Friday, September 23, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 09/23

Siren's Song
The top is complete!! I was inspired
to add a few prairie points between
some of the seams. I felt it helped
make the transition between the
sunset image and the roiling wake
less abrupt. Also, it helps create the
spray/churning water that I hope
to convey.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

At what point do you start planning on how you will quilt your work? Right from the start? While you are creating the top? Once the top is done? My answer is D: All of the above. During the early stages I'm not so much planning as mulling over the possibilities. 

There are many ways I could quilt Siren's Song. Back when machine quilting was first getting a toe hold, the common method was to quilt in the ditch. This is when the quilting line follows the seam line. Next stippling with monofilament became all the rage. With a trend towards Modern Quilting parallel lines of quilting spaced evenly apart, often on the diagonal with asymmetrical balance seems de rigueur. 

Testing my theory of how to quilt
Siren's Song
My belief is that the quilting line should add a design element to the piece. It must enhance the composition of the top. It is there to add texture. The texture can help with pushing some elements forward while causing others to recede. This is done by varying the intensity of the quilting. It should not overwhelm the underlying image. This can feel like a of pressure to those new to creating quilts. I thrive on the challenge. For me, the quilting phase is when the quilt comes alive.

First Light is almost done. 
1)  Siren's Song:

a) Finish piecing - Done!
b) Piece backing - Done!
c) Prep for quilting - Started.
d) Begin quilting - Yes and no.

I haven't started quilting Siren's Song, BUT, I have settled on a design. This took some research, some practice drawing it out on paper, and finally spending several hours seeing if I could design on the fly. In other words I want to be able to free motion quilt this design without marking the top. It looks like I can. Yeah!
I focused on the quilting the sky.

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

Clearly the motif for Siren's Song counts as FMQ practice. I also spent some time working on First Light

3) Do some surface design work - Didn't get to it.

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

It was so tempting to take the easy way with Siren's Song. In other words, not to add the prairie points because they will be a nightmare to quilt to around. Also, why not do an overall stipple pattern? It would be so much easier to execute than the very complex, constantly changing, and requires regular decisions about what to sub-motif to add when. Who is to know when looking at the work what could have been besides me? Why not slam the door on what may or may not turn out to be a great idea, but what is clearly going to be challenging to institute? Because, my muse/gut says this is the way to go. This is not the time to chicken out.

1)  Siren's Song:

a) Prep for quilting
b) Begin quilting

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. I've so enjoyed seeing the progress of this quilt as well as learning about your thinking process. It's such a reminder to all of us who make art quilts......that each project has their own personality!

  2. I love the shimmery / ripply effect of your sea, the prairie points are the perfect touch. I also came to the conclusion recently that to add most interest, quilting has to combine elements of various sizes and shapes and guide the viewer's eye about.

  3. Your practice quilting for Siren's Song is phenomenal! I sure hope it will show up on all the piecing.

  4. Wow, I'm impressed with the practice piece, that will be beautiful when done on the quilt. The quilting on First Light is also pretty awesome.

  5. Hello Gwyned,

    The different swirling effects you are achieving for sea and clouds are amazing. Looking for forward to seeing First Light all finished!

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv