Friday, December 16, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 12/16

Perseverance pays off as I begin
the progress of adding the
foreground over the background
to Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

It has occurred to me that there is a strong connection between perseverance and staying open. These are both traits I admire and work on developing. It can be so tempting to quit, to throw in the towel, to just give up and move on to something easier. This is especially true when trying something new. How I hate being inept. I rant. I weep. I am a jumble of prickly nerves. Why put myself through such torture? The answer, often allusive in the heat of the moment, is really quite simple. It is because of the euphoria of accomplishment. Just because figuring out the instructions for a knitted knocker or developing a graffiti font to use on Where Have All the Flowers Gone? is inconsequential compared to climbing Mt. Everest or making a scientific breakthrough worthy of receiving a Nobel Prize, doesn't mean it is any less thrilling for me. 

My week required patience, perseverance and practice. It was so, so tempting to give up. I didn't, as you can see:

1)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song - Not done

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done, sort of

Several styles of 3D flowers border
the gravestone. They make me smile. I opted
to use Clover's YoYo makers for expediency's
sake. They are a very quick to work up yo-yos.
I did quilt. Instead of free motion quilting, I opted to stitch in the ditch. I find this more difficult than free motion quilting. FMQ is far more forgiving. When I used to press my seams to the dark side the height differential between the triple layer of fabric (two seam allowances and the "piece") and the single layer of fabric (just the piece) made staying in the ditch and "hiding" the ditch stitching easier. I prefer a flatter overall appearance, so always press my seams open. This means that when stitching in the ditch stitch accuracy is imperative. My precision piecing falls into the category of close enough. I don't obsess over it. However, this means that if you were to hang a plumb line along one of my vertical seams, you would quickly see sections on one side or the other of plumb. Therefore, when quilting along such a meandering line, patience, coupled with letting go of the occasional deviation is vital. 
The letters aren't popping quite the way
I thought they would. I will be problem
solving how to make them more obvious.
My first thought is to run a solid line of
satin stitch around them. The question is
what color? Red, black, or rainbow
variegated? Clearly, some of my next
week will be spent experimenting.

3) Do some surface design work - Done

I have spent the past month dipping into Pinterest boards, pinning tutorials which grabbed my eye. I found myself drawn to yo-yos and other ways to make three-dimensional flowers. These scream '60s flower power adapted for quilts, to me.
4) Continue working on Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - Done

The front side of this knocker is nearly done.
Not bad for an amateur knitter. 
Why, oh why do my easy projects always take such diabolical turns? Once again, I found myself in learning mode as I tried my hand at yo-yos and the most difficult of all, designing a graffiti font of my very own. 
5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done

I spent several days on several projects struggling close to the breaking point. The first was "starting" my knitted knockers. There were several new stitches to add to my lexicon. Then there was the font. After an obscene number of hours trolling the internet, trying out ideas free hand, moving to design attempts on EQ7, back to more internet trolling and finally back to guided (on tracing paper over graph paper) free hand, I finally was satisfied with my lettering.

I am hoping to enjoy the fruits of my perseverance next week on the following projects:

1)  Attach a sleeve to Siren's Song

2) Free motion quilting practice

3) Do some surface design work

4) Continue working on Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

5) 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. As always I'm awed by your productivity and excellent art..... You truly do inspire!!

  2. I think the bright orange of the flowers are drawing my eye to them, because I didn't even notice the letters at first. I think they need to be of equal intensity. You have accomplished a lot.

  3. I've been absent from the blogosphere for a bit so haven't seen where have all the flowers gone before. Lovely to see new work of yours and I love the graphic bold look. I'll have to go back and read some of your prior posts!

  4. I agree with Linda M--I never even noticed the letters! Guess you are right to plan on experiments to make those letters pop! I love the piece.