Friday, August 19, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 08/19

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

What does it take to be courageous? In life? As an artist? These questions have been running through my brain, since they appear to be a common thread to what I have been experiencing this week.

I used peony leaves to mask areas of
fabric painted with Setacolor
  transparent glitter paint.
It is 7 a.m. as I sit at my computer composing this blog. There is a massive storm front coming through. I can see a patch of gray sky over the roofline and witness the maple tree bobbing and weaving in the wind. I am fortunate to be inside, dry and sheltered from the rain, wind and lightening. This thought is particularly poignant this morning, since my husband and I headed out for our morning bike ride, knowing the storm was on its way. How far from home should we stray? Would we get back in time? We could see lightening way off in the distance as we rode. In fact we felt the first drops of a shower proceeding the storm about a mile from home. Our courage and obsessive radar watching paid off. We beat the storm by a good hour and got a 20 mile bike ride in.

Have you seen Laura Kemshall's post on how she created her award winning quilt 52º 32′ N 04º03’W? Talk about courageous!  This quilt was one big experiment. Kemshall had faith that her knowledge in one area could be applied to another. 
The same fabric as above once the leaves
have been removed. It is difficult to
capture the glitter in a photograph. However,
you might be able to see it if you click on
the image for an enlarged view. It is
subtle - but a great way to add shimmer.

A while back I was struggling with how to have the glitter in my glitter infused paint stay bonded to the fabric through a typical washing. There are many bonding agents, but for the most part they are either water soluble or they change the hand of the fabric. I needed something that wouldn't wash out, wouldn't discolor, and would leave the fabric feeling soft. Research online and posing the question to many provided no help. Then it hit me. Why not add Liquetex's Gloss Medium & Varnish to the paint? So I did. It worked. The fabric felt stiff after the paint had dried. However, once I ran it through the washer (that is where the courage comes in) the fabric was dry and the vast majority of the glitter was still clinging to the fabric. Why did I suspect this would work? Because I had used gloss medium in paint as an adhesive when I spent a year taking weekly mixed classes, none of which involved fabric or quilting. 

Each week has its challenges. This one was no exception. It takes courage to test what you think might work. I am grateful for each courageous step I take. Progress is made, perhaps not as much as I might wish, but progress none the less, as you can see.

1) Create 11 Siren's Song blocks. - Another valiant attempt

I finished 7 blocks this week and start the prep work for another 4 blocks.
2) Free motion quilting practice - Not done

Row 6 and 7 of Siren's Song are complete.
I'm three blocks into row 8 with four more
to go. Row 9 is the last row. Then it is time
for another leap of faith.

3) Do some surface design work - Done!!

I had fun trying my hand at bonding glitter. When I set the painted fabric outside to dry, I couldn't resist adding some peony leaves for a mask. I purposefully didn't secure the leaves with more than one pin. I wanted some light to get under them and allow the leaves to shift slightly. This way the contrast between the masked section and unmasked sections isn't as strong.
4) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done!

It is so tempting to give up. Each week that I fall short of my goal making 11 blocks I fear I may not make the deadline I need to achieve in order to enter this piece into the huge stretch of an exhibit I plan to at least try for. I remain open to the possibility that I will finish on time and persevere despite the diminishing odds.

Will my courage be there when I face next week's challenges? I believe so. I find having a plan, even as simple as the same one week after week helps. Next week will be more of the same, as you can see:

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. Your sun printing came out fantastical! Will you incorporate it into sirens song? It has the same colors and "feel"

  2. As usua,l I enjoyed another of your interesting and informative posts. Thank you!

  3. Love how "siren's song" is coming out.