Friday, February 5, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 02/05

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Eight different ratios of
fuchsia and black (top 4) and
basic blue and black (lower 4)
were used to achieve this color run.
Kaboom! Some days I wake up and realize that I am facing a day of competing demands that feel like a series of Herculean tasks. How will I ever make it through? This can be especially difficult because it is easy for me to drift into "research" that branches from one investigation to another until I realize not only haven't I solved the problem I was researching, I have lost track of time and am barely aware of what I was trying to work out in the first place. So was the case this morning when I thought that I would just take a peek at the final lesson of my Basic Dyeing for Quiltmakers class. Big mistake. I was down the rabbit hole trying to figure out how to analyze the percentage of cyan, magenta, yellow and black (doable in Photoshop and recommended by Elizabeth Barton, our teacher) but NOT doable in Photoshop Elements that only analyzes color with a percentage of red, green and blue. I won't bore you with just how far afield I went with this. I did discover a really cool way to select a palette of any number of colors from 1 - 256 from a photograph - just not how to break down those colors into their turquoise, sun yellow, fuchsia and black blends. Poor Elizabeth. I must be a thorn in her side, seems I am always the one raising my hand in our virtual classroom for clarifications, fixes and workarounds. I've already fired off my first question of the day.
Complementary colors (opposite colors on a color
wheel) were used to dye this run.

The good news, as you can see from all the pictures, is that I managed to finish last week's lesson. There were many assignments, including dyeing neutrals, shades, over-dyeing and even painting with dye. It was a very full week as you can see by my list of accomplishments:

1) Work on Deep Waters - (Due March 15) - Done!

Deep Waters after cropping with the facing pinned to the
backside. You can see the pins from the front, too.
What a disaster, but with a reasonably happy ending, this piece has proven to be. The white caps I added to the water virtually destroyed the piece. I did my best to stay OPEN (word for the year) to various solutions. I tried picking the stitches out. The stitch work was too intense and the stitches too tiny to do this even in good light with strong magnification. I tried appliquéing over the stitch work. Then stitching over the appliqués. Better, but my whole cloth piece looked patched. Finally, I just cut the bottom 2/3 or the quilt off. Not bad.
Fun with free motion quilting.
There is something so compelling in
a curved line quilting motif.

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!

It has been a while since I just sat down at the machine and doodled a free motion quilting design for fun and frankly, stress relief. This design is one from the second year of Whirls 'n Swirls motifs. I've called it Feathered Pods.

3 Do some surface design work - Done!

I managed to dye my way through 5 yards of 60" wide fabric in a single week.

I opted to over dye turquoise. The
original color of the cloth runs
across the top. That same color was
over dyed with black, basic blue,
fuchsia, orange and yellow.
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done!

I was extremely upset by the disaster I was making of Deep Waters. It took great courage and conviction, but I managed to stay open to the idea that it was salvable. 
I am going to have to stay open to a week where my schedule is unpredictable. I have jury duty starting on Monday. In Wisconsin, where I live, this means calling in daily for a week to determine whether I need to head to the courthouse the following morning. If I manage to have any days at home, here is what I plan to do:

One of the fabrics I hand painted with
dye. This assignment was to use
the dye solution as is versus
thickening it. This is a bit like
painting with colored water - only
broad brush techniques are easy to achieve.

1)  Finish Deep Waters  by hand stitching the facing and adding a sleeve - (Due March 15)

The good news is that I can do this at the courthouse or at home!

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. Oh, Gwyned. I wish I had been active in the dyeing class to be able to share! But, your colors look wonderful and really inspire me for when I can return to dyeing next week, just as your schedule heats up. So sorry that you ran into problems with Deep Waters. I can't imagine and wish I could see the disaster part to understand better. Glad that you took strong action - look at it that now there isn't a horizon in the middle and you definitely won't consider a boat again. :)
    Hope you don't have to do jury duty!

  2. Congrats for having the gumption to cut off something that wasn't working! I'm glad the piece came out good in the end.

  3. I applaud your bravery! Cutting off half a quilt isn't easy, but the results are much better. Congratulations!

  4. Your fabrics are gorgeous. I totally understand the rabbit hole of research!

  5. Your dyeing results are wonderful, I especially love your overdyed pieces.

  6. I admire your dyeing experiments, especially the over-dyed ones. Your free-motion quilting is wonderful, makes me want to do some more.

  7. I too am overwhelmed by the complexity of dyeing. Thank goodness many of my pals have taken intensive classes and are happy to guide us during our own sessions. Also, thank goodness I don't have even a close to workable place at my house to dye....therefore, without guilt....I don't.....saving my dyeing to be done with my buddies.

    Your diligence inspires me as your work always does as well!!

  8. Ooh look, Gwyned, you've got a spammer. Is cirious supposed to mean serious or curious?

    Love the colours, especially the variations on turquoise.

    Don't let the prospect of jury service, whether it happens or not, stress you out. There is always FMQ therapy at the machine to come home to. And Deep Waters looks fine to me. Consider it an experiment rather than a disaster.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv