Friday, February 3, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 02/03

View from my studio.
January 31, 2017 at 9:00 am
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

When the weather outside is frigid (yes we are back to single digit nights here in Appleton, Wisconsin) witnessing the sun, albeit hidden by a cloud, from my studio warms my heart. Life may be busy. Life may seem crazy. In my studio, I am warm, engaged and able to stitch one piece to another. 

The plan for this week was simply to play with my scraps. Actually, I need a more concrete plan than that, otherwise I would simply stare at the fabric. This is why I maintain a notebook of ideas for experiments to try the next time I feel so inclined. I'm not sure where I stumbled upon Elizabeth Hartman's Mod Mosaic Quilt Blocks, but the tutorial was in my notebook. 

Picking Up the Pieces - 1
What attracted me to Mod Mosaic Quilt Blocks was how the thin strip of a unifying fabric pulled together a cohesive look. An advantage for me is a 17" square quilt works up very quickly. My normal speed is tortoise. I have accepted this about myself, most of the time. Still, I am secretly envious of other fiber artists who speak of making up a quilt from idea to completion in a couple of weeks. So, when I stumble upon a way to work faster without compromising quality, I am going to give it a try.

I actually began Picking Up the Pieces on Monday and had it quilted by Thursday. This was not my sole focus. My job as Chair of SAQA's Exhibition Committee kept me busy for a half day each on Monday and Tuesday with a few more hours on Wednesday. It is always busy during the final days of a call for entry as a team of us help entrants with their questions and concerns. Once all the entries are in they must be vetted for eligibility and some prepped for blind jurying. It is worth the effort, but definitely cuts into my studio time, although this may not be obvious by looking at what I got done.

1) Finishing Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - Started

Detail from Picking Up the Pieces
Click on this or any other image in the post
to see an enlarged view. 
I made the sleeve and started attaching it. 

2) Pot(s) made this week - Done!

I have been pinning quilting designs which speak to me on Pinterest. Many of these involve ruler work. Some are made up of a combination patterns. I am drawn to designs with clear changes in texture. I used Picking Up the Pieces as a way to make pots with free motion quilting. 

What I seem to need to learn over and over again, is don't bother to do any intricate free motion quilting on fabrics with patterns. It just doesn't show up. It is worth it to go to town on solids or fabrics reading as solid. Sometimes a patterned fabric comes to life if you choose the right free motion quilt design. 

3) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

Detail from Picking Up the Pieces
Enhancing the rose petals (lower right) was
a bust. However micro stippling around brown
spots brought them to 3D life as pebbles.
See above.

4)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song Not Yet

When I began making Picking Up the Pieces I thought I would make a series of blocks in varying hues. What I learned by making it, was for me, once was enough. However, it has me thinking about a new direction to explore, one where I can showcase some of the quilting designs that are calling to me. There is nothing better than finishing a week eager to start all over again. Next week's plans will likely include:

1) Finishing Where Have All the Flowers Gone? 

2) Design Picking Up the Pieces #2

3) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1

4) Pot(s) made this week

5) Free motion quilting practice

6)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song

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. I like the idea of you doing something that showcases your machine quilting, because what you do is beautiful.

  2. I agree with Linda about your machine quilting - I love the detail you have worked into Picking Up the Pieces. Even if that way of piecing is not for you I will look forward to seeing the new direction it has pointed you in.

  3. Beautiful quilting, Gwyned. All your practice has certainly paid off.

  4. Picking up the pieces - great name for a very pleasing modern quilt. Your FMQ skills can really shine here as well. The colors are sunny and cheerful to combat February in Wisconsin - smart ;-)

  5. Your skillful quilting certainly enhanced Picking Up The Pieces!!!

  6. Hello Gwyned,

    I love Picking Up The Pieces. You have enhanced the rose design so well with the quilting.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks - project of the week again!

    Love, Muv