Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekly Report 2014 - 10/17

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques: 

Any guesses about what I have been doing this week? That's right, experimenting. If only I could have been as delighted with all my experiments as the cheerful young lady gleefully combining her chemical potions. The truth is many experiments don't produce the result your are hoping for. All they really determine is what not to do. After my week that has successfully ruled out nearly every option I have tried, I just may have to settle for last week's strategy of getting close enough.
Night Vision after all the
seams have been sewn
Pink Acrylic
Gold Lumiere
The week was not with out its accomplishments as you can see by the progress made with my review of my plan of attack from last week:

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

a) Finish the piecing - Done!

White Acrylic and Blue Lumiere
That single word "done" barely scrapes the surface of how tedious and difficult the final two long undulating seams to piece the leaves together was. I pin basted them often as close as 1/16" of inch between pins and still there were  close to ten "tricky" sections that needed to be ripped out and sewn again. Yes, I settled for close enough. There are a few places with puckers that, fingers crossed, will disappear once the piece is quilted or the frog covers them up.

b) Prepare the quilt sandwich - Not yet

c) Test the new paints - Yes and no

Neon Yellow Fluorescent after four applications
I have tested acrylic paint, Jacquard's Lumiere and Jacquard's Neon Fluorescent paints. None cover the black vinyl the way I like. I would have loved the look of the neon fluorescent's but they would not adhere to the black vinyl as they were being brushed on and they are very, very translucent. Even if I could get them to stick they would require a minimum of five layers and would show the layers with uneven lumps and areas of varying degrees of opacity. I have one more set of paints to try next week. If these don't work, I am going to the use an opaque acrylic.

d) Paint the poison dart frog - Not yet

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

Testing out the latest free motion quilting motif
with an eye to capturing leaf veins for Night Vision.
Testing out paints wasn't the only experimentation I tried this week. I had high hopes that I could quilt Night Vision with Superior's NiteLite thread. The thread on the spool looks granny smith apple green. I figured if the quilt was displayed in light it would blend nicely as the veins in my tropically leaves. Then if the quilt was displayed in the dark it would glow. How cool would that be? Unfortunately when quilted, the thread looks white in a lit room and that is how it would be displayed 99% of the time. Also, the thread stretches a bit. In my polymer thread expert's (my husband) parlance it has a weak tensile strength. It broke once while I was quilting the sample. My guess is that it is probably as fussy as metallic threads. On the right quilt this thread would be spectacular. 

Artwork based on Traci Bautista's
experimental prompts

While testing out NiteLite I figured I might as well see if I could come up with a free motion quilting design that made sense for the leaf segments. At least this experiment wasn't a total bust. It worked as I hoped, especially some of the repetitive traveling stitching so that key veins are slightly thicker and more pronounced than others. 

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

Artwork created from taking Tamara
Laporte's finger painting lesson. 
Two teachers provided lessons on what was considered a bonus lesson week. These are suppose to the be the less intense weeks. 

Traci Bautista gave us 12 exercises that could be done to jump start creativity when your muse is on vacation. I took bits and pieces from several of the exercises to create a mixed media piece.

With over nine months of dabbling in mixed media I have come to really look forward to Tamara LaPorte's lessons. She was inspired by the work of Cy Twombly.  The flowers are made predominately by finger painting. I love this piece so much I have been dreaming of ways to recreate it in fiber using the snippets technique.

Neon pink fluorescent paint. Really? It looks very red to me.
Looks like I will have plenty to keep me engaged for several life times. Oh the joy of being an artist. :) That is why I do my best to stick to the current game plan or I wouldn't get anything finished. Here is my plan for where to focus next:
1) Night Vision - (Due January 1, 2015)

a) Prepare the quilt sandwich
b) Continue testing paints
d) Paint the poison dart frog

2) Free motion quilting practice.

3) 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. I hadn't thought about the challenges of painting on vinyl, while very frog like it doesn't absorb at all. Repels it actually. Have you tried different things like pencils or shiva sticks? Pastels? Thank you for sharing the glow on the dark info, I've seen it and always wondered what it was like.

  2. It might have been a frustrating week for you Gwyned, but you have some really good results nonetheless. The LifeBook assignments are really vibrant in colour, and the FMQ design just perfect for leaves. If that little frog is giving you too much trouble just ignore him for a few days.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

  3. Gwen.....NIght Vision is SPECTACULAR!

  4. Clearly a week of proving that sampling pays off. Those leaves are spectacular -- even without the glowing thread. :-)