Friday, May 20, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 05/20

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

The quilting on Sunrise Abstraction
is done. If you click on the image
it should enlarge to a point where the
quilting is more obvious.
Technically there is one more lesson to go in the online course I'm taking called Art on the iPad, taught by Susie Monday. However, the experiment, play and assignment type classes are done. Several people have asked about the apps I have been using in class. This seems like a good time to share the ones that I return to and/or enjoy the most.

Sketches II Pro is the one I like to use for drawing, especially since it allows for layers. This means I can start with my own photograph on one layer, and draw an outline on another layer, and perhaps create a watercolor wash on a still another. It also has quite a few different adjustable drawing tools from calligraphy pens to paintbrushes. The colors are limitless, although you start with a basic palette of approximately 20 colors. The one downside, is that it is less intuitive simply because there are so many options AND some of the key adjustment/navigation tools are hidden.

Pixlr is one of those apps where you can run an image through a series of algorithms that change the image, perhaps giving it a totally new palette, reducing the image to pixels or abstracting it. There are two different ways to create collages. Pixlr allows the image to be saved as .png (versus .jpg). Why is this important? It is important because .pngs save images in a vector format and that way when an image is enlarged or reduced it doesn't get distorted. It also requires more .ppi (pixels per inch on a screen) which is similar to .dpi (dots per inch when printed).
This is Pansy Abstraction with the quilting done
and the facing turned to back in preparation for
hand stitching. 

This week the lesson turned to printing what we created. In the US, Spoonflower is the service that comes up with the most frequency as where to go to have your design printed on fabric. You can also sell your fabrics to others through Spoonflower. Since I had already purchased some of Leah Day's fabric through Spoonflower with success, I felt comfortable using them to print my fabric. Even better they are connected with PicMonkey, yet another software program to run my image through. Which is precisely what I did this week.

If you follow my posts you know I did more than my iPad lesson. Here is how the week went:

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction - Done!

The free motion quilting is done! Next up will be the finish work.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

This sky was painted using Sketches Pro 2 with
just my finger on the iPad.
Between finishing Sunrise Abstraction and Pansy Abstraction (detecting a theme?) I got plenty of free motion quilting practice in.

3) Do some surface design work - Done!

I used Sketches II Pro to create a watercolor sunrise sky wash. I enlarged the .dpi through Photoshop Elements so that it would be large enough for printing. Then I used PicMonkey to modify the color and add the trees and branches. Now I just have to be patient while Spoonflower prints the results. The plan is to create a whole cloth quilt and perhaps embellish it with some thread painting or hand embroidery.

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

It is easy for me to shut down when faced with mechanical repairs, even simple ones. So, when I was biking solo and the chain popped off while I was downshifting, my first thought was, "looks like I am walking home". I was 4 miles from our home. It would be so, so much easier to bike than walk the distance. I took a few deep calming breathes, examining the gears and other related parts and getting over just how disgustingly greasy and dirty the chain was, but I did it. Took only a few minutes and I was back biking!

This is the same sky after I used PicMonkey
to alter the palette and added some trees
and cherry blossom boughs. I have ordered this
printed on cotton from Spoonflower.
It will be a few weeks before I will post again. When I return the plan is to continue as I have been by doing the following:

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction

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. Wrote down your app suggestions, Gwyned! Thank you for sharing. Will be so interested to see what happens with Spoonflower!

  2. I've been considering taking Susie's class, so it's nice to see what you've done.

  3. I love the colors and quilting on your Sunrise abstraction. What size is it? Looks huge))

  4. It's so interesting hearing about your ipad sketching.....and of course I LOVE the silhouette design you'll have printed. My ipad is TOAST......crashes constantly, super slow, freezes when it does work. I tried all the tricks to reinstall and nothing helps. The cost of these puppies has gone up so much.....if I'm ever flush again, I'm going to just get a I'm often frustrated by the limitations of the ipad (or my knowledge how to expand those limitations by using apps.!!) Your experience is inspiring!!

  5. Hi Gwyned...Loved this post, thanks for sharing! Stratford Perth Museum looks amazing with 81 SAQA art quilts adorning the Gallery walls, and Deconstructed Sunset is AMAZING! Met Lisa last evening and we look forward to introducing My Corner Of The World to many, many visitors today. Thanks for all of your support and encouragement to your readers here!

  6. Wonderful post! Thanks for the comment on my blog too ... and congratulations on the bicycle repair.

  7. Hello Gwyned,
    Pansy Abstraction is amazing. I keep looking at it and my mind suggests so many different images.
    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks, and enjoy your blog break!
    Love, Muv