Friday, September 2, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 09/02

Siren's Song
72" H x 56" W
The sunset image in the photo is
printed on paper. I wanted to test
the scale and approximate color
before committing to have the image
printed on fabric. Although I could
print it myself, the size of the image
requires seams if printed at home.
I find seams detract when they
randomly bisect an image.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Finally! I am far from done with Siren's Song. However, the first major stretch of the journey is complete. As you can see from the full image of where I left off yesterday, there is a gap that needs filling in. The background is complete. It is time to savor the moment. 

The practice of yoga teaches one the importance of resting poses between the more taxing poses. At first I found resting the most difficult part of my classes. How could I improve my balance, strengthen muscles, gain more flexibility if all I did was stay still focusing on breathing in and out? Every muscle in my body was twitching, preparing for action, a full body toe tapping state of being during those early classes. No more. I have learned to embrace times of rest. 

Siren's Song will rest briefly. I need the time to strategize how to fill that gap. I do my best strategizing subconsciously as I go about my daily chores or write in my morning pages. I may do an experiment or two to test various theories. It is best not rush. It is best to ponder. It is time well spent, like resting between strenuous yoga poses. When I approach my work this way, although it can feel counter intuitive, ultimately it saves me time.

First Light
This is my first Spoonflower experiment.
I "painted" the sky on my iPad using the
app Sketchbook Pro. Then I manipulated the
color and added the tree silhouettes
in PicMonkey.
My work as Chair of SAQA's Exhibition Committee continued to provide me with a significant number of projects requiring my attention. This week, however I was able to get into the studio, and most importantly focus while I was there. The results are clear is you can see:

1)  Siren's Song:
a) Finish row 9 - Done!
b) Select image to be seen through the porthole. - Done!
c) Design backing fabric - Done!
d) Have fabric printed - Done!

Both the sunset image and the backing fabric have been ordered from Spoonflower. The picture was taken by my husband and then I manipulated through PicMonkey. This is a free software application that is available as part of the design process on Spoonflower. It allows me to adjust color, and in this case I used a radial filter. I designed the backing fabric, too. It is based on another photo taken from my husband, the one I abstracted for the background on the front side of Siren's Song
2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

It felt good to get back to free motion quilting.
This is a detail of the quilting in First Light.
I was concerned that going for a full month without any time spent on free motion quilting I would feel rusty. This was not the case. It felt natural to spend a few hours on filling in more of the sky in First Light. 
3) Do some surface design work - Not done.

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

The gym I belong to has break weeks between sessions. Some classes are held, many more are canceled. This week is also when many of the rooms are refurbished. Fortunately, yoga was not canceled. However, some people looking for something to do decided to give yoga a try. The dynamics of the class changes dramatically when so many people are new, naturally uncertain and frankly distracting. It is easy for me to feel resentful and wanting things not to change. I chose to welcome the new students and appreciate their presence. Change may bring momentary discomfiture; it also brings progress.
What progress will I make next week? No idea. However, I do have a plan as follows:

1)  Siren's Song - piece the partial blocks that will be surrounding the sunset.

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. Both of these pieces are fabulous! I am heading over the Spoonflower to play.

  2. I love the pieced background! It has a very calming effect. I am looking forward to seeing this piece progress, after its' rest period.

  3. Agreed on the importance of " stewing" time. Looking at a piece from all angles and frame of mind.
    I haven't tried spoonflower yet. I could really spend a lot of time and money there I'm sure. Your creation looks great

  4. I keep thinking that I should try Spoonflower, but I never have. I love the way yours turned out and your background quilting is excellent.

  5. The background is gorgeous! I keep thinking about Spoonflower but that's as far as I get. We have a small yoga class on Wed. and I agree that when there is someone new or a much larger group it does change the whole feel of the class.