Friday, September 9, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 09/09

35" x 34"
My first art quilt
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I am fortunate that my husband is the primary maker of meals and dish washer in our home. Cooking doesn't suit me. Too much multi-tasking, coordinating and mess for someone who thrives on order, clear surfaces and not touching anything wet or sticky. Ironically, I love to read about cooks and can't watch enough cooking shows. This week I discovered Chef's Table: France. Délicieux! There are four episodes, each focusing on a different french chef of a Michelin starred restaurant. What struck me was how every single chef had a cathartic moment when they let go of what was expected, trusted their instinct to do something that had never been done before and excelled because of this courageous leap.

EQ 7 piecing diagram for Siren's Song.
The the rectangle indicates the planned
location for the sunset image. The dashed
lines indicate the "allowance" to be sure
there will be no gaps between the image
and the background. The silver penned
squares are the blocks and/or partial
blocks I need to make.
Chefs are artists. I suspect it is the creativity, courage and focus chefs possess that captivates me. The parallel between how I work and how these chefs work became clear when I was drafting an artist statement about my first art quilt, made in 1995. The statement needed to include what I was doing while making the quilt and how I felt about it. I've made many quilts since 1995. I have become used to the rhythm of euphoria when the idea hits, followed by a "what was I thinking? This stinks!!" phase and ending with a neutral, "not bad." Yet writing about Insight, my first experience, the emotional rollercoaster of creativity felt fresh and tripled in magnitude.

My current work in progress, Siren's Song, took a few steps back or forward this week. The direction is a subjective one, as you will see.

I created this on EQ 7 to double check
the location and math.
1)  Siren's Song - piece the partial blocks that will be surrounding the sunset. - Some progress

I digressed a bit. I wanted to work out what would and would not need to be pieced to surround the sunset image but not piece much more. There is nothing worse than discovering you need just an inch or so more. This sent me back to EQ 7 to fine tune my drafting and math. 

2) Free motion quilting practice - Not this week

3) Do some surface design work - Not this week

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

I am always setting goals for myself, often extending or pushing the goal before I even reach it. For example, I shared recently that I was going to try to hold my local ranking in the National Bike Challenge at under 100 for a week. I did that, not just for one week, but every day since. I am currently ranked 81st. My next thought was to see if I couldn't log 2,000 miles for the summer. This seemed a reasonable goal at the time. I only needed just shy of 300 miles before September 30th, the conclusion of the National Bike Challenge. At the beginning of last week I had chipped this down to 150 miles. Since I normally ride 125 miles a week, the goal still looked easily obtainable. Then the rain started and the temperature dipped to the point of extremely uncomfortable to ride. I have 75 or so miles to go. I am staying open to either outcome. I may or may not meet my arbitrary goal. Either way it was a successful National Bike Challenge year for me.
This is the original photo used
to abstract the background. Its
scale is the same as the piecing
diagram. I use this to select my

I heard from Spoonflower this morning. My fabric (backing and sunset image) has shipped. Looks like I need to buckle down and attend to the following next week:

1)  Siren's Song - finish piecing 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. The sunset is beautiful! What type of fabric did you have it printed on?

  2. Hard to believe that "Insight" is you first art quilt, it looks so mature and sophisticated, it would be interesting to read your statement about it. Love the sunset scene, I can now see what your beautiful Storm at Sea blocks are intended for, it's going to be majestic!

  3. Because I came to quilting from a cooking background, I found my head bobbing up and down in agreement as I read your post.......very insightful!!