Friday, August 28, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 08/28

My photographer, aka my husband, Dana Eagles,
reminded me that I haven't given him a plug in my
blog recently. The idea of how to capture the 3D
effect of Deconstructed Sunrise #2, by having me hold
it was his. 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Now you can see the covered edge that has
been wrapped around a commercial 8" x 10"
frame. Note that the plan for Deconstructed Sunrise #3
is behind me. That should give you a sense
of  scale or just how big a 40" W x 60" H
quilt is.
You've heard of Murphy's Law which states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. I've been thinking up some Gwyned's laws along the same lines this week. I was tearing my hair out on what should have been an easy, no problem task - extracting the image of my quilt from the background in Photoshop Elements. At one time this was quite an arduous task, before I had learned of several time savers and tips. For example, it is much easer to surround an image that is large enough for me to see. Why it never occurred to me to blow up the image in the first place is beyond me. I had a extracted Deconstructed Sunrise from its background just the day before, laid it down on a white background, merged layers, sized it appropriately for call for entries. I use the same image when I print my labels. Everything went smoothly. The next day I proceeded to do the same thing for Deconstructed Sunrise #2. I assumed it would take the same 10 minutes or so. NOT! I have no idea why the delete feature that removes the background from the image wasn't working in PSE. It just wasn't. What to do? What to do? I tried quitting and restarting PSE. I tried an alternate delete feature. I finally figured out a multi step work around that removed the image, left the background behind and pasted the image on a new white background. This didn't double my time. It took closer to 10 times the amount of time. Fortunately, moments like this are often counterbalanced by the inverse. Something I assume is going to take hours and require a great deal of strategy and improvisation goes smoothly. Gwyned's law is, if you think it will be easy, it will be hard. If you think it will be hard, you just might luck out and find that it is easy.

Fortunately, most of the week went relatively smoothly and I was able to accomplish quite a bit, as you will see:

Last week I shared two different
possibilities I was considering for
Deconstructed Sunrise #3. This
is the one I have chosen to pursue next.
Usually I sketch my trial designs on
8.5" x 11" sheets of paper. However,
knowing that I wanted to make a
40" x 60" quilt,  I created  my trials at
a ratio of 1:4 or 10" x 15".
The trial design is recreated to make
a blue print to scale. Next freezer paper
templates are created by tracing the
blue print.  One thing I appreciate about
the repetitiveness of drawing the same
drawing three times is it gives the
opportunity to really study it, make a
couple of design tweaks and start
the process of thinking how I will
construct it and what colors to put where.

1) Finish Deconstructed Sunrise - So close.

I started sewing on the label yesterday, but then other things took precedence. I'm sure it will be done today.

2) Deconstructed Sunrise #2 (Due September 8, 2015):
  •  Affix the quilt to the canvas - Done!
  • Add it my website and FaceBook page - See Gwyned's Law. If I hadn't had such a torturous time extracting the image, then I would have had the time to add this to my site and FB page.
  • Ship it to the gallery - Not yet.
Craters (blue section) is one of my favorite styles of
free motion quilting. It combines
open areas with more intensely
quilted areas, creating glorious texture. The FMQ is
done on a Leah Day cheater cloth. 
3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

Thanks to a tip from Laura, one of my readers,  I am now following Tracy,
at Whirls 'n Swirl quilting who is creating 100 videos on FMQ designs. These are not for novices. Not because of the complexity of the design, but because she demos the pattern and doesn't breakdown the steps. If you have the basics of FMQ down, then she is an excellent resource for ideas.

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 65.5/126

5) Perform a random act of kindness - Done

It feels great to be able to spend the lion's share of three days in my studio again. I'm planning for the momentum to continue next week as I make my way through the following:

1) Finish Deconstructed Sunrise

2) Deconstructed Sunrise #2 (Due September 8, 2015):
  • Add it my website and FaceBook page
  • Ship it to the gallery
3) Deconstructed Sunrise #3 (Due November 30, 2015)

  • Add registration marks to the freezer paper templates
  • Decide whether to create new fabrics with dye, paint and ink
  • Either create the fabrics OR start the piecing process

4) Free motion quilting practice. 

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

6) 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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Wek in Review 2015 - 08/21

Deconstructed Sunrise - 2
8" H x 10" W
The black surround is NOT a border. I have mounted
the quilt on black fabric. This fabric will be turned
under an 8" x 10" canvas and then secured in place
with upholstery tacks. 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I returned from a family vacation this week, coping with the usual re-entry issues. However, this time it only took a couple of days, versus a week or two to get into the swing of things. Perhaps that is because I got caught up in the busy-ness that is a natural consequence of chairing SAQA's Exhibition Committee. Fortunately it is a committee, so that getting the working done is shared by the members  and does not all fall squarely on my shoulders. I am so appreciative of the help that I receive, that I make it a point to say thank you to individuals and to the committee as a whole on a fairly regular basis. It occurred to me as we "swapped" thank you notes this week, how differently I feel about sending and receiving thanks now from when I was a child. It was the practice in our home that the day after Christmas was time to start writing thank you notes. Pure torture as a child. How should I thank Great Aunt Ernie for a hand knit sweater that itched and didn't suit my 8 year old fashion sense? By the time I came into Ernie's life and she into mine, she seemed ancient and frankly rather creepy and repellant to a young child. Now I see the love and generosity of this annual gift. True, I was a most ungracious child when it came to writing thank you notes, but I did develop the motivation to continue the practice. There are so many things in life that we prefer not to do, but do begrudgingly and then eventually wonder what the big deal was all about. I've been thinking much of making art can feel like that. For example, I would gladly skip over the design phase and get right down to working. Time has taught me that I do best with a blueprint. Funny thing, once I buckle down, it really isn't so bad.
The orange "eyeballs" are the Zoodle
design. Boy, can I tell I haven't been
FMQ for three weeks. It will be good to
get back to FMQ on regular basis.

This week has been about buckling down. Here is how it went:

1) Continue the finishing work on Deconstructed Sunrise - Done!

All that is left to do now is to create and attach the label, then add piece to my website. This just might be the earliest I have a completed a deadline piece. The call I plan on entering this piece in has a November 30, 2015 deadline.

2) Deconstructed Sunrise #2 (Due September 8, 2015): - Done!

  •  Finish quilting it. - Done!
  •  Decide whether additional embellishments would help? - Done! Opted not to add them.
  •  Start the finish work. - Done! 

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I've been playing with some ideas
for my next Deconstructed Sunrise
quilt. This one will be 60" H x 40" W.
It is prudent to have some idea of the
general layout before I begin.
This is my first design attempt.
I've long been a fan of Leah Day's flowing lines free motion quilting motifs for some time now. Right up there with that family of patterns are spirals. So, when Leah came up with Zoodles, a design that incorporates flowing lines and spirals, I naturally had to give it a try.

4) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 62.5/126

5) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

Now that I am back to my work week routine with not a single conference call/meeting scheduled for next week, I have high hopes for three solid studio days next week. Here is how I plan on using them:

This is my fourth design attempt
for the next Deconstructed Sunrise.
The mock ups are 15" H x 10" W
1) Finish Deconstructed Sunrise

2) Deconstructed Sunrise #2 (Due September 8, 2015):
  •  Affix the quilt to the canvas
  • Add it my website and FaceBook page
  • Ship it to the gallery
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.