Friday, February 24, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 02/24

Every year the flock of turkeys seems
to grow exponentially
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I looked up from my working in my studio to see the turkeys grazing. What you can't see in this picture are the two standing right up outside the window, peering in at me. By the time I had switched my iPod from listening to camera mode and made my way to the window they had started meandering down the lawn. 

Am I meandering? It sure feels like it. It seems I have spent February pursuing one idea, then abandoning that in favor of another, only to be moving on to a third concept. A positive from my inability to settle on a design is I continue to build up my technique skills. I may have swapped butterflies for bees and a treasure chest for a bee hive, but at least I have an idea of the appliqu√© method I will use to create the bees, based on playing with techniques to create butterflies. I may long for a direct journey from point A, idea of what to make next, to point B, the finished artwork, but the reality is the shortest route is rarely the one taken when making art.
Testing out the layout for the honeycomb
background for Picking Up the Pieces #3

I did manage some studio time, enough time to accomplish the following:

1) Work on the design for Picking Up the Pieces #2 and/or #3 - Done

I have let go, at least for now, my earlier ideas, when it occurred to me the message I want to convey with my piece needed to be less gentle and innocuous, and more lethal. Once I had settled on the bee with its stinger, I knew I had to make a honeycomb background. 

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 - Not yet

Isn't this glorious? I continued to work
on the sample I started last week. I love
the Arts and Crafts, William Morris feel of it.
3) Pot(s) made this week - Done

I was so, so tempted not to create a honeycomb background because piecing hexagons is not easy. In the past I have used the English Paper Piecing method. I actually enjoy this, but it takes time, since it is all done by hand. Before I committed to this project I wanted to see if I could piece hexagons by machine. The issue is all those inset seams. I did find several tutorials on line, basically sharing the same method. I tested this method out on a sample. Hopefully, it will get easier with the larger pieces and practice.

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done

One thing I want to improve with my free motion quilting is my ability to vary the scale of my pebbles, those background circles you see surrounding the flowers, leaves and swirls. This sampler is giving me plenty of practice.

I will practice more pebbles next week, in between cutting out additional hexagons and then starting the process of piecing them together. Also on my radar are the following:

1) Work on the design for Picking Up the Pieces #2 and/or #3

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1

3) Pot(s) made this week

4) Free motion quilting practice

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 free motion is gorgeous! Machine piecing hexagons! You are brave.

  2. I love the quilting practice piece! How big is it and what machine are you using?

  3. did you try the no inset seams hexie tutorial? I did that one and it worked so well. I was done in a flash. Of course they were larger hexies than I do by hand. Still, lots of fun. I might have that tutorial somewhere on my blog page... I'll look. LeeAnna

  4. The techniques you tackle on the machine always amaze me........simple patchwork is about as complex as I feel I can handle without the possibilty of my machine being thrown over my studio railing! Yet, your work is so give me hope!

  5. You are indeed brave to machine piece hexies! No matter the size, I'd English Paper Piece them m'self! And yes, your FMQ is wonderful.

  6. Your quilting test piece is gorgeous! But the thought of piecing all of those hexagons by machine gives me a headache...