Friday, November 30, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 11/30

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Gwyned's family after a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
 Thursday is my final push day in the studio most weeks. I find writing a blog to be shared on Fridays acts as an incentive. However, there are times when family must take precedence. Last Thursday was Thanksgiving. This was our first home hosted Thanksgiving with both our children, their spouses, and our five grandchildren. Our daughter did the honors at her home. If you are only counting four grandchildren, that is because the oldest preferred not to join us for the family photo shoot. He is in the background, upper left, under the blanket.

I began by quilt gently quilting the sun and intensely quilting
the bits of sky between the rays. This gives the sun a bit
more dimension and puts the sky into the background.
Detail of the quilting motif in the background/sky
of Cohasset Sunrise.

The week of Thanksgiving was spent sandwiching Cohasset Sunrise in preparation for quilting. I used to pin baste my quilts, as my go to method. Then I tried hand basting them with long zig zag stitches. This had the advantage of not catching the safety pins in the quilt roll while quilting. Still, it meant cutting thread regularly in order to avoid having the basting caught permanently under the quilting. I never tried, but was aware of various methods to fuse the front and back to the batting. These included sprays (best done outdoors and with a mask) and a fusible batting. Not for me. I've switched to fusing my quilt sandwich with a fusible web as my go to method. Betty Busby recommends Spunfab from Museum Services Corporation. Apparently this is what textile conservators turn to for repairs. It is described as "an acid free, low melting thermoplastic adhesive in a fine web form. It is a webbing prepared from plasticizer-free copolyamides especially formulated for textile bonding." I like the fact that I can buy it in 60" widths and 10 yard lengths. I find it doesn't change the hand of the quilt. I love that I don't need to stop to unclasp pins or cut threads. 

Now I can go to town on the sky beyond the sun. I find I prefer horizontal, looser quilting works best for skies. I can never resist busting out with a few irregularly placed puffy clouds.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, November 16, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 11/16

I take Vinyasa Flow with Mike Birmingham. Fortunately,
he doesn't make us do anything as complex as this. :) 
If you have been following my blog, you know I have attended several yoga classes a week for seven years now. Our move from Appleton, WI to Cohasset, MA, this past May meant finding a new place to practice yoga. Fortunately, there is a studio with a range of classes from Yin (holding poses for 5 - 7 minutes to allow gravity to stretch the body) to Bikram (taken in a room with the temperature jacked way up there) and many between the two extremes, just a mile from our home. In Appleton I took from one teacher. Here in Cohasset, I take classes with four different teachers. The theme this week in all my classes is gratitude. Each teacher introduces the concept in a different way. Nearly all have focused on "heart opener" poses and stretches. I am grateful to have the ability and opportunity to practice yoga with such an inspiring  group of teachers.   

Now that I think of it, piecing the
back to Cohasset Sunrise with
scraps left over from the front
could be my equivalent of an insane
yoga pose. It took years of practice
to be able to whip something like this out.

I'm also grateful to have reached the point with Cohasset Sunrise, where the back is pieced, the batting is pieced, and the quilt is sandwiched. I begin quilting it next week. Hurrah!

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, November 9, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 11/09

My third attempt at intuitively
piecing with fused appliqué.
It's been a busy week. I've divided my time between nose to the needle in my studio as I manically create the backside for Cohasset Sunrise and being 52Quilters featured quilter of the week.

Units 1, 2 and 3 are pieced. One more unit to go!
Close to a year ago I applied to a call to be considered to be a host of 52Quilters and was selected. The premise is every week a different quilter takes over the writing of the blog and posting on Instagram (@52quilters). This year it was decided that each month would have a theme. November's theme is being hosted by art quilters. I surmised that the audience for 52Quilters is made up of a majority of newer, young quilters who are versed in traditional and modern work, but with a dearth of knowledge in art quilts. This lead me to writing a series of seven posts on my own journey from traditional quilter to art quilter, those who have influenced me along the journey, and a brief discussion of a different element of art in each post. There are seven elements of art, conveniently. :) Being the over achiever that I am, I opted to follow a very different theme, sunrises, with my Instagram posts. Each day I have posted a sunrise photograph taken by my husband or me around our neighborhoods (Appleton, WI and now Cohasset, MA), along with one of the quilts I have made inspired by sunrises.

