Friday, June 17, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 06/17

Sunrise Abstraction is up on my
website now that the facing has
been stitched down.

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I recently finished watching, Cooked, a Netflix Documentary. I rarely rate something 5 stars, but that is what I gave Cooked. What struck me is how food is transformed by how we prepare it. Michael Pollan chose to look at food through the lens of fire, water, earth and air. Each element plays a part in how food is transformed. It is also transformed by how we combine ingredients and choose to season it. 

I was struck by the similarities between cooking and quilting. A quilt is the transformation of fabric that is chosen to work together and then quilted to bring out texture. Some quilters, like me recently, even choose to start with white fabric, that we dye, paint or use other surface design techniques, to get just the color and pattern we need. This is why I spent a couple days dying fabric so that I could have my pick of greens to blues in a variety of values for the quilt that is a glimmer of an idea.

The view from my kitchen window during the height of the
storm. It is extremely rare to have roof run off. This
felt like my own person waterfall.

Nature has a way of transforming the world around us. If you don't like the weather in New England,  just wait a minute, has been erroneously attributed to Samuel Clemens. What he actually said is, "There is a sumptuous variety about the New England weather that compels the stranger's admiration -- and regret. " New England can be replaced by any location on the globe. All you have to do is google the quote, "if you don't like the weather..." and you find it attributed to various places.  

We certainly saw some weather this past Wednesday evening when the skies opened up for 20 minutes of one of the heaviest rains I can recall. Appleton, WI, where I live is relatively flat and the streets flood easily and drain easily. Fortunately, this storm caused no major damage. Instead it provided some light hearted moments. I heard people were kayaking in the streets, but didn't believe it until I found this photo online!

 I was feeling rather light hearted myself this week. It seems I am back in the groove as you can see: 

This isn't the only picture I found of people 
kayaking in the street on Wednesday. Nor is it the 
best. However, I like to choose photos were the 
photographer can receive credit.

I used a combination of dilutive and additive 
methods to create this graduation from a yellow green
to an ice blue with multiple value reductions during
the process. The top fabric that only has the tiniest
corner showing, is a stunning nearly white, pale blue. I 
achieved this by diluting the original blue 8 times.
1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction - Done!

I finished stitching down the facing just in time to have my husband take the formal picture of Sunrise Abstraction for me to use on my website and for calls for entry. Kudos to him for getting even light across the quilt and capturing the texture created by stitching. Not an easy task to do as an amateur photographer with very basic equipment.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

I don't have proof, but I started quilting the whole cloth piece I had print for me. There really wasn't enough done to share. I am loving what I've done so far. 
3) Do some surface design work - Done!

Not only did I hand-dye fabric, I also tried my hand at using dishwashing liquid as a resist. I have a tendency to collect articles on surface design techniques, much the way others collect recipes. I intend to try them one day, it is just that that one day never seems to come. This is precisely why I am devoting this year to playing with surface design.
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open - Done!

See 3 - It was so tempting to count my hand-dying session as my surface design project for the week. However, my goal with this item on my to do list is to learn many surface design techniques, not just fall back on ones I have become relatively comfortable with. I wanted to stay open to learning something new and had to fight the urge not to do anything and everything that I am far more comfortable with and therefore risk running out of time to do the uncomfortable experimenting.
One thing in the plans for next week is to finish the resist project. It requires a series of paint/dry/paint cycles. I am also looking forward to some solid free motion quilting sessions. And then there is a the finish work on Sunrise Abstraction to complete. In other words, if I don't like or tire from one project I can always change to another one, just like the weather. Here is the game plan:

1) Work on Sunrise Abstraction

a) Make and attach the sleeve
b) Make and attach the label

2) Free motion quilting practice

3) Do some surface design work

4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open

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. Your gradation dyes are lovely, and I'd be interested in how you feel the dishwashing liquid resist dyeing went. Are you going to share pictures of your results? I'm like you- a million techniques waiting in the wings that I never actually try. The one at the top of my list now is flour paste resist; have you ever tried that?

  2. Yikes, I didn't realize the storms in your area were that bad, though I keep up with only Sheboygan, WI weather. Also, I immediately checked Netflix (discs) for Cooked and it doesn't appear it's available in that end of their service. Finally....Yes, I'd are back in the groove!

  3. Wow, what a storm! Love the blue to green gradation.

  4. Sunrise abstraction is fantastic! The quilting adds so much texture with the block colors.
    I found cooked on Netflix and will check it out. Thank you for the tip.