Friday, July 11, 2014

Week in Review 2014 - 07/11

Detail from Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

There is nothing more centering for me than a day working in the studio. It is one of the few times that my mind is totally focused. I am engaged. I feel relaxed. I feel I am in the present, neither rehashing the past or fretting over the future. I am so fortunate to have the time, ability and wherewith all to do what I am passionate about. Is it all bliss? Is anything all bliss? Even an ice cream sundae starts out as treat, but may leave one with that "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" tummy rebellion. So it is for me when it comes to quilting. My tummy rebellion is facing, as in facing versus binding, a quilt. 

Yesterday's primary task was to apply the facing to Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall. The problem with facing for me is that no matter what method I try it is a fussy, frustrating experience. Not so, yesterday. This time it went if not smoothly, at least much easier than in times past. What was the difference? Most likely practice, practice and practice.

Another detail, but this time showcasing the marsh
versus the opposite shore.

My favorite tutorial for how to face a quilt is by Susan Brubaker Knapp. I prefer the mitered version. I do two things differently from Susan. First, instead of turning the facing strip under on one edge I fold a 3" or 4" wide strip (depends on the size of the quilt) in half length wise. I like the extra heft two layers of fabric give to the quilt. Second, Susan has you mark the exact length of the quilt on your strip. I only mark one end. Why? Because I have yet to have a measured piece of fabric sew to the length of a quilt exactly. Fabric and quilts stretch when sewn and rarely do they stretch the same amount. I just leave myself a little wiggle room by cutting my strips an 1" or so longer then they need to be.

Facing my commission quilt wasn't all I did this week. Here is how the week went:

1) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall (Due August 3) 
Little Lake Butte
des Morts in Fall
27" H x 9" W

a) Finish adding the details such as the cattails, branches and leaves. - Done! 
b) Block and square up the quilt. - Done!
c) Start facing the quilt. - Done!

2) Wild Apple 12" x 12" Opportunity - (Due August 15) - Not yet.

a) Mat and frame the work.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

Starry Night is a combination of stars and crescent moons.
I had lots of fun test driving Starry Night, a quilting motif by Lori Kennedy. I practiced first with a pen and paper. It was difficult for me to get an even sized motif going on paper. I figured the actually free motion quilting would be a disaster. Not so. If I were to use this on an actual quilt I would need more practice. I had difficulty figuring out solutions for awkward spaces. 

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

My take on Tamara LaPorte's lesson
on drawing the sacred eye.
Drawing realistic eyes has always eluded me until this week's lesson taught by Tamara LaPorte. She is a marvel at breaking down the different elements in whatever she is having you draw. What can I say? Her style of teaching is how I learn best. 

There is nothing like a successful week to get me revved up for more. Here is the more that I hope to tackle next week:

1) Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall (Due August 3) 

a) Finish facing the quilt.
b) Create and attach the sleeve.
c) Create and attach the label.
d) Deliver the quilt to the client.

2) Wild Apple 12" x 12" Opportunity - (Due August 15)

a) Mat and frame the work.

3) Free motion quilting practice.

4) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. Ohhh this is lovely! And look you got it done a whole three weeks early - I'm jealous!

  2. Hummmm....not sure my first comment went through....but it's worth writing again to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing Lake Butte. In my humble opinion....your decision to face it was just right. AND....I love the vertical text on the 'eye!

  3. Hello Gwyned,

    The lake scene is beautiful - the autumn leaves in the foreground really stand out, almost 3D!

    You have found another FMQ design that combines curves with spikes and have kept them from blending in together. I know I would have soon got into a tangle in a corner with that one.

    Lovely colours in the eye... quite hypnotising...

    Thank you for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv