Friday, April 24, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 04/24



Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I played with Tsukineko Inks.  I mixed several batches
of violet and fuchsia with shaving cream which I
painted on the fabric intuitively.  
Have you noticed that when you ask a child what he most likes about school the answer is invariably recess? So why as adults don't we make it a requirement to schedule recess into our work day. When I head to my studio it is nearly always to work my current piece or practice my free motion quilting. I may experiment with a technique or product, but I usually have goal I am trying to reach, one that I hope will be the answer to my current artwork's latest issue. You would think with nearly 30 years of quilting I would no longer be sewing myself into a corner. I do. In fact I do multiple times with nearly every piece I make. Who has time to play? Perhaps the more germane question is who has time not to play? Play is a great anxiety buster. I believe that play is essential to one's well being. That is precisely why when I come to the end of one project and before I begin the next one I make sure I get some play time in. 

My week wasn't all play. In fact I accomplished 100% of the items on my weekly project  list. This just might be a first.

1) Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci - (Due May 1, 2015) - Done!!

a) Make and attach sleeve - Done! 

Marbling is another fun technique to try with Tsukineko inks.
Actually I attached a split sleeve to the top and a split sleeve to the bottom. The intense quilting and bead work of Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci has resulted in more waffling than I would like, even after washing and blocking the quilt. If weight is added at the bottom of the quilt, by inserting a rod in the lower sleeve, it helps reduce the waffling just a tad.

b) Make and attach label - Done!

c) Add to my website - Done!

d) Post progress photos to FaceBook - Done!

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I continued to work on my thread painting. One thing I've learned is that I absolutely need to stabilize my quilt sandwich if I am going to do a combination of thread painting and quilting on an actual quilt. I've been reading about various methods others have used to fuse their tops and backings to the batting. I see a lot of experimentation in my future.

The first stem is fully thread painted. You can see how
dramatically the fabric top shrinks, even when securely
pin basted, when thread work is done this intensely.

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 34/126

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

5) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - Done! Finally :)

Will I play, procrastinate or return to pushing forward with my work next week? The question is one I have been debating much of this past week. I still haven't answered it. So, I'll hedge my bets and include play time and work projects in next week's list.

1) Design and start the next artwork

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.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 4/17




Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I was concerned what the back of
Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci would
look like once I started beading.
Now I wonder why I worried.
This week I have been thinking about the importance of reviewing finished work and making those final adjustments that make all the difference. For example when I am expecting company, my husband and I don't just vacuum and dust, we fold up the blankets that protect our furniture from the wayward cat claw, make sure the towels are neatly folded in the bathrooms and be sure to have some food and drinks that meet are guests dietary preferences and/or restrictions. I might move a flowering plant from a window, where it is normally placed to get light and put it somewhere to fill a void or enhance the decor. I go through a similar procedure as I finish a quilt getting it ready for submission to calls for entry. Now is the time to look it over with a more critical eye. Is there anything else needed? Are there errant threads and cat hair that need removing?
When I first quilted this 3" H x 4.5" W section I used a
primary colored variegated 40 wt. thread. It stood out like
a neon blinking sign. I removed the quilting but never
replaced it until yesterday. This is much more subtle
and fits with the rest of the quilt.

This week was all about those small adjustments that make a big difference as I finished up Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci. 

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

a) Trim to size - Done!
b) Make and attach bias binding - Done!
c) Make and attach sleeve - Not yet.
d) Make and attach label - Not yet.

The border required some major tweaking. I had planned
on it being just 1/2" wide once it was trimmed.
Unfortunately, all that lovely quilting and beadwork
meant that the inner section is noticeably off square
and therefore a 1/2" border looked horrible. Instead
the border was trimmed anywhere from 2" - 2.5" to
help give the illusion of a rectangular design within
the border. To reduce the waffling in the border I
quilted it after I bound the quilt.
2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

I quilted the border of Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci with feathers. The more I quilt feathers the more I enjoy doing them. Makes me wonder why they were so diabolically difficult to learn.

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 31.5/126

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done!

5) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label


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

Yeah, the front side of Mondrian Tackles
Fibonacci
is done. All that is left takes
place on the backside.
a) Make and attach sleeve
b) Make and attach label
c) Add to my website
d) Post progress to finished photos on FaceBook

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) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label

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, April 10, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 04/10




Finally, the beading on
Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci
is done!
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I had barely clicked on the publish button for last week's blog before I realized my error. The error didn't make much of a difference to the blog. It did catch me up short. Was this a senior moment? For those of you who follow my blog you know I have been obsessively focused on beading the final section of Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci for many weeks. I announced in last week's post  that I had just half a day's worth of beading to go and I would be done. I truly believed that. Then it hit me, I had half a day's worth of beading to do on the improvisational tendril like sections. I had another couple of days to go to finish the vines. How could I completely forget those vines? Why, after more than 25 years of making quilts, do I still find it difficult to accurately calculate the time it will take me to finish? A while back I heard that most people under predict the time it takes to do something that they love doing, while over predicting the time it takes to do something that they have an aversion to. This makes sense to me.
Click on the image for an enlarged version.
This will help you distinguish the tendrils
from the vines and the quilting.
The photograph was taken before washing the quilt.
All the blue marking ink washed out nicely.

The upshot of last week's work is that I did manage to finish 100% of the beading, both tendrils and vines. I just didn't get much more done. Here is what I accomplished:

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

a) Finish beading - Done
b) Wash and block - Done
c) Trim to size - Not yet
d) Make and attach bias binding - Not yet
e) Make and attach sleeve - Not yet
f) Make and attach label - Not yet

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done
Is it free motion quilting done densely or thread painting?
Does it matter? Next week I hope to add highlights to
the stem. If I do that then it will be thread painting.

There is a fine line between thread painting and free motion quilting. This week I began a practice piece to do a little of both. The fabric comes from my stash of hand painted, surface design style fabrics. I think this was a drop cloth enhanced with Shiva Oil Paintstiks. I find it easiest when attacking a new free motion quilting piece to break it down into segments, much the way you would when creating a zentangle. What I love most about zentangles is the value differentials achieved dense and sparse designs. There are usually a few very strong solid lines as well. That is what I am starting with as I experiment with this piece.

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 29/126

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done

5) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label

Will next week go by quickly or will it drag? I suspect a mixture of both. At least I have my art planned out as follows:


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

Where will Lola nap now that the beading is done
on Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci
a) Trim to size
b) Make and attach bias binding
c) Make and attach sleeve
d) Make and attach label

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) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label

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, April 3, 2015

Week in Review 2015 - 4/3



That's me, with the mic, giving a gallery talk at
IQF - Chicago. Behind me are several works from
SAQA's exhibition, Celebrating Silver. Picture by
Cynthia Wenslow.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

It's Spring! Hurrah, hurrah. We returned from caring for our granddaughters in Massachusetts, where several feet of snow still lay on the ground, to discover that all our snow was gone and song birds could be heard. In just a few weeks the redwing blackbirds and sandhill cranes have returned. I was treated to the most stunning male merganser several nights ago gliding across the lake our property abuts. The return of migratory birds fills me with such joy and optimism. It is that fresh start, all is possible feeling. The very feeling that keeps me enmeshed in creating art quilts. 
video
The video is of my youngest grandchild, Ariana.
Her enthusiasm at her big sister's gym class is
a reminder of how we are born with delight
in the world that surrounds us.

It has been four weeks since my last post. The gap is due to timing and travel. During my brief periods at home when I could get to the studio I managed to keep Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci moving forward and even stole several hours to brainstorm and create a fun free motion quilting doodle. Here is what I have been up to:


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

If you click on the image you should get a enlarged
version that will allow you to see the bead work
progress I have made on the yellow section of
Mondrian Tackles Fibonacci.
a) Continue beading - Done! Even better, I am nearly done!! I have approximately half a day's worth of beading left to do. I am on track to finish with days to spare before the deadline.

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!
Getting back into the spirit of free motion quilting
by Doodling Circles.

It has been a month since I have been able to sit at the machine and do some free motion quilting. Fortunately, my muscle memory is strong and it felt as natural as if I had only free motion quilted the day before. The primary design is one I dubbed Doodling Circles. Periodically I would just break free and do some echo quilting. 

3) Post the number of days I have worked in my studio in 2015 - 32/126

4) Perform a random act of kindness - Done.


5) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label

I have no travel plans for another six weeks. I am really looking forward to hunkering down in the studio on regular basis. Here is where I will be focusing:


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

a) Finish beading
b) Wash and block
c) Trim to size
d) Make and attach bias binding
e) Make and attach sleeve
f) Make and attach label

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) Night Vision - 

a) Add the label - On hold until I need a second label

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.