Friday, July 21, 2017

Week in Review 2017 - 07/21

Tips, Thoughts, and Techniques:

Picking Up the Pieces #4
AFTER I started quilting the border.
Here the border draws the eye in and
allows the pieced portion to appear to float.
It's true, on an organizational spectrum with 0 representing total chaos and 10 standing for nothing ever being out of place, I probably fall between 8 and 9. When my children were teenagers they would have told you I was a 10. Not true. There are always a few things, sometimes more than a few things, strewn across my desk or tools, thread, and fabric scattered through out my studio. The reason items have yet to be returned to their proper location may be because I need them for a current project. However, they are just as likely to be left out, because I haven't found a good place for something new, or more likely I got distracted/excited by something else and then never returned to pick up after myself. 

Why is organization good, but rigidity is to be avoided? In my opinion organization, like working in a series, allows one to notice the nuances, and delightful serendipity that occurs naturally and capitalize on them. It is the unpredictable surprises which keep me hooked on making art. Mickey Lawler, in her interview with Clara Nartey said it so well. Mickey shared, "On my very best days of painting, I only have about 80% control over what happens.  And that’s really a lot. But it’s the 20% I live for."

Picking Up the Pieces #4
BEFORE I started quilting the border.
Here the border pulls the eye out.
My work in the studio, quilting the border for Picking Up the Pieces #4, felt very methodical, most of the time. However, since I control the quilting as I manually maneuver the quilt under the needle, achieving round circles with my pebbles or exact echoes, well they are close, but not nearly as close as using a machine which is preprogrammed. Until I had completed most of three borders, I hadn't realized, just how big an impact the thread and design I chose would radically change the appearance of the piece. Love that 20%!

This week was a continuation of the past few weeks - one primary focus as follows:

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!

Detail from Picking Up the Pieces #4
Each pebble is approximately 3/16"
I really, really struggle making round pebbles as a filler motif when free motion quilting. This week I must have quilted 100's if not 1,000s of pebbles. There were some which looked perfectly round. Most don't. I am getting more comfortable in switching from clockwise to counter-clockwise and back, as needed. That's progress.

4) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I plan to do more free motion quilting next week. I also want to finish up the hand sewing required complete quilts 99% done in my Picking Up the Pieces series. I'm eager to move on to the next idea currently in percolating mode. That will have to wait at least one more week, if I stay true to the following plan:

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.


  1. Love the sentence of Clara Nartey!

  2. Wow, thats a lot of circles! They look wonderful and really do change the border.

  3. wowie! And I love the quote! The 20% is what I live for...
    your quilting is brave and wonderful. Interesting discussion, organized vs rigidity. LeeAnna

  4. Great blog post! I love the quilting with the vairiagated thread.

  5. Wow, Gwyned. I love the close up of stitching on Picking Up the Pieces #4. You definitely have patience and perseverance. I guess your organizational skills find you the time. Go for it!