Friday, July 8, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 07/08

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I did a little more work on First Light this week.
What is going on? Honestly, I can't seem to settle on a design for my next piece. Could this be a case of artist block? I don't think so. I have lots of ideas, theories and experiments. It is just that nothing is coming together. It has me feeling very unsettled and jumpy. Fortunately, I do have  my game plan to follow, much of it involving hand stitching. This helps calm the jitters.

If I only shared my plans and how they went, it would appear that I have everything under control as you can see:
Detail from First Light

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction - Done!

a) Attach the sleeve - Done!
b) Make and attach the label - Done!

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

Who knew that stitching rows of thread
to be gathered across a 20" x 20" piece of
fabric would take so long?
I worked some more on First Light. It is coming along nicely. I will be placing an order for more thread today. Turns out that despite having what I suspect is in excess of 100 spools of thread I don't have the right shade of greens for the sky (and I have more greens than any other color) or the deep red/orange at the base of the quilt. Just doing my part to keep the economy going. :)

3) Do some surface design work - Done!

Or that gathering the thread, thread that I had tested
for its tensile strength, would prove that the real test
is in the project itself. Even the gathering is taking
a fair bit of time. 
I've started work on two different surface design projects. The first requires sewing lines of thread on fabric that are then pulled to gather the fabric. The gathering acts as a form of resist when dyed, since the dye will permeate the fabric on the surface more easily than that which is hidden inside.

I am also testing out blue glue gel as a resist. I've drawn patterns on the fabric with the glue. It needs to dry thoroughly before painting/dyeing can begin. I'm actually thinking that a fun way to go might be with ink and shaving cream. The key is for the glue not to "wash out" before the paint/dye/ink has dried. 
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open - Done!
Blue glue gel used as a resist

I am currently listening to The Mathematician's Shiva. Great title isn't it? It is one of those books that is slow to get going and dips regularly into involved explanations that can feel like too much information. Boy, does it nail what it is like to grow up in an academic family, though. This is why I am grateful that I didn't give up. When it is good, it is excellent.

Next week I hope to be able to share the plans for my next artwork. If don't come up with any, at least I have surface design experiments and free motion quilting practice to fill in my studio time, as you can see:

1) Create the blueprint for the next artwork

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. Love your experiments! I can totally relate to your thread order. Greens are so challenging! I won't tell you the number in my collection!

  2. First Light is absolutely stunning!!!

  3. Just because you aren't forging ahead doesn't mean it's not working... your brain is sifting through all the possibilities and choosing... that takes time
    you have many creative projects to keep your internal computer busy. LeeAnna