Friday, July 25, 2014

Week in Review 2014 - 07/25

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

A close up of this week's free motion quilting design,
Dragonflies, by Gwyned Trefethen. The thread used is
a Marathon gold metallic.
It is time to talk thread again. When I first started quilting I barely gave what thread I used a second thought. I used Coats and Clark in whatever thread matched/blended with my current project. Slowly, ever so slowly I became more thread savvy. I went through a Sulky phase. Then I couldn't get enough of Aurifil. I still love Aurifil, I just wish they had more variegated threads in their collection. My love of variegated threads brought me to Superior Thread. The King Tut collection has been a favorite for years. I am also very partial to the shimmer achieved with metallic thread. Oh, the frustration. No thread that I use is more problematic than a metallic thread. When I need to be reminded of how to fix my thread issues, I turn to Superior Thread's website. They have many articles on how to work with thread. You might find the one on metallic threads helpful next time you are pulling out your hair as your metallic thread shreds and snaps every few feet of stitches. The reminder that finally solved my problem this week was shifting the orientation of the thread from vertical to horizontal. How your thread despools is key to not creating inadvertent snags and tension issues.

How my life thread has been despooling this summer is like metallic thread. Just when I think things are running smoothly it catches, shreds and breaks apart. I cope the same way. Patience, a deep breath a tweak and review, then I am on my way again. Little by little I make progress. One of the great things about blogging about my progress is that over a week, month and year I am shocked by just how much progress is made. It sure doesn't seem like that on a daily basis. Yet, proof positive follows, I can check several items off on my to do list.

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

a) Deliver the quilt to the client. - Done!

The working title for this one is Night
. The plan is to size it at 54" H x 36" W.
That means the frog will be ~ 18" square.
I don't know who was more thrilled when Little Lake Butte des Morts in Fall was delivered. I knew it was a good a piece, but I wasn't sure how it would work in the space it was designed for. It worked beautifully. I felt honored that the client asked many good questions and was fascinated by all the fabrics, thread work and detail in the piece.

2) Wild Apple 12" x 12" Opportunity - (Due August 15) - Not yet, but I have decided on the piece and pulled out some of the necessary supplies to get this done.

a) Mat and frame the work.

3) Create a minimum of 5 designs for my next piece. - Done!

I have only shared the design I settled on. It is an
amalgam of several ideas. It is unfinished. All the leaves will have veins.

A full view of Gwyned Trefethen's
FMQ design - Dragonflies

4) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I tried my hand at coming up with another FMQ design. This one I call Dragonflies. I couldn't resist the temptation to execute it in a metallic thread. The design was inspired by the collage I put together for this week's Life Book assignment.

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

I learned a new technique in this week's Life Book lesson. It is how to transfer either a laser print (does not work with an ink jet printer) or magazine image to a mixed media piece using clear shelf lining paper. What fun!

Life Book 2014
Week 30's Collage

How will next week go? Will it continue to provide me with metallic thread style frustrations or run smoothly like a high quality polyester or rayon thread? Whatever life brings, I know I have the patience to plod along. My path is set as you can see below:

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

a) Mat and frame the work.

2) Night Vision - (Due January 1, 2015)

a) Finish the line drawing
b) Print out the line drawing to scale
c) Start the piecing

4) Free motion quilting practice.

5) 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. Love the collage for Life Book this week, and your Dragonfly pattern is great. Did you really quilt it all with metallic thread? That is ambitious!

  2. Hello Gwyned,

    The dragonflies are delightful, dancing over the water - a lively summery scene. Somehow I think the lake project is still living on with you.

    I love all the shades of blue and turquoise in the LifeBook collage. So often I look at your work and think "fabric design..."

    Love, Muv

  3. Can't wait to see how that frog one comes out! I've gone through the same thing with the threads myself. I must have 20 different kinds of thread my stash

    1. You will have to wait 3 or 4 months, I expect. I'm a rather slow worker compared to many others. I'm rather curious to see how it turns out myself. That is one of the reasons I leave much to the imagination - just sketch in the basic lines and then go to town. This way my work surprises me, too.

  4. I love your new dragonfly design and it looks so good with the metallic thread. I know it can be the devil to work with, maybe that's why I haven't worked with it in a long time. I admire your tenacity.