Friday, July 15, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 7/15

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques: 

One of two fabrics made using blue glue resist
and Setacolor paint.
This week has been one big happy dance. No, I didn't have my work accepted somewhere exciting. Then again, I didn't receive a rejection either. I am happy, because after weeks, even months of playing with surface design techniques, all with a focus to achieve fabric that would work to create water, while being absolutely clueless about a design that would incorporate water, I had a Eureka moment. My muse didn't just whisper the idea in my ear or show it to me behind a veil of fog. No she shouted out the idea and wrote it across the sky, like fireworks. When that happens, I don't question. I just get working. As you will see by what I did and didn't get done this week, I was focused, but driven.

The working title for the latest obsession is Siren's Song. It takes me back to my roots of block blending. This is when I selected compatible blocks but color them in such a way that the actual block/structure is hard to discern. Nearly all the work in my Shifting Values series was achieved this way. I decided that all the blocks this time should be associated with water. I'm using Flying Fish, Ocean Waves and Storm at Sea. The first two blocks are made using half square triangles and squares, so are very easy to piece accurately. Storm at Sea is a nightmare unless it is pieced using templates or paper pieced. I love the precision of paper piecing but HATE!! pulling out the paper at the end. Yes, I used small stitches, but some paper always gets caught under a few stitches with nearly every patch. This drives me crazy. So, imagine my excitement when I discovered, while googling tricks for piecing Storm at Sea, to stumble upon a method of paper piecing where the paper isn't stitched to fabric. It is called No Tear Paper Piecing and is demonstrated by the owner of Quilt N Bee in Travers, Michigan. 

The second fabric made using blue glue gel as a
resist and painted with Setacolor paint. Both
fabrics will find their way into Siren's Song. One
already has.
What can I say about this week? I've been on a (no) tear and this will become clearer over the course of future posts. Sometimes what is seen as accomplished through a checked off or not checked off list doesn't tell the full story. My plan was to:

1) Create the blueprint for the next artwork - Done!

I won't share the blueprint. You will just have to trust me on this.
2) Free motion quilting practice - Nope!

I had ordered thread to continue working on First Light. It still hasn't arrived. Even if it did, I was too focused on Siren's Song to shift gears and bang out some free motion quilting.
3) Do some surface design work - Done!

I was thinking of inking the fabric I had masked with blue glue gel as a resist. Then I remembered I had just replenished my emerald green Setacolor paint, this time with glitter so wanted to try that out. Love the green, but the glitter washed out with the glue. Suggestions on how to make the glitter permanent are welcome. 
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open - Done!

Remember that run of green to blue hand dyed
fabrics? I selected 8 of them for Siren's Song.
I didn't dye enough fabric for the quilt the first go
round. This week I dyed a yard more of each color.
I am thrilled to report the second color run is very,
very close to the first run. Hurrah! This is the first
block made. It measures 8" x 8". The pattern is
Ocean Waves. I made two more blocks this
week. That leaves me with 66 more blocks to go.
The truth is when my muse suggested this quilt my first reaction was, "Are you crazy?" The finished size of the quilt will be 72" H x 56" W and it will use 1,000's of individual pieces to build. It was extremely tempting to give up before I even started. I didn't. I stayed open and accepted that Siren's Song, needed to be made.

My plan is clear. I have an exhibit in mind to enter Siren's Song in. Therefore, there is a deadline. It is quite a ways off, BUT for the amount of work that must be done to meet the deadline it may as well be tomorrow. It will require 100% of my focus. Here is how I plan to focus:
1) Create 11 Siren's Song blocks.

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. Siren's song is going to be beautiful. Love the colors!

  2. I'm excited to see your new piece develop, sounds intriguing! Keep us posted if you learn anything about making the glitter permanent- I don't have any suggestions, but it's something I'm interested in.

  3. Now you have me intrigued and eagerly awaiting the next episode.

  4. What a fascinating concept you are exploring.....I'm anxious to see more!

  5. You're good at showing us tempting morsels of this project. I'm curious now!

    In the adhesives area, I'm wondering if you've used the ModPodge made specifically for fabric? It's special formula leaves a fairly soft hand, but I can't say if there would be any discoloration. I use it quite a bit to hold pieces in place before I stitch them on, but not on the actual surface. I believe it will do the job with glitter as it is washable after a curing period.