Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 1/30

Panel #1 - This was my very first try creating feathers two
different ways and playing with the shape of the plumes.
Note the organic versus cookie cutter shape to the plumes.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Panel #2 - Can you tell that the plumes are
more rounded, less wonky now?
A common sentiment voiced by those of you who generously comment on my blog posts is how you wish you were as organized and/or productive as me. I understand your feelings. I often long to do what I see others doing. Should I be writing books? Seeking more teaching opportunities? Creating more pieces worthy of submitting to Quilt National? Creating more videos? Advancing my surface design skills? And those are just some of my artist longings.

I often debate as to whether I have struck the right balance between my art and my family. I live 400 miles away from my closest relative and over 1,000 miles away from all my other relatives. No matter who I visit or how many visits I make in a year it never feels like I am visiting enough. Am I using the life I have been given wisely? Cheryl Wheeler, a favorite singer songwriter of mine, addresses this very topic in her humorous song, Unworthy. I highly recommend that if you ever have the feeling that you aren't doing enough you listen to her song.

If this gets you thinking about the balancing act of family, health, career and leisure why not make a quilt on the topic. SAQA has an exhibition aptly named Balancing Act that is looking for quilts on this topic. The exhibition will be premier at IQF Houston in October 2015.

Panel # 3 - At this point I can go around corners,
create a feather  wreath by only marking the circle,
fill in triangles and mix up feathers with plumed swirls
for an all over design. The filler design was done
with no marking at all.
My week has been the antithesis of balanced. I woke up Sunday morning and realized that Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci had, as in HAD, to be quilted with feathers. Despite years of practicing my free motion quilting I have done very little practice with feathers and what I have done has been less than satisfactory. I remembered that Angela Walters teaches Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers on I signed up for the class then, I spent 100% of my studio time this week doing all ten lessons, each with at least three different variations on the lesson theme. It was worth it. I still struggle occasionally with how to start the first plume of the feather, but now all my plumes are well rounded, I can create them going either up or down the quill, mark feathers, or just do them free form and fill any shape with feathers surrounded by a variety of FMQ fillers.

Panel #4 - The final lessons. Now I can create fancy
corners and central feather motifs for borders. I can
combine feathers and backgrounds to achieve
elegance and texture.

1) Night Vision - (Due January 31, 2015)

a) Add the label - on hold until I need another label. Otherwise I have to use a full sheet of ink jet printer fabric for just one label.

2) Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci - (Due May 1, 2015)

b) Sandwich quilt - Done, but I will probably undo much of it now that I will be marking it for feather placement. Sigh!

c) Start the quilting - Not yet.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Absolutely - enough for the next month or so. :)

4) Post the number of days I worked in my studio in 2015 - 12.5/126

5) Perform a random act of kindness - Done

Backside of Panel #4
This will be more like how my quilting will look in
Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci. I purposefully used
contrasting thread on the front, so that both you and I
could see what I was doing. The back thread blends
with the fabric so that only the quilting shows - not
the thread.
Next week may be just as unbalanced as this past one. I'm expecting most if not all my studio time will be spent quilting Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci. You never know, though, I may be struck by another brilliant (crazy?) idea and be off and running again. I do have the following game plan to remind me what my intentions are.

1) Night Vision - (Due January 31, 2015)

a) Add the label - On hold.

2) Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci - (Due May 1, 2015)

a) Start the quilting

3) Free motion quilting practice.

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015

5) Perform a random act of kindness

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. Your feathers are very impressive. I think that I should take this class, too, since my FM feathers are terrible. Did you do these on your George or your Bernina?

  2. Your quilting looks lovely! So cool to be able to see improvement as you work through. Are you planning on entering something in Balancing Act? I'm working on something for it now- not sure i'll finish it in time or not, but it's a topic I'm drawn to....

  3. Your feathers are great. I love it.

  4. Your thoughtful post couldn't have come at a better time for me to read and absorb....thank you.... Your feathers?!? Goodness.....they are great....far beyond 'learning stage' in my humble opinion!

  5. Gwyned, the feathers are fantastic. Doing 101 variations on a theme can be so satisfying. Now you will be doing feathers without a moment's hesitation.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks.

    Love, Muv

  6. Wonderful feathers, something I've never tackled.