Friday, March 18, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 03/18

Tip, Thoughts and Techniques:

Sunrise Abstraction
Each Friday as I prepare to sit down and write my post various ideas for how to begin, what to focus on, or points to make drift through my stream of conscientiousness. Eventually I have a plan. 99% of the time when I settle in front of the computer with the ideas still swirling in my head what come out has little to do with what I thought I would write about. So, is the case for today.

I had thought I would write about the natural arch of making a piece of art; how I go from "you're a genius, Gwyned" to "not so bad" and then where I was yesterday with Sunrise Abstraction, "this has been a waste of my time. why do I even bother?" What I discovered, as I prepared the photos is I do know why I bother and Sunrise Abstraction isn't as horrendous as it had first seemed. 

Feeling the Love is my free motion quilting practice
this week. The pattern comes from Whirls 'n Swirls.
How did I get out of my funk? Two ways. One, I journal first thing in the morning. This is a great way to catch the muse's whisperings. I found myself brainstorming various ways I might quilt Sunrise Abstraction. This gave me a fresh start. In other words it brought me back to place of "genius" so I could feel excited about the piece again. Two, Just because one piece isn't coming together doesn't mean I have made zero advancement in my art. I'm very pleased by how something as simple as stamping my dye painted fabric brought new depth and light to the piece.

This is the right side of the swamp fabric that I created
by painting PFD Kona cotton. The dye does seep
to the back, but not as saturated as on the front.
Seems I have managed to stay OPEN (this year's word) once again. I have stayed open to seeing Sunrise Abstraction in a new way. I have stayed open to trying a new surface design technique (more later) and to modifying a fabric I had already created. Not a bad week after all.

Here is the work that I managed last week:

1)  Finish Reflection #2  - Create and attach the label either when needed or when I have a second label to print at the same time. - Still on hold

2) Work on Sunrise Abstraction - Done! 

I continued to working on piecing, adding a few more strips to the water, creating the sky and then assembling the three sections (sky, sunrise, and water) together. 

3) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I chose another Whirls 'n Swirls design to practice with. I've decided to call it Feeling the Love. I am not sure what Tracy calls it. I'm so pleased that Tracy has decided to come up with another year of free motion quiltings motifs to practice with. She has her own twist on FMQ with barbs, hooks and ways to maneuver around the canvas that I am ever so slowly beginning to grasp and make part of my muscle memory.
4 Do some surface design work - Done!

If it looks as if the fabric is in reverse now, that is
because it is. I opted to stamp the backside. I liked
the way there were several thin streaks where the dye
didn't permeate and also the navy blue was ever
so slightly less harsh juxtaposed against the yellow.
By stamping the navy with a mid-value green that
has a glimmer of a tint to it, the result is a more of a
realistic landscape. My husband, who photographed
the piece last night declared it "eerie." 
What a difference layering of surface designs can make. I learned this in 2014 when I spent the year doing all of LifeBook 2014's mixed media assignments. Now I am applying what I learned to do on watercolor paper to fabric. 

I knew the value differential on my swamp fabric was too much of a leap. So, when I was selecting a fabric to try out my new moldable foam stamps on I grabbed the swamp fabric. I selected a pea, leaning towards chartreuse green acrylic paint, mixed it with textile medium and started stamping. I noticed several things. One, the stamps were not flat, they were convex after being molded, so getting a clear image wasn't working. Two, the paint was transparent, so the navy blue and paint created a secondary color except where there were paint globules. Even though the effect I achieved wasn't what I expected, I really, really liked how it came out. I've named the piece Bayou and am thinking it will make an excellent small (12" x 12") whole cloth quilt. I might even wrap it around stretcher bars since the fabric is close to 15" x 15".

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

The trick will be to maintain my forward momentum as I approach next week's work which is likely to be:

1)  Finish Reflection #2  - Create and attach the label either when needed or when I have a second label to print at the same time.

2) Work on Sunrise Abstraction

3) Free motion quilting practice

4 Do some surface design work

5) 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. Great blog entry, Gwyned. I am smiling as we seem to go through the same phases as we create. I think Sunrise Abstraction will be beautiful - I love the colors!

  2. This was a really interesting post. I think we all go through phases of being over-critical/lack self-belief but you articulate that process well. I like Sunrise Abstraction and look forward to seeing how it looks with quilting.

  3. I really enjoyed your post and the processes, although, as a quilter with no art experience I didn't understand it all. I love Feeling in Love though, it gives me something to aspire to.

  4. I'm always so impressed by your organized, well thought out posts. Your disclipine to carry out tasks each week is also to be admired. I'm super organized too but lead a far too social life with fiber pals these days to be getting as much accomplished as I'd like. Perhaps that's a nice break after over 25+ years on the road and always having to say....I can't right now....busy packing, busy unpacking!!! Sunrise Abstraction is actually are genius!!!

  5. Gwyned,
    You have given me such a laugh! I know how often I swing from thinking I'm a total genius to a complete duffer in just a matter of minutes, but of course I'm far too English to admit so in a blog post. From now on I shall accept it as a normal part of the creative process.
    Lovely FMQ motif, and the variegated thread makes it so much more fun.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!
    Love, Muv