Friday, November 4, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 11/04

This is the back side of Siren's Song.
I designed the fabric myself using the
photograph which the abstracted
front side is based on. Part of the
fun of designing fabric using is figuring
out which style of repeat best suits the
fabric. There is one seam running
vertically down the center. The other
repeats naturally occur in the yardage.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

A portion of my twice weekly yoga class is spent on balancing poses. My teacher reminded us to accept the imbalance in the balancing poses this week. This is not a new directive, but for the first time I was struck by universality of the suggestion. How often have I and others whined about the imbalance in our life? Far too often. 

During October my studio plans and the demands of my job as Chair of SAQA's Exhibition Committee were in direct conflict. It was as though I was trying to balance on a round rock, covered with muscles and seaweed, pummeled by ocean waves. Everything I tried to do to stay on that rock was useless. What if instead I let go, perhaps fell into the ocean and enjoyed being buoyed up by the salt water, floating on the surface and letting the ocean take me where it would? Perhaps I would land on a tropical island.

All the demands of my job melted away this week and I had my first 3 full days in the studio week in months. Nirvana! Not exactly a balanced life, but certainly a life I embraced fully and relished greatly. 

What did I do with this gift of studio time? I devoted 100% of it to stitching, both free motion quilting and hand stitching, as you can see.

1)  Continue quilting Siren's Song - Done

A detail from the back side of Siren's Song.
If you click on the image (or any image in
the post) you should be able to see an enlarged
image. Each pebble is approximately a
quarter inch in diameter. 
I set a goal of running through 2 bobbins worth of fine thread daily. That was all I managed the first two days. I snuck in a bonus few hours on a non studio day emptying approximately half a bobbin's worth of thread. On the third and final studio day of the week, I finished the half bobbin, plus two more bobbins worth of thread. This just may be a personal best. Yes, I am crazy enough to compete against myself.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done

3) Do some surface design work - Done

I'm finely getting the hang of hand stitching, even trying new stitches and developing their rhythm quickly. I'm enjoying myself so much I just may have to make hand stitching a daily habit.
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open.

There are tasks that must be done that I dread doing. The longer I procrastinate the more Herculean they feel. One of these is writing a monthly report to SAQA's Board about the latest happenings in the Exhibition Committee. I could spend hours with a therapist going over why this report is difficult for me. One way I stay open is promising myself I only have to take one step. That step can be as simple as sitting down at the computer and looking over the previous report or writing a list of what happened last month. The first step is always the hardest, it is the act of showing up. Once there the report nearly writes itself.

There will be difficult tasks to attend to amidst imbalance in my life next week. Even so, I know I will make time to be in my studio. When I do I will continue to work on the following:

1)  Continue quilting Siren's Song

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. Great idea using the spoon flower fabric on the back, the quilting is exquisite .

  2. oh, I know that procrastination issue. Good luck

  3. Isn't it ironic that after you fell off that rock, bounced back and swam to that deserted island, you took solace in quilting on that beautiful spoonflower fabric that has such symmetry and balance plus has areas that to me look like the foamy waves of the sea that floated you right into your studio ;-)

  4. The Spoonflower fabric is beautiful! As for the items on your 'procrastination list'...I too understand. "The journey of a thousand miles..." -- you know. :-)

  5. I certainly hope I'll have an opportunity to see Siren's Song in person someday...... love the Spoonflower fabric...such a great idea to really combine the entire quilt!

  6. you know Gwyned, this blog is nice to see your skills improve over time. Your free motion quilting is awesome! And I love that you count bobbins to keep track of your time practicing. I teach free motion classes in San Antonio and I am going to encourage my students to do that also.

  7. Hello Gwyned,

    I love the fabric! The repeating patterns placed in symmetry are reminiscent of marble panels.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv