Friday, January 8, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 01/08

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I've been happily creating more sea foam for Sea Fever.
The plan is to have bands of sea foam. It occurred to me
that it would be easier to quilt all the bands at once on
a single quilt sandwich, then cut the bands apart and face
them. The open "worms" are where the cutting will take place.
A closeup of the sea foam. Note how I have purposefully
built up some thread lines and left some big bubbles
in the foam. The top is a faint blue and white fabric
that has been layered with tulle impregnated with glitter.
How does fear, especially irrational fear, hold you back from doing what you want to do in life? Fear is there to protect us from danger. It can also cripple us from moving forward. 

I've been thinking a lot about this subject as I commit to a year of surface design. Why? Simple, I am easily intimidated, even fearful of doing surface design projects. I  become so overwhelmed by the very prospect having all the materials I will need, how they must be set up, how will I cope if my dye turns upside down coating everything and will I have the energy to see the process through from set up to clean up. The more anxious I become, the more I want to do anything else but head into my wet studio.  

What if I let my word for the year, OPEN, guide me? What if I stay open to the possibility that I can do many surface designs techniques if I only give them a try? Imagine all the unique and inspiring fabric I will have to work with. 

I may be my own worst enemy, but I can also be my own best champion. What I have learned about myself is that if I break down a challenge into very manageable steps and take the first one, and then the next and the one after that, I surprise myself by how quickly the progress made inspires me to continue. 

This is the backside of the sea foam in progress. Yes,
it is very intensely quilted. The section shown is
approximately 9" x 12".
Today I am starting Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers, an on-line class taught by Elizabeth Barton. I've been fretting about this day ever since I started the class. This morning I opened the first lesson. PANIC. I was instantly overwhelmed. Even though I had gone over the necessary equipment in advance and made sure I would have everything before class. Why panic, because now Elizabeth was advocating that I have a designated dorm room style refrigerator to store my dye between sessions. I mean really? - a separate refrigerator? You have got to be kidding. Time for my champion self to talk to  my quivering mass of jelly self and get me off the ledge. Buying a separate refrigerator and providing it with energy just to store dye was not going to happen. Store the dye in the same refrigerator we store our food is unwise and would take up space we don't always have after a weekly grocery shopping. What to do? Then it occurred to me, why not store the dye in the garage? We live in "cold" country. The garage is insulated sufficiently not to go below freezing, but cold enough to be refrigerator temperature. Even better there is a designated stairway from the basement where my wet studio is directly to the garage. So, I wouldn't have to carry the dye over my wall to wall dove grey carpeting. Solution found. Fear reduced.

Remember last week's bleeding disaster?
The bleeding is very clear from the backside.
When I wasn't tying myself into knots over my upcoming class I managed to make progress on my plan for the week. Here is what I did get done:

1)   Deconstructed Sunrise #3 - Add  label - Done!

I printed and attached the label, then sent Deconstructed Sunrise #3 to "shipping central" where it will be stored with its fellow My Corner of the World - International quilts until the collection is shipped to the Stratford Perth Museum.

2)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15) - Done!

I tried painting with Tsukineko inks again, but this
time I blended them with shaving cream before
painting the design. The outer ring was done with
permanent pens.
This has been a joy to work on. I find free motion quilting so relaxing, so zen, that it is the perfect antidote to the fear caused by contemplating the dyeing class.

3) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

Although the amount of quilting I managed was approximately (9" x 16") it is so intense that I had to refill the bobbin with Bottomline thread three separate times.

4) Do some surface design work - Done!

This is the backside of this week's ink experiment.
Much, much better. 
Last week I was disappointed that my attempt to paint with Tsukineko inks was less than successful. It did suggest that what was needed was a way to thicken the ink so that it wouldn't bleed when applied. Since I found mixing the ink with shaving cream so successful for broad brush applications, perhaps a more intense blend of shaving cream and ink could handle detail work. It did!

5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done!

See my "opening" thoughts. Pun intended. :)

This time next week I hope to be writing about my first dyeing experience. Then there are other projects to keep moving as listed below:

1)  Work on Sea Fever - (Due March 15)

2) Free motion quilting practice.

3 Do some surface design work

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

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. Be fearless!!!! remember the best results quite often come from our mistakes. You must be encouraged to see that your second go using the inks worked so much better.

  2. You are not alone with your fears, I get them overtime I try something new. This year I'm really trying to step out of my comfort zone.

  3. Happy New Year, Gwyned!

    I know exactly what you mean about fear, but in my case it doesn't apply with sewing. It is housework where it gets me. You should see the state of my oven.

    The quilting is amazing, and so white! That's another fear, no doubt related to the one above. I don't do white, only cream and ivory.

    Absolutely love the colour experiments, and so satisfying for you to find the solution to last week's problem. Shaving cream sounds like an ingenious approach, and I can't help wondering whether your husband has had a few multicolour shaves recently.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv