Friday, September 20, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 09/20

Detail from Nestling Oysters. 
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Adventure versus safety is a topic that I have been mulling over this past week. When I would get lost driving my children to some new destination I would tell them that we weren't lost, we were on an adventure. Now that my children have children of their own I often ask those children, my grandchildren, "who would like to go on an adventure with Grandma?" They range from age 16 months to six years old, so this opening gambit is usually met with an extension of their hand into mine. Off we go to see what we can discover in a walk around the yard or neighborhood. When we return we tell the story of our adventure. Vernacular can make all the difference.  "Going on an adventure" has far more allure than "who wants to go for a walk with Grandma?"

Creating fiber art that has me exploring old techniques with an attitude of discovery and problem solving along the way, is like going on an adventure. Adventures of this sort never grow old. However, I do find the need to rest, to choose safety over adventure from time to time. This week has been one of those weeks. It reminds me of what Doreen Speckman shared with me when I called her to finalize a contract for her to speak to my guild. I could hear her machine going full tilt as we chatted. As I was saying goodbye, I mentioned how impressed I was that she could sew like that and carry on a conversation on the phone. Doreen said, "some weeks it is all you can do to just seam two strips of fabric together. Other weeks you can get creative." This week has been a safe week. I've been seaming two strips of fabric together.

1) Companion Oysters renamed Nestling Oysters

a) Finishing facing Nestling Oysters - Done!

b) Make and attach the sleeves. - Done!

c) Have its "formal" picture taken for submission to calls for entry and my website - Done!

d) Carefully crop the picture along the edges - Done!

e) Add Nestling Oysters to my website - Done!

f) Perhaps start a gallery just for my Beach Series on my website - I haven't set up a separate gallery but I did move the four Beach Series quilts next to each other in my Nature Gallery and I like the look.

g) Include Nestling Oysters in a Call for Entry - I reviewed several upcoming Calls that I felt were suitable for Nestling Oysters. Since the notifications and/or exhibition dates overlap I can only choose one. This being a safe week I wasn't up to committing to one over the other. I still have time. I decided to mull it over for another week.

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

Foundation piecing continues for
Express Your Love II
Pattern by Leah Day - created and modified by Gwyned
a) Foundation piecing - I have said it before and I feel obligated to say it again, Leah's method of foundation piecing the hair for the goddess in Express Your Love II just isn't working for me. This could be because I am set in my ways. Piecing is safe for me. If there is any technique I can do without thinking it is precision piecing and foundation piecing. Leah's methods seem to take something that is straight forward and safe and make it much more complicated than it needs to be. I keep trying, though. I want to stay open to new ideas even as I fight against them.

b) Free Motion Quilting - this is where Leah excels. I wasn't sure how I felt about Cracked Maze, this week's FMQ motif, when I saw Leah's sample. It was much easier to work up than I thought it would be. It will be my go to motif when ever I need cracks in ice, glass or sidewalks. I can even see using it for irregular tree bark.

Cracked Maze

3) Come up with 5 ideas for a Visioning Project for next year. - Begun

My current thoughts are:

i) To make 3 more quilts to add to my beach series
ii) Start a series of quilts based on Zentangle
iii) Sign up for Life Book 2014
iv) Select several things I would like to be able to do with Facebook, Excel and Blogger that are stymying me and learn how to do them

a) Select the most compelling one - Not yet

b) Write it up on the goal page. - Not yet

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next - Not yet

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Not yet

Will this week be one filled with adventures or another safe one? Either way this is where I plan to turn my attention. As usual there is more than enough to keep me out of trouble or get me into trouble. :)

1) Nestling Oysters 

a) Include Nestling Oysters in a Call for Entry

b) Print and attach the label

2) Leah Day's weekly assignments

Do whatever assignments Leah comes up with next. 

a) Foundation Piecing

b) Free Motion Quilting

3) Visioning Project for next year. 

a) Come up with a fifth idea

b) Select the most compelling one(s)

c) Write up my goal page.

4) Come up with at least 5 different ideas for a new piece to work on next

5) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


  1. My heart was so filled with memories when I read your comments from Doreen. She was a very special friend, and to whom I give tons of credit for getting me out on the quilting highway. She is dearly missed!

    1. I had a feeling the mention of Doreen would send you and others down fond memory paths. She was one of the penultimate in our field. I learned much from her, especially the art of a good lecture and class. Ditto for observing you!

  2. I love your "adventure" story! When staying with my son and DIL last year to help with the 3 year old while they were busy giving birth to the new baby I would strap Zack into his carseat and tell him we would go on an adventure. One night he shook my keys and said "'venture Oma, venture Oma!" Since it was pouring down rain, I packed him into the car and we drove around the block a couple of times. It was a wonderful week.

    1. What a grandmas and Omas for? Clearly to provide adventures for their precious grandchildren. Perhaps that is because the young and those of us who haven't been young for longer than we would like, both appreciate the specialness in the everyday.

  3. You are right. To go on a adventure is always exiting. You take risks with your textile art and you are disciplined as well, Every week you do Leah's assignments! It intrigues me. Hope to see a lot beautiful pieces from you!

    1. Wait until next. I am planning on embarking on a mixed media adventure. I will share the journey on my blog. I am a firm believer in cross disciplinary training. In 2012 I spent the year drawing on a regular basis. I couldn't have executed Nestling Oysters otherwise.

  4. oooo - Your cracked maze fmq on the black is nice, for sure! Is that a variegated thread, or did you use more than one color?

    1. Good eye, Lyn. Yes that is a variegated thread. It is one of the few that Marathon Thread makes. I really like its effect on black fabric.

  5. I love how you share your process and goals with us! Very inspiring. Going on an adventure: that's what I tell the kids when we are somewhat lost.

    1. And I appreciate your feedback, thank you. I enjoy dipping into the blogs of others. There is always something there to inspire another adventure.

  6. I'm sorry to hear that foundation piecing hasn't been your think Gwyned, but super thank you for keeping up with us! Next week will be the last week of this fun / torture so you'll have something to look forward to - the END of foundation piecing! Lol.

    1. Not to worry, Leah. One of the great things about quilting is there are so many ways to achieve the same end product. When you have been at it long enough, you find the way that is best for you. I've been precision piecing and foundation piecing for over 25 years. How I do it has been tweaked here or there until it is as natural as breathing. Your method does have the advantage to be able to create different sized wedges from pieced "rods" to bend around a curve. It may come in handy in the future.

  7. Very nice job with your website. You have so many lovely quilts and you've displayed them very well on your site.