Friday, April 7, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 04/07

Click on the image for an
enlarged view.
Front side of Picking Up
the Pieces #3.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Every Christmas season from 1974 until I became an empty nester in 2005, I made dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies to share at holiday gatherings, give as gifts, provide as treats for my family, and yes thoroughly test myself. It wasn't unusual for me to make up triple batches of cookies and bake most of the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. By the time the last tray was in the oven at the end of a baking session, I was physically exhausted and to put it diplomatically, a little frayed. One afternoon in the midst of this self induced Herculean task I made the choice to stop for the day. I would put the remaining dough in the refrigerator and start again the next day. I can't begin to express how liberating it was to give myself permission to stop. It was so liberating I shared this story with a fellow "driven" parent. She was shocked. She admitted she could never stop a task like baking cookies part way through the process. 

Back side of Picking
Up the Pieces #3.
I like to use fabrics from my stash or
leftover from the front side
on the back side of my quilts.
I knew it was a long shot, but I hoped to quilt 100% of Picking Up the Pieces #3 this week. I had the usual known interpretations of three meetings to attend. I had the usual unknown interpretations of an additional meeting and new work with a deadline requiring it to be given immediate attention. I refused to be distracted. I focused on using the in between times to quilt. Honestly, I could have finished the background quilting. I made the conscientious decision late yesterday afternoon to stop. Why? Basically, for the same reason as my choice to put the dough back in refrigerator. I might have been able to push my way through to a finish. But would the quality be up to snuff? I could feel the long days both physically and emotionally draining my reservoirs of energy. Sometimes it just makes sense to stop. There is always tomorrow.

It was a focused week as you can see from what was and wasn't worked on:

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

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

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

I wasn't happy with the flames
I practiced last week. They just
didn't dance the way I wanted.
So, I spent several hours
researching other ways to draw
flames. I also wanted to hide
Satan in flames. He isn't hidden
on this practice piece. He is more
subtle on the actual quilt.
I made pots in several ways this week. First, I played with different flame designs for the background for Picking Up the Pieces #3. I did this through researching flames on the internet, lots of doodling, and one more free motion practice piece before I put what I learned into quilting Picking Up the Pieces #3. Since I opted to use the flame motif throughout the whole background, I made hundreds and hundreds of flames - pots. My prior free motion quilting gives me the experience to manipulate designs around other elements in the quilt (bees) and quilt a design right to left, left to right, top to bottom and bottom to top. 

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

Next week will be focused on getting closer to the finish on Picking Up the Pieces #3. I doubt I will finish. I can see the finish line. I know what I need to do to get there. Although my to do is list remains constant, as evidenced below, I suspect 100% of my efforts will be driving me towards a finish.

1) Work on  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.