Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Licensed to Cut Loose--post 3

Project at the start of July
I started this project in a Susan Carlson workshop in Sisters, Oregon in 2018. The butterfly is one of her pattern shapes. I've admired Susan's applique technique and have followed her blog posts for years. I decided this quarter it was time to put that project back to the design wall. 

I learned a lot in Susan's class. In preparing for the class, I  reread her book. I rewatched her show on TQS. I reread her various blog posts that she recommended. I packed supplies for her class paying close attention to her list. I thought I was prepared. I wasn't. 

Susan had refined her technique since she had been on the TQS show. My fabrics didn't translate well. The pieces that I brought were too small to practice her technique. My pieces were also without a pattern that I could use to trim shapes.You can read my first post on the project here.

Over the last couple of years, I've 
Project at the end of the first week
thought about this project; but, thinking about it wasn't enough for me to make progress on it. Last quarter, I asked myself why I had stopped working on it. The bottom line was that I wasn't excited about the fabrics. A close second reason was that trying to create a mirror image was impossible given my small scraps of fabrics. I had (and continue to have) few fabrics that could be cut into shapes following the print. 

For Susan's method, one has better success if one has chunks of fabrics to cut. I've been working to tame my scraps into Bonnie Hunter's scrap saving systems of squares and strips. The two methods don't work well together! 
Project at the end of the second week

To make progress, I decided that I would spend an hour a day on this project. If I had a good day of making progress, I certainly could spend more time. If I had a bad day of making progress, I would move on to another project! I do enjoy cutting the shapes that might get to live on the butterfly. In class, I was hung up creating mirror images of the butterfly wings. I decided instead that if I could achieve each side looking "related," I was successful.

I did have bad days where there was no change in the project. I told myself that I had discovered many options that weren't viable. I told myself that the next piece would be the start of many pieces filling the spaces. Some days, I celebrated that the timer rang at the end of hour!

At the end of the first week, I was stuck. I put on a lot of shapes, moved them around and took them off again. Progress was close to nil! I had FaceTime consults with the granddaughters. Miss J suggested that I needed to add blue fabrics to make it beautiful. Miss K suggested that I add yellow so it would glow. She also said I needed more darks to go with the yellow. Her final comment was that I should consider having the butterfly go from light to dark shades! I was trying to go this route; but, my fabrics are too much in the medium range!

Progress at the end of the third week
All of their suggestions were great. Miss J, who is six, could see that I needed darker fabrics to contrast my work. I do plan to collage a variety of blue fabrics as the background around the butterfly. 

Miss K, who is eight, had a valid point that butterfly wings are translucent and include a variety of light to dark shades. I pulled yellow fabrics. I cut more shapes. I placed fabrics on and pulled them off again.

I had a FaceTime consult with my friend, JoJo. She echoed the thoughts of my granddaughters. We talked about other possibilities. All the chats helped me forge ahead.

Close up of the applique shapes
I still have stuck times. Last week, my body was in rebel mode. I've not been able to use my left arm much because using it causes me to have back spasms. Of course, I am left handed. I can do some tasks right handed, although it takes me longer and the results aren't as precise as I would like. 

From time to time my body rebels. Usually, I can pinpoint what I did to cause the discomfort. Unfortunately, I don't know what I did to cause the discomfort this time.  The original cause of my neck and back issues are from a 2009 car accident. In that one accident, I was rear ended twice and pushed into the car in front of me twice. 

I've more chiropractic appointments ahead to help me over the pain and mobility issues. Currently, stretching, ice, meditation and Aleeve are helping me manage the pain. 
Progress at the end of the fourth week

I have tacked some applique shapes in place with glue as I was running out of pins! Tacking the shapes with glue is Susan's technique. She leaves the edges free so she can tuck other fabrics underneath. It is also a task that I can do right handed!

Some of my overlaps are tiny. This happened when I had a curved edge on top of another curved edge. I wonder if I will be able to cover the base fabric when it comes to quilting the pieces. I imagine I will figure out a way to make the spaces a design element if that happens! 

My studio flat spaces are covered with bits of possible options to add to this piece. Susan is right about there being a messy stage to the project, although I doubt that she was referring to the studio space!

I'm planning to use black fabrics around the outer edge of the butterfly and to bisect the top wings from the bottom wings. Originally, I planned to use one fabric. I had leftover triangles from a previous project that I placed around the bottom of the butterfly. Now, I'm planning several fabrics printed on a black background that alternate with a solid black
CPR station
fabric. I'm finding that having another part of the project to work on helps when I'm stuck in another section!

While I'm not "over the moon" with this project, I don't dislike either. I'm neutral or middle of the road, which is not unlike the medium value range of my fabrics! I would like to use this process in other projects so my desire to learn what works for me in this process drives me to continue. My granddaughter used this technique to applique the tail of the mermaid in her small wall hanging. She hasn't been able to come and stitch her project because of Covid. We have been social distancing since the end of March. I sure miss the hugs from the granddaughters!

Since it is the end of the month, I'll share that I helped 62 staff at the hospital earn their Healthcare Provider BLS CPR certification. I've been using the CPR cart primarily for the skill sessions. Participants like the updated program and format.

No comments: