Friday, March 7, 2014

Week in Review 2014 - 03/07

Augusta Ingram Chadwick

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

It has been a personal roller coaster of a week. After 20 years of on again, off again searching for my birthmother my husband found her this week. Unfortunately, she died last summer, so I never got the chance to get to know her or her me. Every adoptee and birthparent have a unique story to tell. I feel fortunate that I was conceived by a young dating couple. My father was 18 and my mother 21 at the time of my birth. When they learned that my mother was pregnant my father proposed to my mother, but she said no. Together they contacted an adoption agency with the request that I be placed with parents who would make education a priority in my life. This request was honored. Between what I have gleaned from my adoptive parents, the non-identifying information that the adoption agency provided me and from my birthfather, whom I have been in contact with for over 15 years, I know it was important for my birthmother to not take on the responsibility of raising a family until she was able. It was the publication of the 1940's census and other public documents that let me know that mother, Augusta Ingram married William D. Chadwick of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  They moved to Woodland Hills, CA sometime after they married. (I've seen a  bird's eye view of their home on Google Maps!) They have two daughters. It is good to know that my birthmother was able to build a life for herself after relinquishing me for adoption. I am hoping to reach out to my half-sisters but don't know their current surnames.  I know at least one of them has children since grandchildren were referred to in the funeral home internet guest book. 
Detail of free motion quilting from
Tickling the Ivories

How does this relate to quilting? Maybe it does and maybe it doesn't. What I do know is that life can take you by surprise. I find working during the height of emotions is difficult for me. At the same time, I am so very grateful to have my art to turn to at times like this. Thank goodness all my work post learning about my birthmother was of the repetitive, calming, no decisions to be made sort. As I regain my equilibrium I am ready to move on. 

Much of my week's work was accomplished before my birthmother was found. Here is what I managed:

1) Tickling the Ivories - Due March 15th


Tickling the Ivories gets a binding
a) Finish the quilting. - Done! 

Finishing the background of notes and wiggly lines went smoothly. The sticking point came when I just couldn't settle on how to quilt the inside of the appliqu├ęd notes. I created 8 different quilting motifs as a filler before I settled on the final version that mimicked the ribbon.

b) Wash, block and square up the quilt. - Done!
c) Make the binding and sleeve. - 50% done. I haven't make the sleeve yet.
d) Attach the binding. - Done!
e) Photograph the quilt. - Not yet.
f) Make the label - Not yet.
g) Attach the sleeve and label. - Not yet.

2) Leah Day projects.
Life Book 2014 - Lesson 10

a) Baste the face, torso and arms to Express Your Love II. - On hold until the quilts with deadlines are completed.

b) Do Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting lesson. - There was no motif to practice this week.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments. - Done!

What mixed media and quilting have in common, beyond being art media is the layering of pattern, color and materials. This lesson was taught by Tamara Laporte. It begins with a collage that includes a face clipped from a magazine. There are layers of gesso, acrylic paint, stamping, text, washi tape, graphite and ink. It is definitely humbling to take on a new media.

4) Tumbling Blocks I (Due April 30) - Continue piecing the quilt - On hold until Tickling the Ivories is at the hand stitching/finishing phase. - Not on hold any more. I started piecing this again! I am approximately 33% done with the piecing.

Close-up of Tumbling Blocks

Top of the
Tumbling Blocks
Panel
Bottom of the
Tumbling Blocks
Panel

5) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall (Due August 3) - a commissioned quilt - On hold until quilts with earlier deadlines are completed. 

Start piecing the quilt.

My A1 goal for next week is to get full view and detail images of Tickling the Ivories worthy of using for submission purposes. Once I have achieved that everything else will follow naturally. At least that is the plan. :)
 1) Tickling the Ivories - Due March 15th

a) Photograph the quilt.
b) Make the sleeve.
c) Make the label
d) Attach the sleeve and label.

2) Leah Day projects.

a) Baste the face, torso and arms to Express Your Love II. - On hold until the quilts with deadlines are completed.

b) Do Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting lesson.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments.

4) Continue piecing Tumbling Blocks I (Due April 30) 

5) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall (Due August 3) - a commissioned quilt - On hold until quilts with earlier deadlines are completed. 

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.




6 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing such a personal story....I hope it might help others make a decision about their own need for searches..... It sounds like it really brought some closure for you. Tickling the Ivory is a very successful piece and you finished it on time!! Yeah!!

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  2. Goodness, Gwyned, what an amazing personal story. I'm glad you shared it and hope the ending is happy regarding your searches for your half-sisters. I like the pattern you chose for quilting inside the musical note very much.

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  3. Sending you much love and hugs. It sounds as if your birth mother was a strong and brave and giving woman, and you clearly have those qualities. And your quilting is always wonderful.

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    1. Thank you, B. Most generous of you to say.

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  4. Thanks for your very moving story, and for your weekly posts. You are inspiring

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