Friday, July 26, 2013

Weekly Report 2013 - 07/26


This is what Fiber Revolution Unraveled saw of Companion
Oysters
. When I unveiled the composition I realized that
two oysters laying on the sand felt barren. The green fabric
in the lower left is being auditioned as the likely fabric to
use for seaweed to help fill the composition.
Companion Oysters is finally at a point where a picture is doable! Thus giving me a sense of accomplishment for the week. 

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

I had the opportunity to share phase one of Companion Oysters with the Unraveled. The Unraveled is an on-line critique group of Fiber Revolution members. Fiber Revolution is compromised of active art quilters who live in the northeast region of the US. Our purpose is to exhibit our work collectively. One of the benefits of a critique group is the ability to see your work through someone else's eyes. The two comments I received that struck me this week were, one, "I would have never guessed this was your work." Two, it would help if you use more than one green for the seaweed." I have belonged to several critique groups over the years. I highly recommend joining or forming one if you want to flourish. Think of it as adding fertilizer to the garden. Your plants will grow without it, but they will flourish with it.

This is what I accomplished:

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Stitch the pieces to the background muslin - This would have been done if my muse hadn't tapped me on the shoulder and said that some seaweed was in order.

The first of the seaweed is added to Companion Oysters.
I opted to fuse, rather than stitch the seaweed so that I could
manage the many inset curves.

b) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect - I am getting closer to this step. I need the seaweed in place first.

If you look closely (click on the image) you should be able
to see that I have layered the seaweed fronds with different
green fabrics. This helps with light and shadow. An excellent
recommendation from the Unraveled. 

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next. - Done!

I am not sure why I struggled with Little Tongues, Leah's free motion quilting motif from last week. I returned to it this week and found it fun to execute and a fascinating filler pattern. This week the motif was Saw Blades. This would be a great filler pattern for a windblown day. It reminds me of dandelion puffs blowing on the wind or pinwheels spinning.

Saw Blades is on the left and Little Tongues is on the right.

a) Finish making the blocks for Express Your Love II - Done!

This was a much bigger project than I had imagined. It measures 36" H x 48" W. At some point Leah will be sharing the steps for how to piece and then attach the goddess to the left half the quilt top. The solid black will be covered by the goddess. 

Express Your Love II - Pattern and title by Leah Day. Fabric
selection and piecing by Gwyned Trefethen.

b) Retry the FMQ motif, Little Tongues, but not as a random pattern, but in rows instead. - Done!

I thought about doing it Little Tongues in rows, but decided I liked the random pattern and stuck with it.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Not this week.

Will I accomplish as much next week? Check back and see. This is where I plan to focus my time.

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Stitch the oyster shells to the background 

b) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - 07/19


I know I was in the studio for the full three days I commit to each week, but it sure doesn't look like it if you were to judge that statement against my plan for the week and what I had available to photograph for my blog. It is so easy to become defensive or to rationalize. Sometimes weeks just go like that. 

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Finish cutting and placing the pieces - Done!

b) Stitch the pieces to the background muslin - All the pieces have been prepared (edges requiring turning and glue basted) but I haven't started the sewing them in place.

c) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect - No...

Background for Express Your Love II on my design wall.

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next. - Worked on.

This is where most of my efforts went this week. Leah has started a second incarnation of Express Your Love called, Express Your Love II. This time the background is pieced. I have twenty-eight of the thirty 6.5" background pieces finished as well as the 8 mini blocks. I discovered when I laid out the quilt on my design wall, that another 4 mini blocks would be required. I also need to add the solid muslin on the left hand side to which the pieced goddess will eventually be added.

Detail from the background of Express Your Love II.
I will be making four more mini log cabins in the gray
fabric to fill in the gaps.

I  started the free motion motif, Little Tongues. It wasn't calling to me, so I didn't do enough to photograph. 

