Ivories aka Got Jazz - Due March 15th

Background for Tickling the Ivories

I spent 2006 - 2008 working nearly exclusively with black and white fabrics. Periodically I like to return to that palette. It never grows old for me.

a) Select the fabrics - Done!
b) Plan out the basics of the quilt - Done!
c) Start the quilt - Done!

2) Express Your Love II - Leah Day project.

a) Finish piecing the arms from hexagons. - Done!!
b) Baste the face, torso and arms to the quilt. - This will have to wait until my quilts with  pressing deadlines are completed.

3) Do Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting lesson. - Done

Leah dubbed this Broken Eggs. It worked up nicely from
an aesthetic sense, but I definitely need more practice
before committing this one to a quilt.
It is the first time in a long time that I have had
a significant number of hesitation burrs on the backside.

4) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments. - Done

There were actually three assignments taught by Tamara Laporte, the brains and organizer behind Life Book 2014. All of the assignments used spray inks, something I don't own. I do have some spray fabric dyes so I substituted those. I expect I would have been happier with the inks. I have so much to learn as a newbie to mixed media. The fact that I was able to follow a PDF on how to draw a face in profile seems like a miracle. This is my second time creating highlights and shadow in a face. I even got courageous and did some planned dripping.

5) Tumbling Blocks I (due April 30) - Continue piecing the quilt. - I didn't get to this. However, I did remove the pieces from my design wall in piecing stacks. This way I have my design wall back and should I find myself with some free time I can always piece the next stack/column.

6) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall - a commissioned quilt due August 3

a) Draft the contract - Done
b) Select the fabric - Not yet
c) Start piecing the quilt - Not yet

Let's see if I can keep the momentum going next week. Here are the next steps in my various projects:

1) Tickling the Ivories - Due March 15th

a) Add the accent appliqu├ęs 
b) Prepare the quilt sandwich
c) Start the quilting

2) Leah Day projects.

a) Baste the face, torso and arms to Express Your Love II.
b) Do Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting lesson.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments.

5) Tumbling Blocks I (Due April 30) - Continue piecing the quilt.

6) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall (Due August 3) - a commissioned quilt

a) Select the fabric
b) Start piecing the quilt

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. My goodness, you had a busy week! Your free motion quilting is beautiful, and I can't wait to see what you do with "tickling the ivories."

    1. Thank you, Heather. I can't wait to see how Tickling the Ivories will turn out either. This is an intuitive collage concept.

  2. You've been busy! Nice background for "tickling the Ivories".

  3. Very impressive creative moment you are having. The face is very stylized, I like it! I am also working on two black and white projects and have renewed my love of it. I'm at a standstill with my tumbling block border treatment though.
    re spray inks, why not use a cheap spray bottle, dilute your inks yourself instead of buying the marketed ones.
    LeeAnna Paylor

    1. My face is different from the teacher's, however the lessons do tend to produce similar stylized faces by many of the students, particularly those new to mixed media, like me. One of the fun things about having each week's lesson taught by a different teacher is that we are introduced to so many styles.

      I also have debated about how to finish my tumbling block quilt. I worked out how to piece around the perimeter of the outside blocks so that it would look like the blocks were floating on a background. If this were to a quilt I was entering in shows, that is the way I would go. However, it is a nursery quilt, so I plan to just trim the outer blocks to half blocks and add a simple border - probably a color strip sandwiched between two black strips.

      Would you believe I don't own any ink nor do I own spray bottles? True. I will probably invest in spray inks sometime in the future. After all I still have 11 months more to go with my class.

  4. I'm left handed, too, and I totally know what you're talking about!! I'm impressed with all of your projects.

  5. It is so interesting that you tried working in exclusively black and white for awhile. I think that would be very challenging for me. Thanks for sharing your progress!

  6. Love that 'piano piece', Gwyned. Wonderful interpretation of the title!

  7. You are so organized. I am retiring at the end of June and will definitely compile a list of tasks for each week as I need also lots of practicing with Leah Day. Your black practice piece is so beautiful. What do you plan to use it for?

    1. For now all I am doing with my practice pieces is setting them aside. I truly look at them as practice pieces. I did create one very abstracted piece from just a few of my previous Leah Day assignments. Will I do it again? Who knows? I am as likely to do that as to throw them out. When you have been quilting as long as I have (25+ years) and have an at home inventory of close to 100 quilts and ideas for the next 10 quilts, the incentive to use your practice piece for more than practice just isn't there.