Friday, July 14, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 07/14


Picking Up the Pieces #4
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

The more chaotic, demanding, and overfull my life feels, the more I crave, but eschew studio time. Then something snaps or perhaps clicks and I settle into my studio. Why, oh why, did I deprive myself of this experience when I need it the most? Not yesterday. Lola, my studio companion and I spent a delightful three hours enjoying monitoring the wildlife (mostly her) and finishing up the free motion quilting in the green sections of Picking up the Pieces 4 (me while she supervised). 

Here we are, me behind the camera and Lola stealing the limelight:



Hopefully, you will be able to watch this 15 second video. It shows off the free motion quilting texture better than any photograph. 

Here is what we, I mean I, turned my attention to this week:

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4 - Done!

Everything but the border has been free motion quilted. Boy were there a lot of threads to bury. Thank goodness for self threading needles. :)

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3 - Not yet!

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


Detail from Picking Up the Pieces #4
If burying thread tails count.I must have buried close to 100 thread tails this week. Perhaps the next great add on to a sewing machine will be automatic thread tail burying. 

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

When I first started quilting and had school aged children, my personal mantra was "quilting first, the rest will follow". I've been reflecting back on that mantra more and more. I plan to put it back in practice next week. When I do, here is what I will focus on.

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3

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.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 07/07



Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Picking Up the Pieces #4
When I was in mid 20's, married, a working mother, and completing my degree at nights, I motivated myself through the grueling, no time for myself period with thoughts of the life I would be living now, 40 years later.  What I imagined was lots, and lots, and lots of free time to use as I chose. In some ways that is precisely what I have. The rub comes with how I choose to use that time. Somehow in my imaginings what I did would feel less jammed packed and more relaxing than how things felt in my 20s. The reality is life is short and there are so many wonderful ways to spend it. Seems I can never resist getting involved in just one more thing. This year it is Knitted Knockers

I'm pleased to say Knitted Knockers of the Fox Cities has officially launched. I have been working with several other women to get a branch of Knitted Knockers going in our area. This has required setting up a Facebook/web page, working with the Volunteer Center of E. Central Wisconsin and their group of knitters for charity, and partnering with Iris Fine Yarns to be an official drop off point for knockers, donations and carrier of the approved yarns. Last Friday, I delivered 26 pairs of knockers to the Fox Valley Hematology and Oncology Center. Manuela Lornson brought the marketing material. We were filmed by NBCTV 26 for one of their community caring features. The program aired during three different news slots. You can see the three minute feature here. In less than 24 hours from the original airing we have received several requests for knockers which have already been filled.

This week I focused on the yellow squares,
filling them with a motif I am calling Rain Clouds.
One thing that hasn't changed over the past 40 years is my ability to find ways to get my art fix no matter how busy I am. In my 20's I subscribed to several magazines. I would look longly at the various projects thinking about the time when I could actually try one. American Quilter and Quilter's Newsletter were two I subscribed to once a became a stay at home mother. Oh the joy of finding one of those in my mailbox! Now I get my art fix from www.artdaily.com. It is a great way to start my morning. 

I still manage to head to the studio for a few hours work several days a week. Here is what I accomplished this week:

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4 - Done!

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3 - Not yet.

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

I use a refillable pencil to mark
some of the trickier quilting motifs. 
I just finished a size F knocker in breast cancer pink. I've lost track of how many knockers I have made, but I'm sure I'm in the double digits by this time. What I am noticing is I no longer need to check the pattern, and the joins between the double pointed needles are getting tighter. I love how doing something repetitively, it becomes second nature and the overall quality improves.

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I had fun trying out a new free motion quilting motif on Picking Up the Pieces #4. It is in the yellow squares. It reminds of rain clouds in the distance.

When I am not checking out ArtDaily or attending meetings next week, I will turn my attention to:

1) Work on Picking Up the Pieces #4

2) Finish Picking Up the Pieces #1 and #3

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.