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon." - Not Yet

Tips, Thoughts and Techniques:

When presented with Leah's latest project to piece Express Your Love II it was easy for me to select a palette. I chose black and white with shades of gray to contrast against jewel toned fabrics. Why? Because this is my signature palette that I have gained confidence with since my very first black and white piece, First Snow, made in January 2000. This lead to my Shifting Value series. One of the advantages of working in a series is by repeating much of what you have done before, the kinks have been worked out, so that problem solving is kept to a minimum. By changing only one, two or a few aspects it is easy to tell how that change influences a piece. Working in a series is much like how a scientific experiment is conducted. It is important to keep the constants, constant and only alter one variable at a time.

First Snow
January 2000
27" x 27"
The piece that launched the Shifting Value Series.


1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Stitch the pieces to the background muslin

b) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

a) Finish making the blocks for Express Your Love II

b) Retry the FMQ motif, Little Tongues, but not as a random pattern, but in rows instead.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.





Friday, July 12, 2013

Week in Review 2013 - July 12



Botswana Bounty
30" H x 30" W

Both Botswana Bounty and Thinking in Green have been selected for State of the Art, an exhibition of fiber art at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Art in Cedarburg, WI. I will be attending the artists reception on July, 21 from noon to 3 p.m. If you are in the vicinity, do take in the exhibition and be sure to  seek me out at the reception.


This week brought a change of focus from free motion machine quilting to piecing. I struggled against the change of routine, but soon found myself back in the groove of assembly line piecing. That isn't all I did, of course. Here is how the week played out:

1) Oyster Bay (deadline 8/20/2013) - Done!

a) Make and attach the label. - Done!

b) Add Oyster Bay to my website. - Done!

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

It was Leah Day who brought the change of focus to my week. She has begun a second Express Your Love piece. This time instead of a whole cloth quilt where the design is created exclusively with free motion quilting, it is a pieced quilt. Step one is to create the background of the quilt from thirty 6.5" log cabin blocks, eight 3.5" centers of log cabin blocks, several solid squares and a star block. That is quite a time consuming project. I did make a good start. The eight 3.5" blocks are basically done.


One of eight 3.5" blocks for Express Your Love II

Next I created the star block...

The star block for Express Your Love II.
This is paper pieced which helps with matching seams
and keeping the points sharp.

I had fun selecting the fabric for this. I think of it more as a sun block than a star block. The gray and black fabrics will also be used in the background log cabin blocks. My plan is for all the design elements to be pieced in tinted jewel tones, so that the design will really pop.


Collection of pieced elements for
Express Your Love II

The very first quilt I ever made was an Eleanor Burns Log Cabin in a Day. That was more than 25 years ago. To this day, whenever I piece numerous blocks of the Log Cabin ilk, I turn to Eleanor's assembly line method. What the picture doesn't show is that those individual mini blocks, or partial blocks have been assembly line pieced onto a single strip of fabric. The next step is to cut them apart and iron the seams. 

3) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Create the acetate overlay for aligning piecing - Done!

The layers from back to front are: my work table, muslin 4" wider
and longer than the final quilt, in some instances the quilt top fabric,
freezer paper templates and finally a plastic sheeting placement guide.

I am assembling Companion Oysters using an amalgam of techniques I have experimented with in the past. The full quilt will finish at approximately 36" square and the oyster shell is 31" H  by 19" W. Inset piecing it would be a nightmare. I have never enjoyed needle turn appliquĂ©. I could fuse the fabric with either Misty Fuse or Steam a Seam 2, but that gets expensive at this size. Also, it adds one more layer, albeit a thin one to the quilt. I don't want to use dabs of glue adhere the fabric because the raw edges invariably fray. My plan is to pre turn the edges and glue just the turned back edges. So far it is working quite nicely. 

b) Cut and place the pieces - Partially Done.

Freezer paper templates laid over the the paper carton for
Companion Oysters. If you compare this with the picture
above you can see that I am assembling the quilt from the
outside in. I find it easier not reverse my templates. This means
I iron them to the right side of the fabric. It makes the unveiling
of the piece quite fun. At this point I just have to trust my
instinct that I have chosen the right fabrics. Of course should I need to
swap out a fabric, nothing is stitched down and I have saved the template.