No surprise, currently under my needle is yet another sunrise themed quilt, this one titled Cohasset Sunrise. I had the brilliant, but VERY time consuming idea that I would use the scraps from the top to make the back. Much of it is pieced, but I have fused many odd shaped pieces to muslin and anchored them with a stitch designed for stretch fabric. I really like the way my third attempt at this came out. I was very tempted to turn it into a quilt top.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, November 2, 2018

Week in Review 2019 - 11/02

EQ8 Blue Print

Times like this I question my sanity. Last week I had the ingenious idea of using the leftover scraps from my quilt top to make its back. I loved how this allowed me to be creative and more environmentally friendly. I'm in my element piecing. Clearly, this would be a win, win situation. Not this week. I began the work of laying out the many units I'd created from the scraps and calculating the filler fabric necessary to piece the units together.

Listing of pieced units,
section dimensions, and
and math worksheet.
I began by measuring all the units and listing them by like sizes. Next I went to EQ8, using the Custom Quilt layout, I added blocks matching the dimensions of my units. I had hoped the grid would print out so I could easily do the math to calculate the size of each filler block. Apparently, that hasn't been programmed into EQ8. I spent several hours working it all out the old fashioned way with pencil and paper.

Backside of
Cohasset Sunrise
partially pieced
Finally, the fun, OK with some angst, could begin again. I used my blue print to layout the units for section #1, add the filler fabric, and piece everything together. Not bad. Section #1 and #2 are pieced and sewn together. Next week will be Section #3.

A common comment I receive from non quilters is, "I'd never have the patience to make a quilt." Times like this, I wonder if I have the patience. Then I step back, see what I have accomplished, and think, "Yes, it was worth it."

When I wasn't in my studio working on Cohasset Sunrise, this week, I was putting the finishing touches on my posts for 52 Quilters. I have been asked to be the featured quilter from November 5 - 11. I will be posting on the blog daily and on Instagram several times a day. Most of the readership for 52 Quilters are traditional and modern quilters. Last year the featured quilters mirrored the readership. This year it was decided to invite art quilters to take on a week each for the month of November. Linda Bratten, one of the volunteers for 52 Quilters will introduce the month. After me will come Susan Miller Jones and Sue Bleiweiss.  Do stop by for month of art quilt immersion.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, October 26, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 10/26

Cohasset Sunrise
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

After a two month hiatus, when we moved out of and back into our home for a renovation to take place, I am finally back in my studio working. Whenever I am away for a long absence, I find the best way to get back in the practice of creating is to start simple.

When I stopped working I had just finished piecing the top for Cohasset Sunrise. Therefore, the logical next step was to prepare the backing, sandwich the quilt, and start the quilting.  With two months to let my mind wonder I had time to think about the backing and the part of my process that drives me crazy.

Strip pieced scraps
For years I have been storing strips of fabric, left over triangles, and other trimmings of a usable size. I have tried various ways of organizing these leftovers in hope that someday I would I find a use for them. Periodically, I simple clean house, tossing all my leftovers out, along with my good intentions. Not this time. I have decided to randomly piece all these scraps together into units and use them as part of the back of my quilt.

Crazy quilt pieced scraps
The precision cut pieces were easy to pull together. I found combining odd shapes more difficult. Crazy quilts to the rescue. I layered a piece of muslin with fusible web scraps and then topped that with overlapping leftover odd shapes. Once everything was fused, I used an embroidery stitch, slightly more elaborate than a zigzag, to secure the raw edges without building up a lot of thread.

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 31, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/31

Sunrise at Minot Beach, Scituate, Massachusetts 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

One thing that sold us on our new home is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. We are far enough and high enough up to be safe from rising waters and storms, but close enough to walk or bike to the beach. No surprise, ventures to the beach provide me with a fount of ideas. Sometimes it is the palette of a sunrise, other times lines in the sand, and the view is always tempting to interpret.

Lines created in the sand
during an ebbing tide

Yesterday I began work on my September MAP (monthly art project). My premise is to use something from my studio collection of tools and supplies I haven't picked up in more than a year. I interpret this quite liberally. This month I selected a piece of hand dyed, sun printed fabric I made more than 10, could be 15 years ago. Ugly is too gentle a word for it, that is until I turned it to the backside as I was pressing it. Now that side had possibilities. I decided to use it for a whole cloth quilt that has percolating ever since I spied the pattern of lines created by the ebbing tide at Minot Beach in Scituate, Massachusetts.

September's MAP in progress

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 24, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/24

I make art quilts. Why the modifier "art" and why not just say quilt? One reason is because of how far some art quilts have grown from most people's definition of a quilt. SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) defines an art quilt as  "a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure." A key word in this definition is "references". Note also, there is nothing in the definition which refers to fabric. 

This is my entry,
Sunrise Over Little Lake Butte des Morts - #2

My personal work hasn't strayed far from quilts of yesterday year, but I am a huge admirer of the work of others who have, including those who are making sculptural art quilts. I am a Juried Artist Member of SAQA, regularly renew my membership, and volunteer for the organization because I believe in its mission, "to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications." If you believe the art quilt deserves promotion and/or if you just can't get enough of seeing art quilts, I recommend you check out SAQA's annual benefit auction. There are 443 art quilts, all 12" x 12", up for auction starting on September 14th. 

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 17, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/17

Cohasset Sunrise
60" x 84"

Tips, Thoughts, and Techniques:

Transitioning is the current theme of my life. Summer is dwindling. The days are often blisteringly hot, while the leaves are showing signs of fall preparation. We are setting up our home for a 8 day visit with our granddaughters and daughter-in-law. When they leave we will have a few days to clear out our home in preparation for a renovation. This includes my studio. I will be on a six to eight week leave of absence from my machines. Hence the push to finish piecing Cohasset Sunrise.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 10, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/10

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I am an adequate cook. I can follow a recipe, although I am far more likely to make a modification or two or more to suit my personal preferences. What I have never quite gotten the hang of is making a meal. It is the timing a meal requires that eludes me. Fortunately, my husband enjoys cooking and he is comfortable with timing. However, I am the one who is the most fascinated of the two of us when it comes to watching shows about cooking.

Cohasset Sunrise
Only two more blocks to go...

This week I started watching Chef's Table, a series of shows available through Netflix. I began questioning why this grabbed me more than most. The answer, I believe, is because each episode  can be distilled into the featured chef discovering his/her passion, pursuing it through a roller coaster of successes and failures, and ending during a period of contentment. True they are all lauded for what they have achieved. However, it is clear it isn't success that motivates them, but instead it is riding the wave of the ah ha moment. Isn't that what making art is all about from the artist's perspective, the drive to explore and tweak, never satisfied, always searching, and with a clear focus? The lesson I find myself learning (actually one I must be refreshed on repeatedly) is not to worry what others think of your art. None of the chefs featured would be where they are today if they listened the opinions of others more than they listened to their own inner voice.

A series of cats - same pose,
different materials, patterns and sizes

So, I continue to work on Cohasset Sunrise. This is a piece made in a manner that I never grow tired of. Each new iteration of work made in the Shifting Value series engages me and teaches me. I finish eager to try again.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, August 3, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 08/03

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Decisions, decisions, decisions. In four weeks we will begin a significant renovation of our home. In preparation there are many decisions to be made. There are the basics of which walls to remove and which to add. Then there are the non-functional aesthetic decisions involving color and texture. Last week I shared how I had been brought up short by choosing a paint color for the living area. That decision has been made.

This will be the color of our accent wall
in the open living area.

We met with our contractor, yesterday. He asked us to select the carpets from a different  firm than he first recommended. So, off we went to pick out the carpets for the two bedrooms. I try to avoid rethinking decisions. However, there are times when revisiting a decision is a wise course of action. The original plan was for a green carpet in the guest room, but three months of living in our home and obsessing over the home's given palette, I started to think blue made more sense. What I wasn't expecting was to select a midnight blue.

