Friday, April 12, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 04/12

Tips, Techniques and Thoughts...

I have been fascinated by the transformation of one object to another object every since I witnessed my childhood babysitter knit a doll’s blanket from a long strand of yarn. The transformation that takes place from the germ of an idea for what to create next to the end result is what motivates me during the process of creating a piece of art. From the comments I receive from those of you who follow my blog, it seems transformation intrigues you, too. That is why for the triple T section (Tips, Techniques and Thoughts) I am recommending a novel, you may have already read and a documentary you probably missed.

The novel is a piece of historical fiction about how “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Vermeer was created. The author is Tracy Chevalier.

Isn't the light and shadow outstanding
on "Girl with a Pearl Earring?"

One of the best gifts I gave myself was a subscription to Netflix. I have “discovered” more great films this way. The most recent was “Note by Note: the making of Steinway L1305." I worried that this would be exactly what the title said, the step by step making of a Steinway piano. It is so much more. Each step of the process acts like a chapter heading. What makes Steinways unique is that each one is handcrafted and hand tuned. What was new to me was how each piano and has a feel and therefore concert pianists request specific pianos by number for their concerts. I couldn’t help but draw a parallel between a pianist and his affinity for a certain piano with quilters and their connection with their sewing machines.

This past week has been tough for several reasons. I slogged away, despite the setbacks. Here is how my plan and my achievements aligned for the week ending April 12, 2013.

1) Pictorial Painting

"Canyon" has it looked last week.

a) Continue to watch the portion of the lesson that demos how to paint the Canyon piece. - Done

"Canyon" after painting the background mountains."

b) Finish painting Canyon. – Partially done. I finished painting the background mountains. 

2) Express Your Love

The Hot Hot Spiral ribbon is the lowest one. The quilting pattern
looks like tongues of flame alternating with spirals. Hence, it's name.

a) Finish quilting Hot Hot Spiral Ribbon – Done.
b) Do a ribbon in Loopy Doopy Sprial – Done.

That's Loopy Doopy Spiral, front and center. This time loops
alternate with the spirals.
c) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

The next assignment was to create sections of the quilt using a technique that Leah’s friend named Trapplique. The point of Trapplique is to create pre-quilted sections for a quilt that are appliquéd on top of the quilt. The reason Leah is using Trapplique on her quilt is that she was dissatisfied with the way her ribbons came out. I am happy with my ribbons. If the technique were unfamiliar to me I would test-drive it on something else. However, this is something I have used for years when I wanted to push a section of the quilt into the foreground. I used it to add the tree, leaves and cardinal in my  quilt, “Tree Serenade,” for instance.

"Tree Serenade" 

What I did choose to do, in order to have my ribbons stand out more from the quilt, is satin stitch around the edge of each completed ribbon with the same variegated white through gray mist thread I used in the hair section.

The full view of "Express Your Love" (design by Leah Day,
choice of stitches, threads and execution by Gwyned Trefethen)
allows you to see how the ribbons stand out now that they have
been outlined in satin stitch with a variegated white to mist gray thread.

d) Bonus – I used nano stitching to create the eye.

3) Reflection (Absolute deadline April 23, 2013)

a) Make and attach the sleeve. - Done
b) Make and attach the label. - Done
c) Add Reflection to my website. – Couldn’t do.

Wednesdays are my business days. That is when I review outstanding calls for entry, look for new ones and complete some. I also update my website with new events and quilts. This Wednesday we had an ice storm that knocked out power for most of the day. I did manage to handle calls for entry. I just didn’t have time before calling it a day to update my website. I’ll do that this weekend.

d) Submit Reflection for consideration in "The Eye and the Needle," a SAQA IL/WI exhibition. – Done

4) Adoration (Shooting for a deadline of June 1, 2013)
a) Mark the background fabric as a guide for where to place the appliqué pieces. 

Done, but it was a major struggle. I just couldn’t distinguish the obvious sections to mark, even using a very fancy light table at my husband’s lab. I will try again next week.

b) Start cutting and positioning the appliqué pieces. – Without an accurate guide this couldn’t be done.

Never someone to let a few setbacks completely derail me, I have plans for next week. Here is what I hope to accomplish by April 19, 2013.

1) Pictorial Painting

a) Continue to watch the portion of the lesson that demos how to paint the Canyon piece.

b) Finish painting "Canyon."

2) Express Your Love

a) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Reflection 

a) Add Reflection to my website.

4) Adoration (Shooting for a deadline of June 1, 2013)
a) Mark the background fabric as a guide for where to place the appliqué pieces.
b) Start cutting and positioning the appliqué pieces.


  1. You are a talented thread artist!

    1. Thank you, Pamelyn. I've been FMQ for over 15 years. My comfort level and ability to naturally plan where to head next as increased 10 fold since I started following along with Leah.

  2. Wow, Express Your Love is looking amazing! I especially love the way you put some white highlight sections into the hair. Do you think you're going to quilt the body section? I enjoyed the video about auditioning colors Leah posted this week, even though I'm not following along on this quilt.

    1. Thank you, Cari. Yes, I plan on quilting the body. I'm deliberating about the best threads and FMQ pattern. I'm thinking of using a thread close to your hair color and then satin stitching around it similar to the way I did the ribbons. This will add cohesiveness to the piece. I don't want to Trapplique my body since that elevates it above the ribbons and hair when it should read behind the hair and ribbons.

  3. Congratulations with your 2nd place award in the Black & White Expo 2013!

    1. Thank you, Wil. I'd be doing a happy dance, but I am too stunned to move.

  4. Wow! Your quilt looks so great, I love everything about it. Thanks for sharing

  5. Oh my! You've been a busy lady, haven't you?! I love peeling at your work.

  6. Oops! That would be *peeking*. Sigh....

    1. I loved the Freudian slip of peeling my work. That is what I do with so many artworks of others - try and peel back the various elements to understand how it comes together.