Friday, June 19, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 06/19

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Lyric Kinard deserves the credit for this lesson. It is based
on a method she uses to teach to how to develop an
abstraction from tracing a pair of scissors.
How do the touring quilt teachers, lecturers and authors do it? This is a question I've pondered on and off for years. I was privileged to belong to the Rhododendron Needlers Quilt Guild for twenty-five years. RNQG had the coffers to hire at least four such teachers each year. Most lectures included a peak into the world of the quilter and how they did or did not balance their time, often presented as humorous stories. Yes, I laughed. I also realized that I wasn't willing to make some of the same sacrifices. I feel very fortunate that my passion for creating art quilts never deprived my family of time or money. Nor was it ever necessary for me to earn my living making art. When our children were growing up I quilted while they were napping and later while they were in school. I held on to the hope that when I became an empty nester I could spend 100% of my time working on my art. How naive was that? Before my youngest graduated from high school I was enmeshed in elder care.  That segment of my life ended thirteen years later with the death of my aunt, last month. She was many things, including an artist. Will I spend 100% of my time on my art now? Probably not. Age is catching up with me. I am weary. I find the transition to get back into art after a week or two away more and more difficult.  How do those traveling quilters do it?
I make my work oversized (14" H x 11" W)
so that I can easily quilt beyond the edges
of the quilt and then trim to size.

I haven't given up entirely. As you can see from the images in this post I worked on a "just for fun" project, but did zero on my one project with a deadline. Here is what I was able to manage:

1) Deconstructed Sunrise - Due November 30, 2015) - I needed to take a break from anything beyond playing in the studio, so treated myself to a mini lesson/project instead. This is also part of the way I ease myself back into the studio. It makes the studio feel less daunting.

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Got some FMQ in on my just for fun project.

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 44/126 

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done

I created a frame so that I could test different
potential croppings of 10" x 8" and also to see
whether I preferred a landscape or scroll orientation.

5) Do some surface design experiments - Opted to skip this

Fortunately, I have nearly two months at home before my next planned trip. I'm confident that I can regain my rhythm soon. When I do here is what I will be focusing on:
I opted for a very simple echo quilting. I can tell I
haven't been practicing my FMQ. Close enough,
especially since this is a just for fun piece.

1) Deconstructed Sunrise - Due November 30, 2015)

2) Free motion quilting practice. 

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

4) Perform a random act of kindness 

5) Do some surface design experiments

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. How do traveling teachers do it?!? The number one reason I stopped was due to air travel. It's become a nightmare, especially if you don't live near a hub. The required numerous connections, long layovers, shrinking number of flights with shrinking seat sizes, TSA, fees for every little thing....well it's all too stressful and unpleasant....esp. since we NEED to get to our destination when we planned. If we don't arrive in time for our lecture or workshop....we don't get paid! If it weren't for air travel, I'd teach until my teeth fell out. BUT.....I really do count myself fortunate to have such fabulous memories of 25+ years of travel teaching and all the friends I've made!

  2. Hi Gwyned... Love the art piece in this post and was tempted by Lyric's challenge with the scissors myself and resisted. I too am managing a very busy travel and art focused schedule this spring. Anxiously awaiting July/August when home studio time is booked into the calendar and the phone is standing ready for message service only. Your story is not unfamiliar, and there are many like yourself who have skills that are much in demand, and you are envisioning special pieces of art that call to be on the design wall. I so admire your tenacity and strength in managing your schedule and take good lessons from you here. Thanks for sharing.
    Love Mary's note above and she is so right - travel is difficult at best and land travel is mainly in my teaching future. Really so enjoy the courses and the artists I work with and will teach anywhere, but especially love the driving...retirement is good! hanks too for the devotion to your Aunt - she was blessed.
    Bethany in Kingston, ON

    1. You are stronger than I am, Bethany. Lyric's challenge was like a siren's song to me. I have never approached abstraction in such a concrete, linear way. I was really curious what would happen. I did my share of teaching and lecturing when I lived in Massachusetts. I "reach" didn't go beyond New England and New York. Moving to the midwest meant starting marketing all over again. Just didn't have the energy and drive to do it. What I miss most though, was the mentoring I did of newbie fiber artists in my home.

      Where to devote one's time? Never an easy question to answer. One positive decision is to invest the time that has the two of us working on the same project. :)

  3. I love lyric's blog! I used to follow but had to cut back on my blog reading to make time . I love what you did with the abstract scissors