Michelle P.

I’m out of alignment.  I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 1 ½ years ago.  With that I developed the Fibro Fog (loss of energy; difficulty concentrating; and restless nights) which really affect what I do in the studio.  However, I believe this particular assignment is a big help in getting me back in alignment.  Why, because I am writing it down on paper for the first time instead of keep saying it over and over in my head which zaps my energy.  

This assignment asks three questions… (1) What are you good at?  (2) What do you like to do?  (3) What does perfection look like to you?

What are you good at?

  • Machine quilting using my Bernina and Janome sewing machines
  • Raw edge appliqué using the zig zag stitch
  • Working with fusible webs and stabilizers
  • Improvisational piecing

What do you like to do?  

  • Machine quilting with my Bernina and Janome
  • Raw edge raw edge appliqué using the zig zag stitch (I think I am tired of it)
  • Hand-dying fabric
  • Sun printing on fabric
  • Improvisational piecing
  • Sketching in my note pad

What does perfection look like to you?

Doing your VERY best with the skills you have at whatever you choose to do in that moment in time.

Part 2 – Hearts Desire – On Desert Island with my sewing machines, fabric and my sketch pad and focusing with my work like I use to do.

Part 3 - Wannabe Skills:  

  • Learn mix media techniques
  • I would like to improve in hand-dying fabric   
  • Continue strengthen my sun printing skills
  • Create beautiful landscape quilts
  • I want to make a quilt like Michael James made on his first page to hang in my home.  It’s the first quilt on his page.  The link is http://www.michaeljamesstudioquilts.com/

The quilt I choose to study was my first quilt that was exhibited in the Sacred Threads Exhibition in 2011. This quilt is very special to me.  I truly had a divine experience when I created this quilt.  I was going through a rough time in my life (I was the step-mom).  I was praying and crying while working in my studio as the sun rose that morning.  I tried to draw the vision that came to me but I cut it using scissors on notebook paper.  I still have the notebook paper of the original cutting.  I then placed the figures on the North Star quilt pattern.  I used the North Star pattern because it was the pattern of my first quilt.  In addition, I had to write the story behind the quilt. I enjoyed that.  I sent in my entry form and sometime later, Lisa Ellis notified me that my entry was received and where to send my quilt.  I was so thankful, grateful and excited that I jumped on the bed.  

Looking at the quilt today and analyzing it based on alignment, strengths, weaknesses, and perfection.

Well, I had the desire to create and be in my studio.  I was focused, determined and motivated to spend time in my studio. Even though that was a big adjustment with step-children, everything has worked out well.

I used raw edge applique with zig zag stitching.  My fusible was heat and bond (regular) not the lite.  That was a mistake.  Now days, I used mainly misty fuse, steam a steam and lite heat and bond.  I also notice that some of my points do not line up.  I wish I had used a different color thread for quilting in the ditch.  The ladies dresses are a bit different towards the bottom but it was my art not someone else.  I later modified this pattern which now sells on my website and on Craftsy.  I love my quilt.

I love the colors of the stars and the half square triangle units. It was tedious work.  I notice that I did not quilt in between those half square triangles.  Oh well.  I wish the ladies dresses were a different color.  Just thinking, if I was dying fabric back then the ladies would have on something unique.

On this quilt, you can see the stitching outline of the figures on the back. Now days, I prefer to use a stabilizer when using the zig zag stich and then sand which my quilt.

I always enjoy looking at this quilt.  It was a great accomplishment for me.  I don’t why I had it packed away and not hanging up in my studio.  

Perfection - I did the best I could do with what I knew how to do.