What you can't see is the sparkle which
gives this series of carpets its name,
Starry Night. There are slim slivers of silver
interspersed in the deep blue pile.

What does this all have to do with my fiber art? Nothing and everything. Making art is all about decisions. Everything is a choice, this fabric or that? How should I construct it? Should there be a focal point? What should recede versus come forward? Will there be a light source? Should I use an all over quilting motif, vary it, and what should I use where? What is working? What isn't? The trick is to make the decisions, let each one inform the next, and have the confidence to make changes, even very radical changes to achieve the final artwork. I work both intuitively and with a flexible plan. The end result is rarely, as in almost never, what I thought it would be when I started out. That is both the excitement and terror. 

When I wasn't prepping for the renovation I made the next three blocks
for Cohasset Sunrise. This is one of those times where experience gives
me the confidence to move forward. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 27, 2018

Week in Review 2017 - 07/27

I made row 5 for Cohasset Sunrise this week.
What I love about making work in my Shifting Value series is the naturally occurring
contrasting values with the more subtle blending. It creates a wonderful dappled light.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I've been pondering color recently. OK, I've been obsessively pondering color. Why? Because we are just over a month from renovating our new home and this requires color decisions. Every time I look up at the main ceiling of our home, I smile. It never, ever would have occurred to me to paint it  purple, especially above rich, creamy walls, but that is what the original owners of the home opted for. They had a great sense of whimsy when it came decorating choices. Often their choices can feel like a big mishmash of ideas. My goal is to reduce the chaos, tone things down a bit, but not loose the fun, unexpected factor that drew me to the home in the first place.

An individual row can feel chaotic,
but when the rows are laid out one
on top of each other, there is a cohesiveness.

Renovations are constrained by budgets. This helps with the decision of what to let go and what to keep. For example, the granite counter top and tiles they chose for the kitchen wouldn't even make my top ten list. Since it is an open floor plan, the kitchen is very much on view. It will stay as is. However, I can repaint the walls, and maybe even the built in cabinet. I'm determined not to play it safe and paint everything cream. What to do instead has proven to be far more difficult than I thought it would be. We have a poster board painted with the two most likely contenders for the accent wall. I keep flipping it to one side, a subtle pale blue/purple and back to the other side, the same rich purple of the ceiling. I place the board in one spot, then in another. What works here, doesn't work there and vice versa. These are the two colors from our master suite, so I can see how they work together. Still no decision.

This is the view standing by my Bernina.
Note how the individual pieces are laid
out in units by value. Lola is making sure
they all stay in position. Look up and you
can see the purple ceiling. 
What surprises me, is that I can select a palette for my artwork with only a few shuffles and substitutions. If I get part way through the work, run out of a crucial fabric, I only have to turn to my stash and I find something new to add to the mix. This is precisely what I have been doing with Cohasset Sunrise. So, why is it so difficult to choose paint for our home?

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 20, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 07/20

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

4 out of the 7 rows are pieced 

It is easy to loose focus on how fortunate I am to be able to do something that brings me great joy and serenity. Why am I drawn to creating variations of water, sky, and sun? Perhaps for the same reason as I work with fabric and thread. Both give me time to catch my breath, relax and just be. There is no hurry to get done. My work will get completed and the sun will rise and then set. I am reassured by repetition and have learned to appreciate the variations on a theme.

All 4 sun quadrants are pieced!

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 13, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 07/13

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is fear of Friday the 13th, not be confused with triskaidekaphobia which is fear of the number 13. I've written a fair amount about fear over the years I've been writing this blog. Why? Because it is a topic intimately entwined with creating art. There is fear of failure. Just as paralyzing is fear of success. Thank goodness Friday the 13th and the number 13 don't phase me. I have enough fear to cope with simply walking into my studio and facing whatever challenge I've purposefully, or inadvertently created for myself.

Work on Cohasset Sunrise continues

I've been secretly trying to screw up my courage to start a regular practice of focused experimentation. I've watched with envy as other artists join the slow stitch movement, made a daily leaf, or create a variety of suns. Some how I just couldn't find the right project or incentive to get started. Then I saw it, the Monthly Art Project (MAP) facilitated by none other than Brenda Gael Smith. This had appeal. It took months of should I or shouldn't I join. I've done it now. I committed to completing a MAP. 

July's MAP 
Each MAP is unique, but it must be defined. I have decided to use something from my extensive studio supplies I have either never used or haven't used in over a year. Since this is my project I am interpreting this quite liberally. This month I pulled out Fantastic Fabric Folding  by Rebecca Wat. It must be close to a decade since I last attempted to make a flower from this book. I selected a flower I had never made before, a fairly simple rose. I succeeded, but was disappointed. It was too flat. However, the mere act of making the rose got me thinking about whether it would be possible to make 3D flowers following origami instructions. I found instructions for making a water lily on-line. I love it. I have a few kinks to work out and I am far to excited to let fear get in my way. 

Lola has no fear of the number 13.

Lola, my studio cat, is fearless. My studio is a loft that looks over the foyer of our home. One of her favorite spots is on the railing surrounding my studio, 13 feet above the floor below, where she can keep an eye on me, my husband's office just off the foyer, and of course the front door, should we have visitors.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, July 6, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 07/06

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Last week I was bemoaning the fact I had a created a design which required precision curved piecing. Over the 30 years I have been making quilts I have tried many different ways to cope with curved design elements. None suit me perfectly, which is probably why I keep trying different methods and different combinations of methods hoping for one that feels right. Since the method I used this week works best for me, I thought I would share it here.

1. Create templates for each piece in the pattern from freezer paper. The template should include a 1/4" seam allowance.

2. Iron the templates to the RIGHT side of the appropriate fabric. This insures that you aren't dealing with the mirror image of the pattern.

3. Cut the fabric exactly around the template. 

4. Using a thread that matches the fabric stitch along the 1/4" seam allowance. I set my stitch length to the same length I would use for paper piecing. You want many stitches to the inch.

5. Using a water soluble glue stick add glue to the BACK side of the fabric along the seam allowance of any seam to be turned under. You are preparing the fabric for appliqué. So, wherever two curved pieces of fabric abut, one is turned under and laid on top of the other. It helps if the seam allowance of the fabric to be turned under has been clipped. This must be done before the glue is added.

6. Turn the seam allowance under using the stitched seam line as your guide. 

The seam allowance has been turned under
and the fabric positioned. It is now ready for
machine appliqué.   

7. Run another line of glue along the turned under seam allowance. This will hold the fabric in place while you stitch.

8. Position your fabrics using the lower fabric's stitched seam allowance as your guide for placement.

After machine appliqué is added.

9. Select the blind hem stitch on your machine. This is the one that looks like ....^....^. Make sure the "...." portion is as close to the seam allowance as possible, but stitches only on the lower fabric. The "^", or as I think of it as the bite, reaches out and anchors the top fabric. Once again, I use a very tiny stitch length. This ensures that many bites get taken and the fabric pieces are securely held together. 

Now it is ready to be added to the design wall. 

What I love about this method is the precision. What I struggle with is that close up it can be detected. Also, to get the precision I want, there are many prep steps. Sometimes it is just best to say "close enough" and move on. The reality is once the whole artwork has been made, especially once the quilting has been added, nobody but me (and now you) will notice the machine appliqué.

 I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, June 29, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/29

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I have completed 12 of the 35 blocks for
Cohasset Sunrise. Now it is time to face
block #13, the first of 4 sun quadrants.
Gasp! It's time to face the blocks I dread piecing. I love the look of mariner's compass blocks, rays, NY Beauties, and double wedding rings, but balk at piecing them. I could simply fuse everything into place. I've done that and will do it again. However, if I want a crisp line with no threat of loose threads, I will opt for piecing every time. I confidently piece straight seams, can manage the scary Y seam, but when I face curved piecing, I feel as though I am asking myself to do a swan dive off of a high diving board. In other words, it is way out of my comfort zone. 

A partially completed Block #13

How do I overcome my fear? I take it one teeny tiny step at a time. The first was to select the fabric for the sun's rays. Done! Next, I printed out paper piecing patterns for the rays, and templates for the rest of the block. Done! I've even finished the paper piecing. I am gaining momentum, especially since I had do some problem solving. I have a limited amount of light value blue fabric at my disposal. I don't want to run out. So, I seamed scrap pieces together to create the sky fabric between the sun's rays. I can do this.  Curved piecing here I come.

Sometimes it is difficult to
tell where Lola ends and
the shadows begin. Her coloring
could have been the impetus for
the palette used by the original
owners of our new home. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, June 22, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 6/22

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Progress on Cohasset Sunrise is being made.
Now it is possible to see where I am headed compared
to the blind faith it would all come together I was
working under before.
What's the difference between work and play? When life is going well, not much for me. This is one more reminder of just how fortunate I have been in my life. I have been able to do what I love, create art. Since it brings me such joy, it rarely feels like work.

Our grandsons are staying with us for a
few days this week. They were here for less
than 30 minutes before heading out 
to the backyard to play frisbee.

Children's play is work. This is the time when they learn negotiations, cooperation, hand eye coordination, adaptation to rules, and even how to select their own guidelines. Children think they are playing. As adults we understand the value derived and the work involved.

It's late afternoon and Lola is queen of her
domain, surveying the yard for intruders.
I see  it differently, the lines, shadows, contrast,
and her silhouette fascinate me.

Is it any different for our pets? Aren't they creative, playful, hard workers? Our cat seems to know my routine even before I am aware I have one. Her play is infused with survival skills, especially the patience to observe a spot where her nemesis, a chipmunk, popped up the day before.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, June 15, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/15

Block #7 is partial pieced in units. It is
on a piece of space shuttle felt I can carry
from my sewing table to my ironing station
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Organization is the key. At least that is what I find works best for me when I am creating, especially when I am making yet another piece in my shifting value series. All the fabrics I might use are selected and divided by value. I have 7 value levels with my current piece, from barely a whisper of blue through to that inky blue seen just as the sky is switching from night to day. The stacks of fabric are laid out on my work table, in order, and labeled 1 - 7. Before I had a work table I would store them in file folders. I use EQ 8 to create the blue print, or piecing diagram. Note, I do not take advantage of EQ 8's ability to color the quilt. Why? That takes all the fun out of doing the work. Years of working in this way gives me the reassurance I need to know there is no need to pre-color. 

One distraction is our screened
porch. This is Lola's favorite
hanging out to keep tabs on the
local wildlife.
I'm just as organized when it comes to piecing the individual blocks. I layout the individual pieces on a 16" x 20" piece of space shuttle felt. (Yes, you read that right. My husband's company invented the felt for the space shuttle and my piece is scrap he brought home.) The advantage is that the felt is stiff AND the fibers keep the fabric from sliding off easily, as cotton clings, but does not adhere to it. If I wanted to I could iron right on it at the hottest setting. 

Moving into a new home, means a new studio layout, and learning about a new area of the country. I'm still not back to a point where I work in the studio for hours at a time, several days a week. However, by being, some would say, obsessively organized, I know just what I need to do next and can zip in for 30 minutes or several hours, a few days a week. Progress is being made. This week I finished piecing several more blocks. Six done, twenty-nine more to go. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/08

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

This is block #2. I had it partially pieced
last week.

A comment I frequently hear when someone learns I am a fiber artist and sees my work is, "I would never have the patience to do that." This surprises me. I don't think of myself as impatient. Nor do I think of myself as a particularly patient person.

Block #3 is done
Today my husband and I spent the morning (from 8:55 am until 11:30) at the DMV. Clearly we weren't the only bright ones who thought getting there before the doors opened at 9 am was a wise idea. Our mission was to convert our driver's licenses from Wisconsin to Massachusetts and do the same for our car's registration. Although we sat quietly, waiting for our number to be called, I can't say I wasn't frustrated. I couldn't help but think of what I would rather being doing instead - working in my studio, of course. The good news is we now have Massachusetts driver's licenses, the car is registered, and miracle of miracles, our 20 year old car even passed inspection. Hurrah!

Here are all three in order.
I did manage to spend a few days earlier in the week working in my studio. I finished piecing the second and third block of my current project, Cohasset Sunrise.

Lola has the best view in the house. From
here she can watch me work, see my husband
in his office below, and watch the front door
in case we have visitors. 

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, June 1, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 06/01

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

First block out of 35 done.
Baby steps, that is what I keep telling myself. I spent most of last week's creative time procrastinating or educating myself as I made my way through a backlog of EQ 8 lessons. I like to keep my skills up using this application. There are shortcuts that are not intuitive. 

Second block with its units ready to be joined.
It was my hope that as I worked through the lessons inspiration would strike for the next project to turn my attention to. It didn't or maybe it did. I have decided to begin how I have started many artworks in the past, with block blending and value shifting. Why not take it all the way back to beginning and choose a black and white palette? Turns out I was short on mid value black and whites. I've gone with blues instead. 

I'm working in my studio again. That is the primary goal. Hurrah!

I like to be surrounded by color. Check out
my mouse pad. Apparently, Lola approves,
since she is my constant companion when
I work at the computer.

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays

Friday, May 25, 2018

Week in Review 2018 - 05/25

 Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

My last posting was February 2, 2018. The subject was my Appleton, WI studio swan song. Since then I have been busy doing anything but working on my art. We officially moved into our new home in Cohasset, MA on May 7th. Once the the basics of master suite, kitchen, shared living space, and office were set up, it was time to focus on the studio. Although I don't have one large room this time, I do have the second story of our home. To quote our realtor when we looked at this house, "You do realize this is a quirky home, Gwyned, don't you?" To which I replied without missing a beat, "Yes, that's its appeal." As you will see the aesthetic details are quirky, and so is the layout.

My office and studio space were originally designed to be a guest suite. They include a full bath, guest bedroom (my office), a sitting area (hand sewing), loft (studio), and galley kitchen (wet studio). 

This is the sink in the guest, now studio, bathroom. I can access it from my office, via the walk in closet where I store my fabric, or directly from the studio sewing area. The guest bathroom on the main floor also has a decorative sink. That one has a gnome couple in a woodland setting. The prior owners used this couple as their personal talisman/logo. 

This is my commercial fabric stash. Catty corner to this, in a similar open shelving cabinet, are the fabrics I have dyed, painted, stenciled or altered with a variety of surface design techniques. 

My reference library of fiber art books, computer manuals, and few office supplies are in the office. 

Turning right after exiting the double glass paned doors into my office is the sitting area. I have several cabinets in here to store tools, supplies, and embellishments. One cabinet makes a nice stand for my thread collection.

The house is a contemporary (8 years old) victorian style with two turrets, resulting in 3 half hexagonal areas, 2 on the main floor, and this one on the upper floor. I will use this for hand sewing. It overlooks the marsh across the street. Remember my swan song in Appleton? There are swans who come to this marsh.

Exiting the sitting area across from the office is a the galley kitchen/wet studio. Here is just one of the cabinets filled with paints and other surface design equipment. Although I am determined to keep purchases to a minimum, I knew I must have an electric kettle. Every studio needs a way to provide a nice hot beverage right?

This is the same paint cabinet closed. Aren't the knobs fabulous?

Finally, the studio itself. There is just enough room to line up my ironing table, Bernina table and George. The two sewing stations are on casters so I can move them around as needed. The palladian window is over the main entrance and overlooks the back yard. It provides natural light to what would otherwise be an interior room with no windows. Check out the lavender ceiling. 

I still have a few more things to set up with my husband's help. The design wall will be in the studio where I stood to take the picture. There will also be a pegboard to hang scissors, rulers and other everyday essentials in the hallway leading out to the sitting area. 

For those of you who read my blog for Lola, my studio cat, sitings, never fear. She has a cat condo located just to the left of the ironing table and another one in the office. 

Lola opted to hide while I unpacked and organized the studio. Do you think she was trying to get out of helping?

I am linking up with Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays