Friday, December 30, 2016

Week in Review 2016 - 12/30

Pot #1.
I used Press 'n Seal to mark the
quilting lines. The top thread was chosen as
the most likely to work on the actual quilt.
The bobbin thread was a dark purple.
Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

Lucille Ball, shared, "I would rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done." I'm not one for bucket lists or New Year's resolutions, but Lucille's quip rings true to me, in my life and in how I approach my art. I have great admiration for artists who work in a series or have a daily art practice. That isn't me. I'm fueled by experimentation and play. If something comes from my work, fantastic! If not, well as least I enjoyed the journey, probably learned something, even if that something is what not to do. 

2017 will be a year of pot making for me. No, I am not switching mediums to become a ceramist. Nor will I be making fabric vessels. Instead I will be following the recommendation of the allegory shared in Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland, on the importance of focusing on quantity over quality.
Pot #3.
I stayed with the same top thread,
but this time swapped out the bobbin thread
for a darker blue/green shade. I marked
the quilting lines with Solvy, which I attached
to the quilt with a border of masking tape. 

I am currently toying with various ways to approach pot making. Perhaps it will take the form of creating mini work, such as textile art journals (8.5" x 11" quilts) or other size restrictions. I have been thinking about seeing how many ways I could reproduce flowers in my work. There may be a series of 6" square floral pieces, for example. I may jump around from one idea to another. What I am determined not to do is have so much structure I find myself dreading making pots. Nor do I want to have so little structure I am stymied as to where to begin. 

Although I didn't technically start the process of making pots this week, I did more potting making than I can recall doing in the past in order to work out how I would quilt the angel of death on the tombstone featured in Where Have All the Flowers Gone? I did a bit more than this, as you can see:

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

2) Free motion quilting practice - Done!

This is where I made pots. First, I got back in the grove of FMQ by whipping out a simple floral all over motif I had been meaning to try. Next I experimented by using Press 'n Seal wrap for "marking" the design on fabric. The result was that I loved how easy it was to draw on the Press 'n Seal with a permanent fine point marker. Also, I really loved how it clung in place to the fabric. What I didn't like was how difficult it was to fully remove after the quilting was done. Good thing this was a sample. 😉 Next, I tried doing the same thing, but used Solvy AND, I quilted on the same fabric, with the same thread I planned on using for the quilt. This way I could see if the contrast was what I wanted. The advantage of Solvy is that those little pieces remaining after the majority have excess Solvy has been removed are easily dissolved in warm water. This required one more experiment. Before I used Solvy on the actually quilt, I verified that the fabrics I had used would not leech out dye if soaked in warm water. 

Should I go with the letters on a black
banner or a white banner was last
week's dilemma. I opted for black and
after fusing the letters surrounded them
with a satin stitch done in variegated
jewel tones. 
3) Do some surface design work - Done

I'm counting the FMQ as my surface design work, since it was closer to thread painting than FMQ. Tip: I did several things that when added up together eliminated the normal problem of shrinkage/puckering which occurs with thread painting. One, I had already stabilized the work by quilting the background. Two, I had fused the piece being thread painted to the quilt. Three, Solvy also acts as a stabilizer. 
4) Continue working on Where Have All the Flowers Gone? - Done

I added the angel of death to the top of the tombstone, created the Make Art banner, finished making the flowers, and researched what font I would use for the words to be carved on the tombstone. 
5) Beware of when I find myself shutting down and find a way to stay open. - Done
I went into meltdown mode when I stepped back from the finished angel of death. There didn't seem to be sufficient contrast after all that experimentation. Panic. My husband suggested I go over the quilting with a darker thread. That might work. I relaxed and I was open to giving it a try. Then I turned on the lights over the design wall where the piece was hanging. Viola, the contrast is clear as long as there is light on the work. 
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
after this week's work.

The game plan will change next week as I begin my year of pot making. I am officially making myself accountable for the following:

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) Pot(s) made this week

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 think your choice of a black background for the letters is very striking...and must say that 'Angel of Death' image is equally so! Happy New Year and Happy Potting! :-)

  2. Your posts are always such an excellent source of wisdom and inspiration!

  3. This will be a fascinating year to follow with you, Gwyned. I am looking forward to it.