4) Pictorial Painting - A Craftsy.com class taught by Annette Kennedy.

a) Quilt "Canyon." - Done!

Finally, I took time out to quilt Canyon. 

One thing is certain, Leah Day is going to keep me busy next week. However, I also don't want to loose sight of my determination to finish Companion Oysters in time to enter it in one of the many opportunities coming up in at the beginning of September. Here is my plan for the week ending July 19, 2013

1) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Finish cutting and placing the pieces

b) Stitch the pieces to the background muslin

c) Add a layer of batting behind the oysters for a trapunto effect

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Pictorial Painting - Face "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekly Report 2013 - 07/05



Oyster Bay is finished except for the label!
 Tips, Techniques and Thoughts

Today I am seeking your thoughts versus sharing one of mine. It seems all Calls for Entry for exhibitions of quilt art require one full view of the artwork and one detail of the artwork. The purpose of the detail image is to allow the curator or juror a better look at the techniques used in the artwork. It is recommended that the detail view also read like a stand alone artwork. My photographer aka my husband has provided me with 5 possible detail shots of Oyster Bay. Please let me know which of these details you feel best accomplishes the goals of a Call for Entry and why you chose this one. The contestants are:

#1 Detail of the two oyster shells resting on the sand

#2 Detail of the two oyster shells cropped along the lower edge,
but showing some ocean and sea foam

#3 Detail of the single oyster shell showing sand and sea foam

#4 Detail of the single oyster shell and sand

#5 Detail of the sea foam and water

You've probably surmised that despite it being a short work week in the USA I managed to focus on Oyster Bay. Here is what I accomplished this week.

1) “Oyster Bay” (deadline 8/20/2013)

a) Face the quilt. - Done!

b) Make and attach the sleeves. - Done!

c) Make and attach the label. - Step one has been accomplished. I always include a finished picture of my quilt on the label. I have the picture.

d) Add Oyster Bay to my website. - The pictures have been taken. 

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

The assignment from Leah was to practice Universe Spiral. This design is a tweak on McTavishing. The difference between McTavishing and Universe Spiral is that McTavishing begins with a gentle wiggly line that is echoed, as does Universe Spiral, but Universe Spiral adds a circle at the end of the line that is filled with an "*". Since I am on tear with my beach series, I further tweaked Universe Spiral by swapping out the "*" and inserting various sized circles within the circle to emulate sea foam. I chose to practice on some fabric that suggests the sea. I have chosen to call my variation Ocean Currents.

Ocean Currents Sample - Front Side


It has been a while since I shared the back side of any of my work. One thing that has become obvious from my focus on practicing free motion quilting is that the number of bird nests and hesitation spots on the back are greatly reduced.


Ocean Currents Sample - Back Side

An advantage of sharing the flip side with you on the blog is that the actual pattern for Ocean Currents is much more easily seen. 

3) Pictorial Painting

a) Watch the lesson that demos how to quilt the Canyon piece. - Done!

b) Quilt "Canyon." - Just contemplated.

4) Unplanned Bonus - I started designing my next artwork based on cropping a section of Oyster Bay using Photoshop Elements and changing it to grayscale and then rotating it 90 degrees. 

The germ of an idea for my next Beach Series quilt


There is nothing like starting a new quilt to fire me up. I can't wait to get to work on Monday and start creating. Here are my known plans for what I would like to accomplish:

1) “Oyster Bay” (deadline 8/20/2013)

a) Make and attach the label.

b) Add Oyster Bay to my website.

2) Do whatever assignment Leah comes up with next.

3) Companion Oysters (Deadline 9/01/2013)

a) Create the acetate overlay for aligning piecing

b) Cut and place the pieces

4) Pictorial Painting

a) Quilt "Canyon."

I am now linking up to two blogs on Friday's. The first is Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project and the second is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays.