Friday, March 25, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 03/25

The back is pieced for
Sunrise Abstraction.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Teachers, especially quilting teachers, have been on my mind this week. One of the reasons for this is following the SAQA forum discussion that has resulted from a teacher seeking advice on how to handle travel, especially air travel, when she needs to bring a trunk show, handouts, merchandise for sale, and projection equipment. She received excellent advice. What I appreciated as much as the advice were the behind the scene stories. No matter the trials the teachers endured, they were unanimous as to why they put up with the inconvenience and hardships - the students.

I did my share of teaching quilting a decade ago. I am in agreement, I taught because I enjoyed the excitement of watching those eureka moments when a student would suddenly "get it." 

This is the front side of Sunrise Abstraction
the way it looked last week. 
Technology has been changing the world for show teachers teach and how students can learn. There are many fabulous teachers who teach online, especially through Craftsy. If you hunt around there are other online platforms that provide classes and you can scroll through the offerings and select a course that fits your schedule, budget and precisely what you want to learn next. I've just signed up for Art on an iPad, taught by Susie Monday. It begins on April 11th. I chose this class for several reasons, but the primary one is that the art is focused on designing and printing fabric. This is something I have wanted to try my hand at for a while. There is still room if you want to join in the fun. Just like Craftsy classes you will have access to this course as long as it stays online should you need to refer back to it. 

I've mentioned Leah Day frequently on my blog. She is a Craftsy teacher. She also has over 450 free motion designs that she demos in individual videos linked to her site. I thought I had pretty much learned all there is to know about free motion quilting, but today I picked up a new tip from Leah that I have never seen before, if your thread is breaking and the usual tension, cleaning, new needle, de-spooling, etc. aren't working, it could be the direction you are quilting. Machines are designed to stitch forward and handle side to side stitching (think satin stitch and zigzag). They may not be designed to stitch in reverse for more than a few stitches. So, if you are quilting a long line of stitches and the thread is breaking, you may want to shift the position of the quilt so that you are stitching forward and see if that won't fix the problem.

I opted to stitch out this feather variation
to practice my free motion quilting this week.
I've been in teacher, or more precisely lecturer mode for much of this week. I will be part of three person panel presentation at the SAQA Conference in Philadelphia next week. Our topic is "Exhibitions: Expanding in Multiple Dimensions." I've been reviewing and tweaking slides as well practicing, practicing and practicing what I am going to say. This took me out of the studio, but as you can see I did manage to spend a few hours, just not my typical 20 hours or so in the studio this 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 had fun going through my stash hunting down the best backing fabric for Sunrise Abstraction. I had several fabrics that could be used for a whole cloth back. I could have dyed a piece to match, but I decided to use what I have on hand. 

3) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I turned to Tracy of Whirls 'n Swirls again for inspiration for a free motion quilting design to practice with. I thought this two side feather motif looked fun. Unlike most feather designs this doesn't require a stem.

4) Do some surface design work - Done, sort of

I spent a few hours doing the technological prep class for Art on an iPad. Since I am a true neophyte when it comes to using my iPad for anything more than email, streaming my favorite radio station and doing FaceTime with my grandchildren, I felt this "bonus" lesson was an absolute necessity. This way when the class starts I can focus on creating the art and not how to navigate my iPad. At least that is my plan.

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

I am very fortunate to have someone to help me create the Power Point slides necessary to provide visuals for the SAQA Conference presentation. It is a huge undertaking, especially hunting down the facts and images that were required. I was ready to start practicing, but I didn't have the final presentation to practice with. So, I didn't practice. In other words I found an excuse to shut down. However, after realizing what I was doing, it occurred to me that I could at least practice the portion of the presentation that  was complete. That is precisely what I did. Paradigm shift - it wasn't waiting for the work to get done that was impeding my ability to practice, it was me thinking that having a completed presentation was a necessity to do so. Now the Power Point presentation is set and so am I.

I won't be writing my posts for several weeks, since I will be away from my studio. When I return here is what I plan on tackling:

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. Hi G-
    if you find a way to stay open, share it with me...LeeAnna

  2. Oh my gosh....I just had to jump in and say that the back of your Sunrise quilt reminded me soooo very much of sunrise on Lake Michigan just to the left of the lighthouse. I all haven't been there but this memory smacked me in the face as soon as I saw the backing.

    Enjoy your travels.....

  3. Hello Gwyned,

    Interesting to read what Leah Day advises about the direction of stitching. My machine doesn't really like stitching backwards, so for a long line of stitching, for instance a stem, I always stitch in the standard direction and turn the work when necessary.

    Sunrise on Lake Michigan?? No, definitely sunset over the Bristol Channel. But I would say that, wouldn't I?

    I confess. I shut down for Easter.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv